Teaching and learning at the same time.

Teaching, schoolAlex was the first New Life Foundation teacher at our local village school. According to his successors, he did a great job teaching the English alphabet, pronouncing names, counting and songs.

After teaching for a month, Alex left New Life last week.  And V. and Jimi have taken over his classes.

A native of Greece, V. gained fluency in English through 8 years of study and residences in Scotland and U.S.A.  She alternates teaching 4 through 8 and the 9- and 10-year-olds.

Who me? Teacher?

At first, V. was surprised to be called “Teacher V.” not Miss V.  But, in Thailand Teacher is a term of great respect.  And there’s plenty of that.  Jimi reports his children stand when he enters the room and greet him properly.

Jimi, who teaches 10- and 12-year-olds, was initially surprised at how much English they already knew and had to accelerate his lesson on the spot.  During a recent hour-and-a-half class, he asked the boys to draw an animal on the blackboard; girls were assigned fruits and vegetables.  Then Jimi wrote the first letter and the correct number of dashes.  The students were to check their picture books for the word and write it.

“Like children everywhere, the boys tend to be boisterous and the girls shy, especially with a male teacher,” says Jimi.  “But all are anxious to learn.”

V has been surprised how excited the children get about anything new–new markers, new papers, the least little thing.

A great experience for the future.

Teaching, schoolNeither Jimi nor V. had taught before arriving at the New Life Foundation.  V. had always thought she’d liked to be an elementary teacher.  When the opportunity came along, her New Life friends encouraged her to try it.  She’s not sure what her next move will be, but she’s sure she’s getting invaluable experience that she never expected during recovery at New Life.

Jimi, a fugitive from the New Zealand corporate world, hopes to find a profession that allows him to contribute more to others.  For him, too, this teaching experience may decide his next career path.

Since Jimi had never taught before, he called on old university friends with teacher training for help.  He arrived at New Life armed with a lot of tips and a bag of goodies.  He’s found that, while school supplies and books are appreciated, they were not necessary.  “The school is well-equipped,” says Jimi.  “The kids have up-to-date computers, tools and textbooks, as well as all the supplies to learn and have a good time.”

Both V. and Jimi are committed to teaching for as long as they’re at New Life and to finding replacements when they leave.  “The local community has been so welcoming that we want to give something back,” says Jimi.

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