Greetings, readers! I’m (almost) back to “regular” blogging.
No, I didn’t fall off the edge of the Earth. I am just trying to recover from what was simple exhaustion. My 53-year-old body essentially rebelled against my unrelenting schedule.
For weeks, I had been looking forward to taking a bit of a vacation/holiday break at the end of the school year. That came at the end of the first week of March. However, on Wednesday of that week I was asked to plan for and run a two-week Summer Camp due to start the following week at a Buddhist temple school on the opposite side of the island. While we are normally given much more advanced notice for even the one- or three-day camps, I told my boss, “Sure, no problem!”
Wow! Last week was extremely busy and the week to come looks to be even busier. As I start to write this, it is early Sunday morning and I need to depart soon on a “reconnaissance mission” to the unknown reaches of western Phuket. I need to find the location of an obscure temple where I will be starting a 10-day English camp tomorrow; supposedly, it is on the route of a songteaw (local bus service) and I want to ascertain the travel time and observe local landmarks so I know when to tell the driver to stop.
I only took a few photos since my last update (and absolutely no video), including several of my two classes at Phuket Town’s oldest and largest school…
Finally, we seem to be past the huge number of holidays and other activities that served as disruptions in the school schedule, starting in early December with Thai National Day and Constitution Day, continuing through Christmas and New Year’s celebrations, Mid-Term exams, and culminating with Thai Children’s Day and National Teacher’s Day nearly two weeks ago. I believe last week was the first in more than a month and a half where I worked a full week. My students were quite attentive and productive during most of the week so I rewarded both high school classes with a rare “Games Day” on Friday which was as much fun for their teacher as for them. It was a very long week, indeed.
This morning, the ECC Events Team (Big Boss K. Anusorn, new desk staffer Arm, and yours truly) journeyed to the remote Ban Aonambor School on Phuket’s Cape Panwa for an Open House and Kindergarten graduation ceremony. Although we don’t have a regular English teacher at this particular school, we have held several English camps and other projects here over the past two years or so. … Continue reading ECC: Open House at Ban Aonambor School
This past November, I took over the position of Deputy Head Teacher for a large language school and teachers’ agency in southern Thailand. In addition to overseeing some 40 teachers from around five different countries and a myriad of administrative duties (i.e., staffing our contracted government-run schools, organizing local English camps, writing course syllabi, etc.), I am still required to teach a minimum of 75 … Continue reading Back to Blogging
We are actually nearing the end of Term 1 for the 2015-16 school year but this past week saw me putting in a full schedule once again at a government-run school, something I will continue until the term break seven weeks from now. This is due to yet another teacher skipping out on his contract – lately, I seem to specialize in these finish-the-term substitutions. Luckily, this time I only had to give up two of my in-house lessons (meaning those I do during the day at the language school) in order to fill in at the high school. I still have my Saturday morning bank staff lessons and Sunday English camps so it will be quite some time until I have another day off!
The month-long summer holiday comes to an end this week, following another long weekend stretching from Labor Day on the first to Coronation Day on the fifth. Most students will return to their schools next week for the start of Term 1 for School Year 2015-2016. I believe the next special days will occur next month but don’t include any further school holidays until mid-July.
It’s been a tiring week as I’ve spent Monday through Thursday working at an English camp on Phuket’s rural Cape Panwa. Thus, the theme for this installment of Friday Photos. Conducting these camps is strenuous by itself but I’ve also been teaching my regular evening lessons all week as well.
What is an English camp? Well, the agency I work for – ECC Thailand – uses them primarily to introduce English language instruction to schools that we don’t yet have under contract. It’s basically an audition so is taken very seriously by my boss. We go into a school for several days and teach a bit of English – conversation, vocabulary, a bit of grammar – and play a lot of games.
Earlier this month, the teaching agency I work for sponsored a two-day English Camp at Wat Sri Sunthorn School in the Thalang Sub-District of Phuket. As are most camps of this type these days, this one revolved around the 2015 initiation of the Asian Economic Community (AEC) and so included plenty of quiz games in which the students had to demonstrate their knowledge of the ten ASEAN (Association of South-East Asian Nations) member countries. Originally, this was to include interviewing tourists on Surin Beach but it was decided it would be better to keep the kids at the school and have them do plenty of on-site role-plays.
My language school will be hosting an English Camp later this month for Sri Suthorn School here in Phuket. I get asked to do these quite often following my success with camps held at resorts in Phang Nga Province. This will be my first during which I won’t have to stay overnight. Spread over two (half-) days, four teachers will lead 240 students through fun … Continue reading It’s English Camp Time Again!