I am a teacher…
… slash traveller.
I feel in this world some people are destined to be teachers. I knew I was the moment I taught this young child to swim resulting in him achieving his first swimming badge. He swam 5 metres unaided, unaided physically that is. Of course I had aided a little by filling his spongelike brain with skills, tips and child-like analogies for him to digest as easy as a swallowing a mouthful of rainbow tasting skittles. Essentially, I gave him confidence and taught him how to believe in himself and not just taught him the skills required.
milestone. It was this very moment I knew I was destined to be a teacher and a decade on I am still a teacher. Only now I am a teacher slash traveller in the city of Chiang Mai and I am now teaching kiddies in another art; the art of the English language. Although much less physical, the concept is still the same. I teach the children skills and ways to believe in themselves to give them the confidence to speak another language while eradicating fear. Fear of making a mistake and fear of trying and experiencing something new.
This journey began back in 2009 with Krissi suggesting a move to Chiang Mai, Thailand. We had both travelled here previously, but the thought of living, working and earning in this amazing city seemed a million miles away, both geographically and practically. However, with the power of two tenacious minds, it happened.
We booked it. We packed it. We f**ked off.
After many days of traipsing around the schools of Chiang Mai in the hot sun while donning a shirt, a tie, some trousers and my extremely impractical leather cowboy boots, it was time for a game change.
From this point onwards, networking was the game.
For me, this involved going to bars and becoming acquainted with the local foreigners and teachers that lived and worked the way I wished too. The more I socialised, the more I learnt that although dishing out resumes left, right and centre was good, networking was a vital way in getting someone to recommend you within their school. A recommendation allows a big fat foot in the door, possibly followed with a leap.
The socialising paid off and after an interview and a demonstration lesson, I landed myself a job within a well established chain of schools in Thailand. Not only this, but I was teaching English to the perfect age, four to five year old kiddies. Right now I can hear some of you squirm at the thought. Somehow their naivety and innocence inspires me. Most of them are always willing to try something new without doubt and without fear. Although we cant live our adult life exactly as a child does due to responsibility, there is certainly something we can take from children that allows us to be open, honest and willing to try new things within this world.
They inspire me.
The years after this, not only broadened my bank of nursery rhymes, but I worked, earned, paid off debts from the UK, and travelled around southern Thailand and its surrounding countries including Malaysia, Laos and Cambodia. I was even able to pick up my PADI SCUBA diving license. This is also something I have aspirations to do. I love SCUBA diving in the ‘big blue’ and to teach people the skills needed to see this underwater blueness would be amaaaaaaaaaaazin.
In this world many people are struggling to find their niche in life. Maybe there was an encounter with a family of leprechauns in a previous life I don’t know, but mine is to teach and inspire others. Whether its children, SCUBA diving or swimming, I know I want to teach.
My job now is taking me away from teaching kids, but into the world of training people to become teachers. I will be giving people the skills needed to teach and also live the life I have been living for the past two years.
Those who know, do. Those who understand, teach.