By: iamAldonLopez | February 10, 2019
“We look forward to meeting you soon! We are so happy that you have chosen MediaKids Academy to support you during your time teaching in Thailand.”
This message made me cry when I should be the one to say this message to MediaKids Academy. I think this is the best opportunity to extend my sincerest gratitude to MediaKids Academy for choosing me not only to be one of your teachers in Thailand but also to become one of your bloggers. I am so happy and thankful that you have seen massive untapped potential in me. It feels like I have constantly improved my life and be the best version of myself. Now, let me talk about how my journey begins with MediaKids Academy.
MediaKids Academy offers a very convenient and wonderful set of orientation. It was held at Suda Palace Hotel in Bangkok where all the new set of teachers from different countries was staying at the same hotel with 3 days of free accommodation. I was warmly welcomed by the MK staffs and guided me all throughout the process. We all know that the most important part after the hiring procedure is the orientation. This is the time to get along with your new colleagues and to know the company that you will be working with, its policies, company’s culture, roles and responsibilities, job description and other important things that we, teachers need to know.
MediaKids Academy Orientation is a two-day session. I remembered the first day being long and tiring, but it was very important. When I stepped into orientation. I was a bit nervous and shy at the same time because I didn’t recognize anyone. And I remind myself that everybody is a stranger to anyone else, too, so don’t get overwhelmed.
Be open-minded, like I said, everyone is new, so go socialize! We might have differences in our skin color or our culture. After all, we are all teachers with the same vision such as to educate Thai children in the English language and how to enjoy, explore and be creative with the English language.
I was amazed by how the CEO/President of MediaKids Academy welcomed us. It was so inspiring and very encouraging at the same time. She talked about her vision, her eagerness to improve the English language skills of Thai Children. How she puts her passion and dedication by bringing different worlds and cultures together. Suddenly, it reminded me of my childhood dreams. How I started learning English, how eager I am to sound like ‘native speakers’, how to put my passion for teaching into reality. Then, with gratitude and determination, MediaKids believed in my capabilities. I can now put my passion and experience to work in new, valuable ways. I can now aspire and inspire people who want to learn not only in English but also for the experiences and knowledge I have gained all throughout my existence.
Every Asian country has different cultures. Culture is more likely the soul of a nation. We all have our own unique cultures to live by, which means that people who have grown up in different places will have different ways of thinking about things, different ways of behaving and different ways of expressing themselves. Those differences make our world an exciting and colorful place to live.
The most important gestures in Thailand is ‘The Wai’ wherein you must put your hands together and vow. You can use this gesture as a sign of respect every time you encounter elders, co-workers, or even your students. It ‘s more likely “Mano or Pagmamano” in the Philippines. Filipino culture performed this gesture as a sign of respect to elders and as a way of requesting a blessing from them. We must understand and respect the differences in each culture, so we can get along with each other in peace.
Thai Culture in School
Thai people have so much respect for their culture. It’s totally different from my culture. One thing I learned during the orientation is to embrace it and learn from it. As I go along the way, I noticed a lot of things about Thai culture in school such as:
- If there are activities associated with their culture they had to cancel their classes, and they spent time/effort (e.g: King’s Birthday, Wai Khru, etc.).
- Teachers are well-respected in Thailand.
- Respect and understand Thai eating habits.
- As a foreign teacher, you are not allowed to shout at students; Thus, you need to consult your co-Thai teacher if you have complained with your students.
- Don’t point your fingers/foot at your students.
- Don’t step over students bags or move things with your feet.
- Don’t touch students’ head.
- Don’t fail your students.
- Be the first to Wai to all Thai teachers.
- Always have fun inside the classroom if you want your students to love you.
One of the most important things during the orientation is to sign your contract. Remember, you are not in your own country. Please make sure that both parties agreed upon the terms and conditions and you are fully decided to teach here in Thailand because once you signed, there’s no turning back. Well, in my case, I was so excited to sign my contract. I was even looking for the paper during the first day of the orientation.
I was again amazed by the CEO for her remarkable closing remarks. It says: “Being a teacher wouldn’t be that easy, but no one said it would be this hard”. And so, I told myself, this is what I dreamed of. I will polish my dreams and values to a brilliant luster, so it can light the way forward. This day has found me on a magnificent journey. I will keep going, keep doing what I love, keep going and embrace all the life that’s headed my way. My journey begins here! #MediaKidsAcademy #atravels #Mydailylifeadventure
Thank you for reading! See you in my next article!