CANDACE LEE, FORMER TEACHER

2ND YEAR TESTIMONIAL

When I first arrived in Thailand June, 2012 I fell in love. I signed an eight month contract and promised my family and friends I would be back home when my contract ended. I am currently sitting in my home in Surat Thani writing this testimonial in May, 2016.  Thailand has changed my life.  I fell in love with not only the beautiful beaches and relaxed life style, but with the people and the food and the culture. Everything here keeps me wanting more and it’s hard to move on from somewhere that truly makes you happy.

A big part of my happiness is teaching English in Thailand.  I have worked for three different companies during my time in Thailand and Surat Thani International School has by far been the best experience I’ve had.  In Texas I studied elementary education and I knew that I wanted to travel right away, so as soon as I graduated I hopped on a plane to Thailand and started teaching English. My first experience was with a government school and the class sizes were huge and I had a really difficult time because the students didn’t show an interest in learning. I always felt like the students didn’t really care about learning English and I would spend half of the lesson trying to get them to pay attention to the lesson and stop conversing in Thai.  After that I did a year teaching adults and while I enjoyed the job, teaching business English wasn’t for me. That’s when I applied for STIS and fell in love with a school and a class of the most amazing students I’ve ever taught.

I feel extremely privileged to be a teacher at Surat Thani International School. When I first Skyped with Peter and I was told about the school I was so excited to be a part of something new.  I started working at STIS the first year it opened.  One of the things I love most about this school is the trust we receive.  We are basically allowed to run the classroom however we see fit.  We are expected to hit certain goals but as long as we achieve the goals it’s up to us how our classroom operates.  If you have taught anywhere else you will know that this is pretty rare.  

Another thing that is great about STIS is appreciation that we are shown.  Peter takes care of his teachers.  He puts on monthly parties where he pays for everything and the teachers can relax and catch up with each other.  We just had our teacher appreciation week and every day Peter did something for us to show us he cared and appreciated our hard work.  My personal favorite is chocolate Thursdays.  He brings in chocolate or interesting candy he finds just to help us get though the week.

Another great thing about working at STIS is the amount of materials that are provided for each class. The first time I walked into my classroom I was shocked at all the materials that were provided for everyday use. We have a large amount of books, flashcards, educational games, puzzles, workbooks, art supplies, building blocks… I could go on and on.  I feel lucky to be able to implement all of these things in my lesson plans and it’s great because my students never get bored of using the same things over and over again. 

1ST YEAR TESTIMONIAL

Living and teaching in Thailand has changed my life.  I was originally supposed to be for 8 months and it’s now been just over two and a half years. Thailand itself is a beautiful country that’s full of adventures and new experiences. The food is amazing and the people are caring and kindhearted. I have been able to grow so much as a teacher here in Thailand. At STIS we have a supportive management team and creative teachers that are always willing to share ideas and help each other succeed in the classroom.  I love being involved in the start of a new school and having so much flexibility with my class.  My students are great!  They are passionate and involved in the lessons during class.  Surat Thani International School is a great place to work! You will get motivated students that want to be at school. There are a huge amount of resources, from supplementary materials, flashcards and reading books for the kids to puzzles, blocks and toys.  You get to use your creativity every day in the classroom and get to know each student in the school. With the small class sizes you also get to learn about each student in your class individually and figure out what teaching styles and activities work best for them. This helps you think outside the box and collaborate with the other teachers to figure out how you can help each student reach their full potential.  We don’t have a lot of paperwork so we are able to focus on our students and their progress.  The setup at STIS is ideal and I am very happy to be a teacher here!  So happy that I’ve signed on for another year!