It wasn’t until I started teaching at Surat Thani International School (STIS) that I knew for sure that teaching was the profession for me. After teaching at several others schools with minimal support, organization, or structure, STIS was a very welcome change.
Classroom sizes are limited to 20 students or less allowing teachers time to work with each student individually. There is an abundant amount of resources available to the teachers and large classrooms that allow for a wide range of activities to keep the students engaged and happy.
Expectations are high because parents at the school are very invested in their children’s education but this also means that parental support is high which is very helpful in discipline and extra-curricular support.
Hard work and good teaching are rewarded and there is an abundance of opportunities to progress as a teacher and an employee. Teachers are encouraged to work together as a team which creates a positive work environment.
This being said, the most important thing to know about Surat Thani International School is that student learning is the first priority. I take immense pride in seeing the progression of my students throughout the school year and I feel like this sentiment is prominent throughout the school.
The city of Surat Thani is also a wonderful city to live in for teachers. It is not very touristy so you never have to deal with people hassling you on the streets or overcharging you for goods and services. The locals are extremely friendly and helpful and you get a good feel of the local community.
There is also a fairly large teacher community that organizes events and helps each other out. I organize a football (soccer) night every Tuesday and there are also quiz nights, art nights, games nights, and any excuse you can think of for a social event or party so it is very easy to meet new people here.
Surat Thani is also close to the massive beach at Khanom, the beautiful national park of Khao Sok and its floating bungalows (my favourite place in Thailand), as well as the more touristy islands of Koh Samui, Koh Phagnan, and Koh Tao to name a few.
I originally planned to teach in Thailand for only 1 year but the city of Surat Thani and the Surat Thani International School have convinced me to stay here for many more.