Next week I will say some of my most difficult good-byes, to the lovely students of the EP at Sa-nguan Ying where I've had the privilege of working this past year. These students are creative, smart, hilarious, kind, loving, cute and cool. I have loved being their teacher. Sure there have been moments when I wanted to throw up my hands and walk out of the classroom because I was frustrated, but they were so few and far between. Teaching is a tough gig, I worked really hard this past year pumping out lesson plans, creating new games, researching topics, grading papers and tests, but it has also been immensely rewarding. I owe so much of my amazing Thailand experience to the EP students that I've been lucky enough to teach. They are simply the best, better than all the rest. Here are a few reasons why the students are so awesome:
- The M.3 (9th grade) students wrote a 6+ page extended essay or research paper in their second language... and they were excellent essays! They mastered the thesis, introduction, research and even citations. I'm pretty sure I would have laughed at my 9th grade French teacher if she asked me to pull that off, sorry Miss Molnar, but no chance!
- They work hard. The students in EP, as in most schools in Thailand, study all day and all night. They go to school, then they take extra classes after school, and on the weekends they go to more extra classes in Bangkok. They work so, so hard, and yet they still manage to keep smiles on their faces.
- They love each other. So often I've remarked that the students in Thailand seem to be far nicer than their counterparts in America. They treat each other with respect, even if they make fun of each other, I've never seen mean intent behind their jokes. It's really nice to see young people interact in a healthy way.
- They are cool kids. Every day I leave my classrooms with another funny story to share in the teacher's office. They have introduced me to some amazing Thai tunes and superstars. They have helped me learn some cool Thai slang words to broaden my vocabulary. They have their own style and swagger even though they all wear the same thing and must sport the exact same haircut just below their ears - they rock it. So much of my Thailand experience has been shaped by these students and inside these classrooms and I will miss these cool kids every day... with faces like this, how could I not?