Newsletter from Travel-to-Teach
This is a newsletter from Travel to Teach. We will send one or two letters every month to tell about what is happening in Nongkhai and Tijuana. You will get this letter if you have been in mail-contact with us in the last few months.
Webdesign classes Nongkhai
Travel-to-Teach has worked with the JBAC-college in Nongkhai to set up courses in Webdesign - Photoshop, HTML, Dream-weaver and Flash. We will start in the beginning of July and go on for three months. This "pilot-project" is designed for us to learn how to teach advanced computer-courses with the relative lack of a language to teach in.
Our teachers will be people from Europe and the US with extensive experience in all relevant tools for webdesign and production. Our students will be gifted young people from Nongkhai and Udon Thani who envisage a career in Webdesign but can not afford the fees normally charged here.
Travel-to-Teach advisory board.
In order to develop we need not only the day to day working with our projects and our own imagination and inventiveness. We also need some influences from the outside, some ideas from others, some help with finding synergy's and connecting people. So we have invited some people whos advice we value to sit on an advisory board.
The board will try to create virtual meetings, but largely just help to look through the things we do and comment on ideas we have and bring their own ideas to test on us. More than 50% of our advisory board will be former volunteers. We will present this board in newsletters beginning in this!
On the plane home to USA, Pat Marlow, a forrest firefighter from Oregon collects some of his impressions:
T2T is like having friends and family in a foreign country and youíre going to visit them, and while youíre there you teach, get to know the people and see the country.
I wanted to travel to Thailand but I didít want to just go and be a tourist. I wanted to do something. So I found the Travel-to-Teach web site and the program was just what I was looking for. The program fees were reasonable, and they were very flexible with start and end dates.
One of my best experiences in Thailand was when I was teaching in Si ChiangMai, a small town on the Mekong River. After attending an outdoor aerobics class (I know, aerobics was the last thing I thought I would be doing in Thailand), I started talking with some of the towns people.
One was the headmaster at a primary school in a nearby town. He invited me to come out to his school and talk with the kids. A few days later I headed out on my bicycle. A 25 minute ride took me to the entrance of a school, but I wasnít sure if this was the right one. The kids were at recess, and when they saw me they stopped playing to investigate. They donít see too many farang (westerners) out there, and I was quickly surounded by 50-60 kids. The bigger kids acted as security guards keeping the smaller ones from mobbing me.
I quickly discovered that the kidsí English wasnít that good and since my Thai just isnít there, I needed help. I soon found the teachers and headmaster, so I knew I had the right school. I was given a quick tour.
It was easy to see this was a public school. The classes were fairly large, the buildings rundown, and not a whole lot of teaching resources. I spent the rest of the afternoon going to each of the grades (1st through 6th).
They all knew some basic English. As with most Thai school kids, they mainly wanted to practice conversation and pronunciation. Some students needed to be coaxed into speaking in English, and some were ready to venture to practice what English they knew.
While I was working with the students, one boy was being disruptive, actually mocking me, making the other kids laugh. The headmaster said that he was developmentally slow. I said I understood.
I stayed until school let out, but I didnít want to go. Half the fun that day was teaching, the other half was just stumbling across this experience and making it happen.
The downside of my time in Thailand was the heat, humidity, mosquitoes and ants, and my video camera being stolen (be careful on long bus rides). In spite of all that, Iím very glad I went. T2T is a great name for this program because I did teach people English, but I also had the time and assistance to really experience the country and its people.