Alumni Spotlight - Jack Adams
Jack completed his TEFL course at Destination TEFL, Koh Samui (previously Samui TEFL) in April 2017. We caught up with him to find out how he has enjoyed his journey as a TEFL teacher so far. Here’s Jack’s story…
In Scotland, as I’m sure is the case for millions of others who are a similar age to myself in nations all around the globe, we are taught from a very young to study hard at school and university and then we’ll have all the opportunities to go and work in the job of our dreams. And maybe for some this is the case, but upon leaving university I felt very lost. I had some vague idea about teaching and studying an extra year at university to add a teaching diploma onto my degree but this was very much something that I would say in order to subdue questions as to why I was still working the same night shift job, I had been working through university, a year after leaving.
In general, I felt overwhelmed by a deep malaise that seemed to permeate through my every mood an action, it felt like a tide of grey was building and building to eventually submerge me whole. However, one particularly bleak, cold and rain filled January morning in Glasgow I received a message from a university friend asking if I wanted to go to Thailand to teach English. I wanted so badly to break free from this energy and life sapping routine I had gotten myself in that I jumped at the chance. Little did I know that this decision would completely turn my life around and be the foundation block for my life today.
It was an obviously daunting experience to leave everything I’d ever known behind and move to the other side of the world on a whim. I was moving to a country I’d never been to before, who spoke a language I had no comprehension of and to work in a job I had no experience of.
The vague idea I had of being a teacher back home had become a very sudden and real reality when I landed in Thailand and then began my studies at Destination TEFL. I arrived there completely clueless as to what the role of a foreign teacher would entail and no idea about where I would be working in Thailand.
The 120 hours of training I undertook was fantastic, providing me with a vast amount of knowledge and a whole host of skills to draw on in a real-life teaching setting. It was a truly life changing experience and I left filled with the confidence that not only could I teach but that also I could thrive in this environment. Not only did I learn all about the craft of foreign language teaching at Destination TEFL, I was also presented with a variety of exciting teaching positions at different schools in Thailand through the connections the TEFL centre had throughout Thailand. Through Destination TEFL I secured the position of teaching English at a school in Korat, a city the northeast of Thailand.
Like with most on this journey, Korat was a complete unknown to me before arriving. However, this was possibly one of the most fortuitous decisions I’ve ever made as I have truly found a home away from home. I’d even go so far as to say I’ve found my home now. I have lived in Korat for four years now and loved every minute of life in the city and work at my school, which I have also been at for all four years.
The gateway that teaching English as a foreign language offers you is truly a magical one. Not only have I been able to positively affect the lives of hundreds of young people, find a place where I am truly comfortable, travel to new and exciting places, become part of a vibrant and diverse community but I have also been able to pursue my passions.
I adore football and running and have been able to play regularly in amateur tournaments throughout Thailand, seeing wonderful new places and making loads of new friends. And I run every day through beautiful vistas in truly glorious conditions.
Teaching English has allowed me to develop professionally, I am now the head of activities for the English Program at my school, and personally, I now take much better care of myself and have found both my physical and mental health to be in such a better place since making the big move.
Sure, there are days when I’ll feel melancholic about being so far from home, but you find that you miss a memory, somewhere or sometime that doesn’t exist anymore. Teaching abroad truly makes you go and find the life you need now. I would implore anyone who feels stuck, in need of something new, unfulfilled or just plain bored to take a chance and embark on this journey. Before coming to Thailand life had seemed to be firmly stuck in monochrome but now its triumphantly in technicolour.