What an experience! My name is Ms. Hannah and I’m part of the Social Media Marketing intern program at Leap and Bound Academy. However, my name and face might not seem familiar because for the last month I’ve been in Thailand teaching children!
At first I was nervous to leave home and LBA because they both provide a sense of reassurance and comfort. I live in standard living conditions and I have a job that allows me to connect with so many smiling faces. In Thailand, most people don’t live in conditions we consider “standardized” and don’t have such amazing job opportunities. I guess the idea of going somewhere that contrasted so greatly with where I live frightened me. However, teaching and doing community service in Thailand for a month could not have been more of an amazing, heart warming, and awakening experience- and I want to share that with LBA and it’s wonderful families!
My first challenge was to beat the heat! With temperatures rising to almost 100 degrees and 80% humidity, simply motivating to get out of bed was hard! This weather certainly did not help in the classroom, as there was no fans or air conditioning. These poor children sweat all day long and normally only return to worse conditions at home. The homes that I visited are not what we would categorize at houses. They are bamboo platforms with a makeshift roof of tin or sticks and no walls. Within the homes, the whole extended family sleeps- certainly cramped living quarters!
When walking into the schools, you immediately notice the difference between them and ones in America. Although the teachers are motivated, the supplies and resources are sparse. The idea of crafts or thought-out intellectual activities simply does not exist. They do not exist not because they don’t have the motivations, but because they don’t have the money.
After being in the rural village of Udon Thani for a month I have come to the realization of exactly how lucky we are to live in such an amazing neighborhood and have the opportunity to send our students to schools such as LBA. As stereotypical as this might sound, you never know how much you have until you have nothing at all. Being at a school that had close to nothing made me realize exactly HOW much LBA has and can provide for it’s students and neighborhood.
For starters, we have passionate and educated teachers who are guaranteed to show up with smiles on their faces and something to teach. We have three facilities specialized for child care. Most of all, we have a fantastic community made up of all of you! Our community supports education wholeheartedly and by doing so, sends their students to LBA!
Teaching in Thailand was an unforgettable memory that not only humbled me on a personnel level, but taught also me just how lucky each LBA student is. As the school year seems to be approaching us at lightening speed, take the time to appreciate what you have!