Pinoy Teacher’s Story: Journey to Prateepsasana Islamic School

Recapturing my visions and dreams

It was a blessed Friday night. There was Bible sharing and prayer meeting, dinner date, and of course chit-chats. As we were talking about the week’s happenings, I was sharing that I felt empty in the school where I was teaching. I wanted to find myself back in teaching as I used to be. I wanted to recapture my visions and dreams.

Read: Pinoy Teacher’s Story: Finding the Ideal School

Then, brother JR who was there listening said, “Tamang tama! I got a call from a friend asking me to find and recommend some teachers.” He asked me,”Are you interested to teach in the South of Thailand? The school needs 3 Filipino teachers. The benefits are good. The visa and the work permit will be paid by the school. The accommodation is free, with 3 meals a day. In addition, you will have a health insurance. But the best part is you will have free tickets upon completion of your contract every year. And take note, It is a round trip ticket from Nakhon Sri Thammarat to Bangkok and Bangkok to Manila.”

This is it! Go for it!

Having my mind set already to apply in a new school, I told him,”Sure! Why not”! In no time, brother JR called his friend. Sir John introduced himself and gave Prateepsasana Islamic School’s background and further explained about the benefits. He said that the school has a long history. Now, it is being overseen by Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, a former ASEAN Secretary-general together with his siblings. He even shared his first-hand experience as he visited the school. “It is a Muslim environment that is warm and peaceful.” With that note, I told myself, “This is it! Go for it!”

The Actual Interview

After a few days, I received a call from Sir John, having my first phone call interview in the process. It was an interview in the midst of a busy day. I was awestruck that I buffered as the interviewer, Sir John, sounded so professional and fluent. Nonetheless, I made it. I would say it was the first pro-level English conversation that I had in Thailand. After the interview, he had my teaching demonstration in his first year college class at Pibulsongkram Rajabhat University in Phitsanulok province. Gratefully, the class was participative so the demonstration went smoothly. After which, he gave his feedback as well as the students’.

Receiving feedback is one thing that I love. It points my strengths and my weaknesses. It gives me the time to check, to recheck and to improve my teaching skills and be a better teacher to my students. In the demonstration, the teaching and the learning process is as significant as the aftermath feedback. Teaching and learning was fun and interactive. On the other hand, receiving constructive criticisms opens the room for active growth.

Another important thing is the fact that Dr. Surin is an intellectual and a renowned politician. He has influential siblings, too. These things take a challenge on me. Knowing these things requires a serious dedication. Yet, I view it as a beautiful opportunity. It is a challenge in its positive way.  It takes passion and enthusiasm. In fact, it is the opportunity I would like to hold and grow on. In any case, I would like to be a teacher who is not just having fun teaching, but more so, leaving impact to the students.

A new hope

On the whole, together with my “Kababayan” – my colleagues Nino and Kay, we hope that we could enlighten the students with the fact that English is essential for them to connect to the world and to be globally competitive. Moreover, it will be an honor as one of the students’ torches at Prateepsasana Islamic School (Torch of Islam). We believe that our teaching and our lives could be a torch that illuminates not only in the aspect of learning but also in the aspect of living a life-purpose.

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Miriam Ambales
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