I first stepped off the plane in the old Don Muang Airport of Thailand almost twenty years ago. I was officially on my honeymoon with my husband, starry eyed and in love, not just with him but with this gorgeous paradise that was a far cry from the bitter Danish weather we had left behind. The holiday was one I would always remember and I’m not talking about memories that give me butterflies. It was more like memories that make me want to buy a punching bag and practice muay thai. I left my husband soon after and, heartbroken, refused to return to Denmark. Instead, I decided to stay on in lovely Thailand and managed to get a job working as an English teacher which wasn’t difficult at the time.
I enjoyed teaching and learned a thing or two as well. I began to understand the Thai culture more as time moved on. Determined to help the children to the best of my ability, one summer I decided to obtain a TESL certificate, which equips one to teach English to first time learners. I started doing a lot of research on the internet, and created my own lesson plans, much to the marvel of my co teachers who were quick to notice the progress of the eager students in my class. I was a trained chef back home but here I was accidentally answering the call of my destiny. I honestly couldn’t be happier. Teaching English was really and truly what I was meant to do.
It’s been twenty years and I’ve been working at my current school for almost ten years. A few months ago I was shocked to hear that there was a new law being passed that would make it compulsory for all teachers to show the ministry of education officials their educational degree before renewing the contract for the next school term. My younger colleagues might have been educationally qualified with their fancy certificates, but none of them had the experience I did. Most came to me for solutions to their problems. I was devastated since I didn’t have any degree certificate on me that would satisfy the officials. I had a Thai boyfriend and a two year old son who depended on me, so I had to think fast.
After searching the internet, I came across this site that provided me with the written proof of the knowledge I had and made my experiences teaching valid. I was ecstatic to receive the B.A. English certificate. Needless to say I wasn’t the only one who was thoroughly impressed. The officials passed my precious piece of paper and I haven’t been bothered about it since. In fact, I am so proud of it that I’ve framed it up and hung it up on display in my private office in school.