Here are some quotes of people, who have worked/trained with us before.
MY EXPERIENCE AT BAANTORFUN – WENDY LIVESEY
All I want to say to prospective trainees and teachers, (farangs!!!) apply and enjoy. The time goes oh so quickly. Soon you will be in the same boat as me, “blubbering” at the thought of leaving the most gorgeous children, ever. I have worked at Inlingua and ECC and however, lovely the children are there, they do not compare to Baantorfun children. They became so special to me in such a short period of time. I came to the “land of smiles” particularly to teach these little individuals, with the beautiful smiles, and at Baantorfun this is exactly what I got. They have literally blown me away.
The hospitality at Baantorfun is second to none, having no experience of living with a Thai family, I just did not know what to expect. Although, warmth and caring sprang from the website, this is what made me want to work here.(Just prior to Baantorfun, I spent a short period in Phuket and I got an idea of the friendliness of Thai people, being a pretty easy-going peron, I felt I just wanted to fit-in and I believe this is what I achieved.) The family received me with open arms, which I felt was lovely, nothing was too much for them. I am really grateful for their love, support and advice, which greatly assisted my transition into Thai life. I honestly feel like I have a Thai family and its gonna take some time to come to terms with leaving them. I know I will miss them, just like I have my family in Wales.
You may be thinking, why am I going home, well, the dreaded homesickness, yes at my age!!! It is not for lack of job opportunities, that’s for sure!! Since I got my ticket home, I have received another four to teach here. For those of you wondering about work after your stay at Baantorfun, there is nothing to worry about at all. I have had regular work with Inlingua and ECC, also, I applied for three jobs, I was offered all three. That’s never happened to me in England.
Do what I did and many others, thoroughly read the website, apply and if you are accepted, the experience is nothing but good.
I completed the traineeship programme at Baantorfun school between September to December of 2009. I applied to the traineeship due to my ambition to become a teacher, and to gain some experience working with children.
I started my three months with the resident english teacher, observing her lessons. I found this a useful introduction to see how lessons were organised, planned and how to bridge the language gap to create successful lessons. Furthermore this gave me an opportunity to interact with the children, and see how they responded to english lessons. This time was also useful in showing me techniques that create fun, and effective lessons. The teacher allowed me freedom in the class to interact as much or as little as I felt confident and included me in lesson plan discussions.
Secondly I spent time in classes with the Thai teachers that are with the children all day. This showed me most importantly discipline techniques, but also the children's routine and allowed me to have further interaction with them. During this time I also was encouraged to make my own teaching material, and work on a plan for my own classes, with certain objectives and themes. This part of the traineeship I found to be especially useful in furthering my understanding of learning, not only in a foreign language but I picked up skills that I now use in a primary school in England. The encouragement and support, allowed my to learn from mistakes, and make sure that the materials would be beneficial for the children and my future lesson plans.
Lastly, I took some classes myself, always with support from another foreign teacher. This was the best possible thing for me as I was quite nervous but having someone there gave me ideas on how to progress and strengthen my lessons. Though I was nervous it was so fulfilling to be putting into action everything I had been taught, and made me feel a real part of Baantorfun, I couldn't believe how fast the time went. The organisation of the traineeship allowed me to see progression from september in december and also exposed me to all parts of the school. Furthermore it allowed me to become more confident and enjoy other aspects of both the kindergarten and the homeschool. I was allowed and encouraged to join in all aspects of the school, with yoga classes, plays, school trips and enough play and laughter that is ever needed!
Baantorfun offered me what now I appreciate as a unique experience into teaching. The only negative point I could comment on is that once you are there you never want to leave!
The time I spent in Baantorfun was one of the greatest adventures in my life. Although I studied Thai language and culture before I went there, everything was a huge surprise for me. The school's home-like atmosphere was one of the first things (maybe after the incredibly hot weather) I noticed as I arrived. It took some time to adapt to the totally new situation, but they gave me as much time as I needed for that. No rush, no stress. I soon was ready to start the work which, in my case, was actually learning. I learned about the school's policy towards education, which was supposed to make learning in the earliest years of a child's life a pleasure and as much fun as possible. In the hot climate everything functions differently then where I come from. People are more relaxed and patient. And this patience I experienced during my stay, when sometimes I was lost what to do and how to approach different teaching tasks. I could take my time to analyze as well as consult my ideas with the principal, who hardly ever criticized them and was open to try new things in class if only they didn't clash with the school's rules (for example: safety in the classroom comes first). I also was very well taken care of: I had my own air-conditioned room, the meals prepared according to my taste, laundry service and many chances to visit places with my principal's family. I loved lunchtime, when all pupils would sit together at a large table and thank the teachers and the cook. I had the feeling they felt like at home and really loved their caretakers. Since I lived at the top floor of the school building, every morning adorable singing of the students gathered in the hall would wake me up. This little warm up ritual is one of my warmest memories from the stay.
As to English classes, there's so much I learned that I'm still using it in my studies as well as in first attempts of my teaching at school. Although I spoke a little Thai I had to think of ways to communicate and teach the group mostly in English which made me aware of possible difficulties as well as of ways to make it as simple as possible for the youngest pupils. I absolutely adored the children's attitude – they were eager to learn, brave in speaking, and willing to participate in any activity. I soon realized it was due to the no stress policy as well as the well prepared curriculum based on enjoyable activities. All thing I learn at college about young learners were applied in Baantorfun's methods: short classes based on the attention span level, activities involving games and aiming at kinesthetic learners, building up trust in the classroom as well as constant changes in lesson plans in order to make the required constant repetition unnoticeable for the children.
I think all Baantorfun's children had a great chance to study and learn in a warm, colorful place with access to nature and caring teachers. And I was lucky to take part in this and gather my own experience at such a great kindergarten.
Dear Prospective Teachers,
My wish is to give you an accurate idea of what your experience would be like if you were to teach at Baantorfun School. I taught there myself for one year, made the decision to leave in order to continue my education, and will be returning home to teach at Baantorfun one day. I am a TESOL accredited teacher with a background in both speech/communication disorders and western psychology.
Baantorfun is a model school for the rest of Thailand. It is made up of a teaching 'family' of working professionals who strive to teach young children in the ways they learn best. They are most concerned with teaching through age-appropriate activities and developing children as whole, well-rounded people. The owner and founder of Baantorfun, Ms. Naricha Vijittassana, is extensively educated and highly knowledgeable about the learning and social needs of children. It is this understanding and her love for her students that sets the tone for the rest of the staff, giving them the freedom to teach effectively. Baantorfun kids tend to be very intelligent because they study the required curriculum through developmentally-appropriate activities that include play, the use of gross and fine motor skills, interpersonal skills, and other foundational skills that will lead to logical and critical thinking. Baantorfun teaches its kids, creatively, how to learn and think for themselves.
No school you teach at will be perfect and TESOL/TEFL teaching is definitely not a holiday or an easy profession. There are almost always setbacks before there are successes, but a school that will support you, work with you as a team, and put the children first is worth all of one's effort. This teaching position will require organization, patience, understanding, proper lesson planning and a passion for your students! The staff works tirelessly every day and is committed to giving every ounce of effort it takes to teach each child. As a member of the Baantorfun team, it would only fair that you should be willing to do the same thing. Expect many changes and for your life to be very different from the one you are living now, but also know that the rewards of being a part of the teaching family at Baantorfun may be one of the most changing and rewarding experiences of your life.
Chicago, IL, USA.
My experience at Baantorfun School (Traineeship).
The application process went very smoothly for me. All my questions and queries were thoroughly and promptly. After the initial contact I was put in touch with the current full time English teacher who answered all of my more detailed question about the trainee program and life in Thailand. Following my acceptance onto the program I was provided with all the required documentation to acquire the correct visa. I was also pleast to hear that I would be met at the airport upon my arrival in Thailand.
I was greeted at the airport and given a warm welcome. Once back at the school I was shown around, shown my room and given time to settle in and relax. In the evening Phil (the full time English teacher) showed me around the local area. During the first few days I was made to feel very welcome by everybody I encountered at the school, especially by Phil and Aeh and Steve and their family who allowed me (and encouraged!) to make myself at home.
Month 1 – Observation
The first month I was required to observe Phil and study the daily activities of the children. I found this to be highly useful, as it gave me an opportunity to observe a qualified and experienced teacher in action. It also gave me an opportunity to build up a bond with the children, something which helped me throughout the rest of the traineeship. Observing the children’s everyday needs also helped me to understand that I need to be flexible and accommodating in my teaching, something which I would not have recognized had I not had the observation month. I was made to feel very welcome by the Thai classroom teachers who were most helpful and friendly.
On the personal side of things I was treated very well, being provided with nutritious and delicious meals and support and advice on practical living in Thailand. My accommodation was more than adequate and was I was provided with home comforts, should I desire them.
Month 2 – Assistance
My second month of the traineeship allowed me to get more involved in planning and teaching of English lessons. Throughout this month I was well supported by Phil who encouraged me to progress, without applying any pressure. Having observed her for a month I was able to take an active part in planning and teaching relatively easily. The month I had spent observing had allowed me to build up a bond with the children of all ages which gave me the confidence to step up and undertake a teaching role alongside Phil. Having observed Phil plan her lessons for the past month I felt I was ready to at least assist her. She had given me a wide range of activities to choose from and to put into practice, something that I would not have been able to do on my own.
The high level of personal service I received in the first month continued throughout the second month and I was taken on days out with Aeh and Steve and made to feel like a part of the family.
Month 3 - Independent teaching
The third month of my traineeship I was allowed to teach children of all levels on my own. I felt ready for this challenge, building on the knowledge and experience gained in the previous 2 months. I addition I was required to teach a topic to K3 creating my own materials. I found this to be the most rewarding and enjoyable part of the traineeship. I allowed me to put all I had learnt into practice – lesson planning, teaching and classroom management. I found it a rewarding experience as I got to see the class learn, and have fun, whilst doing worksheets and activities which I devised. I found this to be a fitting end to the three month traineeship.
The way the traineeship is structured allowed me, as a newly qualified teacher, to gain vital teaching experience without being thrown in at the deep end. The threes stages of the traineeship allowed me to progress at a rate which I found to be very natural, and whilst I was not put under pressure to perform to a certain standard I found it challenging throughout. I feel that it has adequately prepared me to enter the world of teaching, possessing a certain level of skill and experience. I am sure the whole experience will make me a better teacher in the future, which will in turn benefit my future students.
I have also been provided with thorough documentation of my time as a trainee through photos and copies of teaching material I have prepared. This has given me an opportunity to begin a career long process of self evaluation by allowing me to create a teaching portfolio.
I would like to say thank you to everyone involved with Baantofun School for allowing me to train here and setting me of on what I believe to be the correct path in the teaching profession. I have has a wonderful experience and I think all newly qualified TEFL teachers should have to experience something similar before being allowed to teach unsupervised.
Baantorfun Trainee Dec 2009 - March 2010
My time at baantorfun kindergarten
I was a trainee at the school from 1st of December 2008 until 28th of February 2009. My objective was learning about childhood education and how to teach English as a second language in Thailand.
I met Steve and his family in February 2008. They seemed genuinely loving and caring people with their students best interest as their primary and foremost goal. In my weeks to come I would find this to be true. I had decided to make a change to my professional career, having worked as an It-technician for ten years.
Their school is small and they work with the concept of “home schooling”. And this is how they like to keep it, and I had the opportunity to study these methods from inside. They also work hard to not only keep this idea among themselves, but to spread these ideas to other schools and also to keep the debate going in Thailand on why a small school is such a good idea for the students.
In my opinion baantorfun school is all about what is best for the kids. It is not about profit or just keeping a business going. It is 100% about what is the best way for the kids. They gain from a lot of experience, they pick their teachers carefully, and they have developed ways to spread their ideas of teaching, for example like they did for me in my traineeship.
I was given a lot of time to study the other teachers, before making any lessons of my own. I was also given advice from Steve on a daily basis. He was there for me to answer my questions. I was given a good insight into all the fun of teaching, but also into all of the complexity of being a teacher.
Upon arriving in Thailand Steve had his family welcomed me and guided me not only into the position as a trainee at their school, but also into the culture and society of Thailand. Despite making many mistakes in the beginning, they were always there for me to help and guide me.
My time at baantorfun has not only helped me to lay the cornerstones of my future teaching career, it has also helped me grow as a person. I am now studying full time at a university (in Sweden) to get a teachers degree, master of teaching. My experience is really helping me understand the pedagogy and other subjects at a deeper level. I will always come back to this school and everything they have taught me.
I wish the school the best of luck.