Mrs. Renee

After trying for decades to avoid the old nickname Uncle Tony gave me based on a character from Pee Wee’s Playhouse I have finally succumbed to accepting my name, Mrs. Renee.  Mrs. Renee teaching the Little MonksLast week Vince and I started having 40-minute lessons with the Little Monks. Our classes have between 5-10 students and are 100% in English.  We use a combination of pictures, drawings, gestures, and facial expressions paired with words to get the meanings across.  The lesson begins by introducing ourselves.  “Hello, my name is Mrs. Renee. What’s your name?”  The students reply with their name followed by saying that it’s nice to meet me. “It’s nice to meet you, too”, I say back.  Mr. Vincent and storytime with the Little MonksWe do this for a few minutes to get the students warmed up to speaking English.  After the ‘warmer’ we move into chalk drawings, dialog recitation and practice with peers, fill in the blank worksheets, and then finish with a quick game of tic-tac-toe using the new vocab words. The process and all the repetitions can drag on, but the students’ reactions- seeing them smile, laugh, and get excited trying to form English words- is so cool.  At the end of class one Little Monk named Sada came up to me and said in broken English, “You are a very good teacher.” It was awesome. 


In less than two weeks the school year begins and Vince and I will be up in Lampang (pronounced as if you have a British accent, and hold out the “pang” part at least twice as long as you feel comfortable doing), Thailand teaching in a non-temple school.  As oppose to the well behaved, appreciative, and absolutely amazing small group of Little Monks we’ve been training with, we will be teaching high school classes with around 50 students per class. We meet with a class once per week and are expecting to have between 20-24 classes per week.  Doing the math… that’s over 1000 students to try and get to know, get to learn, and get to behave in one semester. Godspeed to us both.


~ by The Piersas on May 10, 2008.

One Response to “Mrs. Renee”

  1. I just realized how tall those monks are. What the heck are they eating?

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