“I Want to Play With Fire!”

By Alexis

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One of the biggest things I’ve had to learn as a ESL teacher in Thailand is flexibility. Here, plans change by the minute and you’re expected to just go with the flow, being perpetually ready at a moment’s notice (traits that don’t come naturally to a Type-A overthinker like me).

One day this week, I had just handed out worksheets to a 2nd grade class and was having them write their names up top, when the classroom’s Thai teacher says, “Teacher, the students go outside now.”

Umm, okay?

“Pass back your papers!” I announced and gathered up the worksheets as the students ran outside. When I finished cleaning things up, I wandered around trying to find my class. After a few minutes of searching, I found them watching a presentation from the fire department.

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Instead of miming what you should do during a fire (e.g. stop, drop, and roll), the firemen stayed true to the craziness that is Thailand and lit a real fire then let the kids come up and put it out with an extinguisher.

Somehow, I got chosen to go up first and put one out, which was actually quite terrifying. The kids loved my overdramatic screaming, haha.

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This student wasn’t scared at all! Judging from her head bandage, she’s no stranger to battle wounds.

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After that, the kids went wild as they got to try on all the uniforms (so cute) and even ride a makeshift zipline that had been set up between two trees nearby.

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There was some kind of gas mask that shot freezing cold air at the kids faces, and they made a long line to try it out one-by-one.

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And of course they got to play around with a fire hose.

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I’m not sure how much safety the lesson really taught because, at the end of it all, one of my second graders ran up to me and breathlessly exclaimed, “Teacher! I want to play with fire!”

Just your average Tuesday in Thailand…


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