Pass The Dream Forward

Ten-Sirilak Sutthichuai, a cohort-7 fellow, has left Chit Jai Chuen School for nearly two years now, but her memory lives on in the minds of her students. One student in particular, Khaoklong, was inspired by Ten to perform magic shows again after being bullied about it a few years back.

     When Snook-Peerakan Prasittinawa, a cohort 9 fellow, took over Ten’s position and saw Khaoklong’s intention to practice English to fulfill his dream of being a magician who could travel to perform around the world, Snook didn’t hesitate to seize the opportunity for her students. She started by finding various performance stages for Khaoklong, providing counseling to give him the courage to talk with his parents until they understood and supported his dreams, and gathering 5 other students who have different skills, whether in science, sports, or singing, to apply for the talent show at the 10th anniversary celebration of Teach for Thailand Foundation.

     Snook used this small performance as a tool to push and inspire her students to have the courage to find and follow their dreams. “Regardless of their background or amount of money they have, every child has dreams. Some kids have extremely ambitious dreams, but their parents don’t encourage them. Thus, I would like them to speak up on this platform and share their dreams. Parents may become more aware of the value of their children’s dreams if they watch the video clip afterwards” Snook told us with hope.

     “I will pay attention in science class because I want to apply for the Fellowship Program and teach science in the future” One of the students came to this realization before the performance, which made Snook see that this talent show not only gave her students more experience, or motivated them to follow their dreams, but also built a collective vision between the students and the foundation.

     “I want all students to have equal access to education no matter how much money they have or where they are from” is the answer given by one of the students on the stage after the show. The answer highlights the profound impact this small activity has had on Snook’s students. “I honestly didn’t expect this from my student … It made me realize how the foundation’s vision shaped and influenced his view.”

     But it was not just the students who gained from this experience because Snook herself has grown in this short time no less than her children. “I have never coached students to perform on stage before. I have never edited the audio or taught performance which is much more than just telling them what to say. I had to find ways to help students understand the emotions of underprivileged students who have dreams. Singing is also another story. I have never taught anyone to sing so I have to learn about keys and everything.”

     “Aside from all these new skills, I also had to adjust my attitude. I was so busy then so I had to learn to manage my time well to cope with the activities at school and this show. Plus, I got into an accident and broke my foot, so I could hardly deal with it at the beginning. I was so discouraged but I had to continue because I knew that I couldn’t just leave my students halfway through. I had to be their supporter, no matter how ready I was.”

     But the most important is the lesson Snook learned. “To be a teacher isn’t just teaching in the classroom. You have to know who your students are. Or if your students do not know themselves, then it’s your job to help them to learn about themselves. At first, I thought that as long as I tried my best to teach and get close to the students then it was good enough. But my view has changed so much. I now understand that if I truly understand their identities, I will find that they all have dreams. They just never voiced their dreams, never had anyone to listen to them, that’s all”

Join us in changing the children’s lives. Apply for the Fellowship Program here: