Teaching Traveling: Welcome to Lani, a Thai-American teacher who has been teaching abroad in Thailand and Ecuador!
Lani, tell us more about your background.
Lani: Originally, I went to school to be an archaeologist, which I did for a short while. I thoroughly enjoyed the work, but it lacked creativity. So I decided to take a break from it with the intention of returning, but I never did.
Instead, I fell in love with working with children at an adventure summer camp in the San Juan mountains of Colorado. So, I decided to go back to school to get my teaching degree.
At a temp job, I learned about Waldorf education, which is an alternative and art-based pedagogy. I trained for 2 years part-time then taught for 2 years before I left under duress. I wasn’t sure what to do at that point, so I decided to go to graduate school. It was here that I learned about Montessori education.
It didn’t matter though because I kept running into bureaucratic hurdles and became discouraged by both the public and private school systems. As a result, I gave up on teaching for many years.
But I never gave up on my dream of working and living abroad. It’s funny because during this time I was also applying for the Peace Corps and the JET program, looking into TEFL programs overseas, but I never went through with anything.
Then in 2007, my partner and I went to Thailand because my mother told me she was going to see the house she had built and for a temple opening in her hometown. I had wanted to return since my teens, so I jumped at this unique chance. After this special trip, I was determined to live here, so my partner and I made it happen.