Primary EAL Teacher – Anthony Casey


Anthony Casey moved to Bangkok from the UK to join the Primary School as an EAL teacher…

Anthony Casey, joined Bangkok Patana in August 2021 as an EAL teacher in Primary School. While he comes from near Birmingham, he is not considered a “Brummie”.

“Even in England I lived in different areas, up North and travelled quite a bit so I didn’t spend much of my adult life in Birmingham, so I don’t really have the accent.”

“I moved to Bangkok Patana because I was looking for a new challenge. Having lived in the Netherlands for the past four years, I was looking for something different. I saw the posting as an EAL teacher and thought it would be a brand-new challenge and bring my experiences as a classroom teacher to this new role. I enjoy learning and see a great potential for growth here at Patana.”

“It’s a huge school when you first get here. My first impression was about the sheer size. Since arriving here, everyone has been so friendly and helpful. I came with a lot of questions because it’s a new role for me but everyone has been so helpful and there are supportive structures in place. The challenge we have to work with now is working online, but collaboratively we are working together to provide the best education possible for our learners. The team is great, they share all their ideas. The children have responded really well and are improving with each lesson.”

“I have always wanted to be a teacher, even as a child. So trained in Leeds and got my first position in a small primary school there, one class per year group. I was the Year 5 teacher for two years then in Year 6. It was a lot of learning; it was in a challenging area to work in but to see the children’s growth and desire to learn was amazing. During this time, I also mentored children with behavioural needs. After this, I took a year off to travel around the world, then I came back and worked in Birmingham as a Year 6 teacher for a few years. This presented new challenges but a different dynamic to the school in Leeds. I was phase leader for Years 5 and 6. The travelling inspired me to start my international journey. My first international posting was in The Netherlands at a school that had four different locations across The Hague. Adapting to Dutch culture was interesting and different but I love The Netherlands. I worked across all the school buildings for four years. Each location was different and provided new opportunities. I spent most of my time there as a Year 5 teacher and then as a cover teacher. Whilst teaching there, I led a team that brought in a new PSHE curriculum called ‘Jigsaw’ which is something we use here at Bangkok Patana. There was a need in the school for a well-being curriculum and establishing this in the school is one of my proudest career moments. After COVID-19 hit, it made me reconsider my options and what I wanted next for my career. A colleague of mine was a teacher at Bangkok Patana and recommended it to me hence applying for a position here.”

“I think an understanding of a variety of different backgrounds is key. I got that from both working in the diversity of Birmingham and the school in The Netherlands. From working in these environments, I developed a deeper understand and respect for different cultures and backgrounds. Seeing children grow from a variety of different backgrounds and having little English to being able to communicate conversationally within a year is just incredible. A lot of children have parents with different languages and then a different one at school. I find it absolutely amazing how they can speak multiple languages and understand all of them at the same time.”

“I really enjoy travelling. When I was in university, I drove across the United States – it was a great trip from coast to coast. I have travelled through South America, Southeast Asia, and Australia. I’ve visited Thailand several times prior to moving here this year. I am looking forward to learning the culture and language. I haven’t started Thai lessons yet but am looking forward to getting started. I enjoy exercising including running and HIIT workouts. A lot of it is about mental health as much as physical. I like cooking but I admit I am not doing much of that lately as it’s so easy and cheap to get food here. I love music am listening to a variety of genres all the time.”

“I like adventurous activities such as whitewater rafting, skydiving and quad biking. I’ve also been bungee jumping. I didn’t find bungee jumping as exciting whereas skydiving gives stunning views. I did my last sky dive over the Great Barrier Reef in Australia which was stunning. If you are going to go skydiving, do it somewhere with beautiful views.”