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Teacher Feature: Ms. Mandy

Teacher Feature: Ms. Mandy

It’s 2 pm, and the football field of D-PREP International School is filled with red and gold lanterns. There are various booths stationed around the field displaying Chinese games and art. The sun is shining bright, and from a distance, you can hear children squealing happily as they run to their favorite booths. Near the stage, there is a slender woman with fair skin and straight brown hair. She is watching over the whole event and ensuring that everything runs smoothly for D-PREP’s Chinese New Year celebration. 

This woman is Ms. Ma Yun or Ms. Mandy, the school’s Chinese teacher and one of D-PREP’s most dedicated educators. 

Ms. Mandy during the Chinese new year celebration at D-PREP
Ms. Mandy near the stage at D-PREP during the Chinese New Year Celebration

Ms. Mandy has been working in D-PREP for five years. She is from Kunming City, China, and moved to Thailand in 2009 to study Foreign Language Teaching at Burapha University. Although now more confident and fluent in Thai, Ms. Mandy shared that living in Thailand was initially a struggle for her, especially when it came to learning the language. 

“I came to Thailand alone without any background about the country. The first two years were very hard. The three languages [Chinese, English, and Thai] were jumbled up in my mind,” Ms. Mandy said.  

Despite studying foreign language teaching, she was the only foreigner in her class, which made it difficult for her to relate to her classmates. 

“All my classmates were Thai, and only the professors were foreigners. It was extremely difficult, but over time I got better at the language. Now I can speak, read, and write in Thai,” she shared. 

This initial struggle gave Ms. Mandy a deep understanding and empathy for those learning foreign languages. The only way to truly be fluent in a language is to continue practicing and applying it in their day-to-day lives. 

In addition to her five years of teaching in D-PREP, Ms. Mandy has officially been teaching Chinese for about a decade. For her, discovering D-PREP was a coincidence, or you could call it destiny. 

“I was walking in Mega Bangna with my baby and mom, and I saw a lovely school. As a parent, I was intrigued. I went to the admission to get more information, and that was how I knew about D-PREP.”

When asked what she likes about working in D-PREP, Ms. Mandy said she likes the school’s culture and how the teachers support one another like a team. She also likes to see her students making progress. For her, all her students are like her children. 

“This is one of the best choices I’ve made in the past five years. I am happy to work here. My child is happy to learn here and doesn’t want to go home every day. I also feel that my students like to learn from me, and for me, that’s enough.”

“I have pictures of my students from five years ago. When I see their progress, achievements, and how they’ve grown, I feel proud like a parent,” she explained.

Ms. Mandy teaching Chinese in class

When asked about her greatest accomplishment in D-PREP, Ms. Mandy’s eyes shined with pride as she shared that seeing her students share a love for her home country, China, and its language makes her proud. 

“I hear students say, ‘Ms. Mandy, I would like to learn Chinese now. Ms. Mandy, I’m interested in this language. I’d like to learn more about it.’ A grade 5 student even told me, ‘Ms. Mandy, I want to go to China for university.’”

Ms. Mandy’s biggest surprise was when a parent told her their daughter wanted to go to China and is interested in the language. The parents were also surprised that their grade 5 child already had a goal at a young age.

“I feel like that I’m bringing everything that I have to them. The language, culture, knowledge, motivation, and even my energy,” Ms. Mandy said.

Do you have a message for the D-PREP community?

“The world is big. I’m lucky to meet everyone at D-PREP. Learning a new language is not easy. What I can do is make it easier.”

What do you like most about Thailand?

“I love the lifestyle here and the beaches. My favorite is Similan beach in Phuket. I also like Thai food, especially Tom Yum, because it is spicy, and its flavors blend well. 

Ms. Mandy at the beach

What do you do during your free time?

“I always enrich myself by learning and traveling. I have been to around 20 countries. I like to go to new places to try the local food and discover their culture. I practice Thai boxing and play the piano. I also believe in lifelong learning, so I have personal development every year.“

Ms. Mandy at Arc de Triomphe
Ms. Mandy posing for a pic after Thai boxing class
Ms. Mandy playing the piano

Can you tell us an interesting fact about you?

“I have a son named Nono. So many people ask me why his name is Nono.”

“Two months after our wedding, my husband and I went skydiving. I didn’t feel comfortable afterward and I wondered if the activity was too strong for me. I felt sick, so we went to see a doctor, and he congratulated us because we were going to have our first baby.”

“The first thought that came to my mind was, ‘Oh no.’ and then my husband said, ‘oh no.’ The doctor laughed and said that is a good name for our first baby. It was all a surprise, and that is why my son is named Nono.”

Ms. Mandy sky diving
Ms. Mandy and the sky diving coach posing for a photo mid-air
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