“I’ve never intended to become a teacher,” says Pat Todd or known to most as Kruu Pat (‘kruu’ meaning ‘teacher’ in Thai). She is one of our longest serving staff at Grace International School, teaching Thai language to students for seventeen years as well as the mother of two alumni, Asia (Class of 2010) and Benjamin (Class of 2013). So how has God unexpectedly worked in her life to impact others as a teacher?
Kruu Pat, who has degrees in Clinical Psychology as well as Management and Human Relations, never intended to become a teacher. However, God had other plans. After graduating from graduate school in the States, her first job was as a preschool teacher in Texas. It was through that job experience that she learned about children as well as the Western mindset of how to raise a child. All of this helped her immensely when she began teaching at Grace. She came back to Thailand and volunteered for three years at Grace before hearing God calling her to teach full-time. She then enrolled in a university course to get her teaching credentials and by God’s grace, completed the program in order to officially begin teaching. From singing Thai songs to making Thai food and partaking in Thai holiday traditions, Kruu Pat, who is now also Head of the Thai Department, strives to make Thai class at Grace enjoyable and practical.
She says, “Grace is such a special place to teach at. I specifically teach Thai to our foreign students. My goal is to help them be happy while living in Thailand. Knowing the necessary language skills will not just help make transition into life in Thailand easier, but it will help them enjoy their life here to the fullest. My hope is that our students can reach out to the local Thai community so that they will see God through our students and families.” This makes Thai class more than just a language class. It’s a class where students are able to learn the culture and language of a country that needs to hear the Gospel. With Grace students participating in different outreach programs every year, these are the skills that Thai language teachers like Kruu Pat aim to pass down so that the Kingdom of God can grow. “I know that these students will go far for God’s glory,” she says with a proud smile.
Because Grace is mission inspired, teachers such as Kruu Pat are called to teach for His glory so that students can put what they learn into practice in a country that needs to hear the Gospel.