At University I studied English Literature and Creative Writing. After graduating I worked as a private tutor. I mostly helped students prepare for exams. A few months into that I took an instructor position at a tutoring company. Though I enjoyed both of these jobs I wasn’t saving a lot of money—probably because I was living in Vancouver which is one of the expensive cities in Canada.
I choose to take the TEFL worldwide course because I had been wanting to teach abroad for a long time, but I didn’t feel prepared. Though I had been tutoring I knew being a classroom teacher would be totally different. I flew into Paris a few days before the course started. I stayed in a beautiful hostel in La Marais. Having those few days before the course to adjust to the time difference was really wonderful. If you can, I’d recommend sneaking a few days into a nearby country. In Paris I went to the Louvre, the Picasso museum, and Shakespeare Company. got to Prague late the night before the course started. The course was much more intense than I had expected it to be. Our days started around 10 am and ended at 6 pm. However, there was often homework and lesson planning in the evenings. This might sound like a drag, but it wasn’t. We studied at cafes or in our apartments together and it was a lot of fun.
Throughout the month I spent in Prague I learned that lessons don’t always go as planned. As a teacher you have to be flexible— both inside and outside your lessons. At TEFL Worldwide you’ll probably learn about L1— a students first language. In one of my lessons at TEFL I was trying to keep the L1 to a minimum so students could get practice speaking English. They were using their L1 to try and figure out what I wanted them to do. On the spot I had to (more or less) abandon my lesson plan. The lesson wasn’t perfect but I got through it. Afterword I had a really helpful discussion with one of the instructors where we talked about classroom dynamics, slowing down, and student expectations. One of the things that surprised me the most was all the tactics and activities I learned that I still use. I’ve just started my second year teaching in South Korea. During one of my lessons last week I used an order activity I had learned on the TEFL course with my students.
I met some really amazing people on the program. I wasn’t sure what to expect of my fellow students. Two years after I finished the course I met up with another grad in Osaka and we talked about how that one of the best parts of the program was meeting people who were genuinely interested in language and teaching. Lastly, studying at TEFL Worldwide instilled a really positive attitude about teaching EFL into my teaching practice. My instructors talked about what it means to conduct yourself as a teacher and how to think of your job. Right now I’m preparing my graduate school applications. I decided not to get certified as a teacher. Though I love my job and I love teaching, I realized it’s not for me long term. I’m really glad I learned this while teaching abroad instead of halfway through teacher’s college.