My first experience teaching English abroad was in the Andes of Ecuador in a small rural town. I had just completed my BA and I wanted to explore a part of the world that was new to me, considered to be “off the beaten path.” I arranged my trip with a volunteer abroad company that charged me a lot of money to complete a 6 month TEFL internship. I assumed I would pick up the skill of teaching English quite easily without any prior experience or TEFL certification! Boy, was I wrong!
Like all job interviews, TESOL interviews require some time and preparation to ensure you put your best self forward. Based on my experience as an ESL teacher in Ecuador and Toronto, I can speak first hand about what is required and what NOT to do before an interview for a TESOL job.
I took the 120-hour advanced TESOL course in need of a career change. I didn’t expect to do that well on the grammar and methodology modules. Yet, to excel on an assignment is one thing, teaching English in context is very much another. As a new teacher I am starting from scratch and a classroom is a new and foreign place. In taking the practicum, what once seemed like new and foreign territory, became a thrilling place to stand up, discover skills I never knew I had and to empower others on their learning journey.
The first day jitters were very real. I was mostly nervous about my ability to teach and explain grammar, as many new teachers are. I’m not going to sugarcoat it, the practicum requires lengthy and in depth preparation, but this is what will make you a better teacher! I was also fearful because I had no idea what kind of support I would receive from my supervising teacher or from the school. My fears were dispelled as the practicum became an opportunity to receive a tremendous amount of guidance and support from real and experienced teachers who wanted to help me to do my best!
After many years traveling and teaching abroad, I decided to transition into a more settled life to teach English in my home town of Toronto, Ontario. When I lived abroad, I absolutely loved traveling from one country to the next every nine months. The benefits were abundant! I lived with the locals, I learned two languages and explored as many sites and as many mountaintops as I could! This being said, there came a point when being the foreigner began to lose its charm. Home was calling my name and I began to develop a deep curiosity and yearning for my own culture and to explore my own backyard. The first things I noticed were how sleeping in my own bed never felt so good and all the places there are to experience here in Ontario that I had never noticed before. Most importantly, the most amazing thing about teaching English in Toronto is that it offers you a little bit of everything, helping you to realize that you have everything you enjoyed abroad, right in your own backyard! Below is a list of experiences to appreciate about teaching English in Toronto:
-Clare completed the 120-hour Advanced TESOL Certificate with Practicum, recognized by TESL Canada.
There are two types of TESOL jobs in China. You will find the poorly paid TEFL internship and the professional job with promising career prospects. It doesn’t matter if you are a new teacher, you can get an entry-level professional job in China with one of the largest language schools. These are 5 reasons to teach English in China with Aston English.
School started but you still have time to apply to teach English in Asia. September to early December is the best time to apply for TESOL jobs in Asia! Many teach abroad programs hire thousands of teachers on an annual basis, so they start hiring early. It’s ok if you haven’t completed your TESOL / TEFL course. You can apply now and send the TESOL / TEFL certificate when it’s time to process your work visa.
Apply for paid teaching jobs abroad now! OnTESOL has hundreds of positions for certified teachers. Your TEFL job placement package includes a free 120-hour TEFL certificate course!
I remember walking into a classroom in South Korea for the very first time to watch someone else teaching, thinking, ‘how will I do that?’ The teacher was confident, he joked with his students, and they didn’t seem to mind being in class – a far cry from my experience of school as a teenager. I remember being in class and thinking that teachers were another species, entirely disconnected from myself and my classmates.
Despite being nervous, I settled in quickly and it wasn’t long before I felt at ease at the front of the classroom. As someone who is not naturally confident, my experiences before I started teaching definitely helped me gain experience that was both valuable for obtaining a job and for real-life teaching situations. Here are a few ways that you can either gain experience or improve yourself as a future English teacher.
Read: Teaching Abroad
I stumbled into teaching English quite by accident. All through school I had always said that I would never be a teacher and I was sure of this, even as I finished university. But then an opportunity arose for me to work in a school for three weeks, offering me money and the chance to extend my stay in my university town. I found it hard, but I took the opportunity – standing in front of a crowd of judging teenagers can be quite daunting. During these first three weeks I was able to build a few fleeting connections with the children. They were little glimmers of hope in an environment that I wasn’t particularly comfortable with, but they reminded me of how much of a guiding figure a teacher can be in one’s life.