Evan Reilly

Teach Enrich Empower

My TEFL Story

Immediately after my girlfriend and I completed our TEFL course we had one destination in mind – Vietnam.

On the 28th of June 2019 we made the move to Ho Chi Minh and we have not looked back. Not once. The unfamiliar feeling of hot air against my skin immediately put a smile on my jet-lagged face. After 18 hours of travelling from Glasgow Airport I had finally landed in my new, much warmer home.

After our arrival we looked for the best methods to gain employment. We soon learned the best, by a mile, was Facebook groups. They are the key to settling as an expat in Vietnam and finding employment. We made posts to the group listing our credentials. Shortly after we posted on the group, we were messaged by a company looking for kindergarten English teachers. We were interviewed the next day at their office and were both scheduled in to do a demo lesson in a school nearby our apartment. Anxiety? Excitement? Nerves? Whatever it was, it kept us up most of the night. We were totally new to teaching but we had been thoroughly trained by TEFL Academy and were genuinely eager to put our skills to the test.

We walked to the school together in the blistering Saigon heat. Covered in sweat before I had even stepped foot in the classroom, we arrived at the school. I was soon bundled into the classroom for the first time and I absolutely fell in love. The kids’ faces lit up as soon as I walked in. I was bombarded with hugs and high fives before the class even began. I felt like a rock star, even though I was about to teach classroom objects to 4-year olds.

“I was soon bundled into the classroom for the first time and I absolutely fell in love. The kids’ faces lit up as soon as I walked in.”

The lesson was a success. As I tried to stand under the breeze from the fan, I was told I was employed as a full-time kindergarten ESL teacher within the company. Ever since then I have been teaching in various schools around the city and falling more in love with teaching every day. Seeing my students learn and improve gives me a feeling I never felt in any job in Scotland. In Vietnam speaking English means you are on a higher rate of pay, even in McDonald’s! Knowing that I am giving them a chance at a better life in the future fills me with unexplainable joy. I genuinely spend most of the class with a smile on my face. The TEFL Academy course gave me such a strong foundation and I have improved so much since my first class. Teaching gives you such room to grow as a person and learn a lot about yourself. It also makes you appreciate the teachers you had growing up.
It’s not all perfect though. You’re in the sweltering heat of Saigon, with a single fan to cool you down while you perform ‘Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes’, trying to hide the sweat patches on your shirt as best you can. What’s even crazier is I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world!

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