Jason Sinclair

Teach Enrich Empower

The best thing I've done in

Ever since leaving school 10 years ago, I haven’t known what I wanted to do for a career.

I went straight into a dead end job that I didn’t enjoy, with long hours and no weekends off! I stuck it out because it paid the bills and to be honest, with the whole employment situation in England, I was just grateful I had a job! I always wanted to go traveling and kept telling myself that one day I would just pack up and leave.

Well, last year I finally decided I was in a position to do it. I had no ties in England. The only thing stopping me was myself. So after sitting down and working out a plan of action I decided that I was going to leave England, and move around as long as it takes. I spoke to my boss and let him know that I wanted to leave. I gave plenty of notice, with also enough time to start saving for my adventure! My friend Hannah also wanted to go traveling and we decided that we would go together.

She came up with the idea of doing a TEFL course and told me that teachers are needed to teach English in a lot of countries. At first I was against the whole idea, I have never taught anyone anything in my life. I didn’t come from a teaching background and to be honest I never saw myself as a teacher! But I thought “what the hell”, I’m making a huge change in my life by leaving everything behind and trying something different anyway, that one more thing won’t hurt!

The whole process of getting a TEFL qualification was really straight forward. Hannah and I booked the course together through The TEFL Academy’s website. We chose our course dates and location and we were set! We arrived in Liverpool on the Saturday morning and met the other students. Everyone was in the same boat; we were all interested in traveling and we got talking about places we’d like to visit or had already been to. It was a lot of fun, and I’m still in contact with some people that I met that weekend! (And they are now teachers too!)

We were taught about ice breakers, and learned how to get students to communicate with both the teacher and other classmates through games and questionnaires. We were taught different teaching techniques and classroom management. We had to plan lessons, which we had to then teach the rest of the class. I learned a lot of skills and techniques that weekend which I now use in my own classes!

At the end of the weekend we were all presented with 20-hour classroom certificates and given all the details needed to access the 100-hour online course. We were also given a load of useful websites and information that would help us on our path to becoming teachers. It was a great weekend and a great way to really get a feel of teaching. The online course is great too. It’s really easy to follow, and there’s a lot of information and materials included to help you complete each module.

“My only regret is not doing it sooner!”

It turns out this was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I left England a few months after doing the TEFL course and headed to Thailand with Hannah. We travelled for the first few months, saw the sights, soaked up the sun and had a few (too many) drinks along the way. We ended up in Pat Tong in Phuket. We decided that we should put our newly acquired teaching skills to use. I scoured the internet for local teaching jobs, and found a company called ECC that have offices and teachers all over the world. I sent them an email on a Tuesday. I received an email back the following day asking for me and Hannah to attend an interview later that day, which we did. The day after that, we were both offered jobs as teachers, in Phuket Town. We couldn’t believe it! I also don’t have a degree, so I thought that might have been a problem, it wasn’t.

Over the next few weeks we were given all the information about our new schools, received some training and materials and were given a start date. We were absolutely terrified! But also really excited. Finally the start of term came and we set off to school, wished each other luck and then faced the unknown!

I was super nervous but when I arrived to my class, I was greeted with smiles and high fives from all the kids. They wanted to know everything about me, where I was from, how long I had been in Thailand, where I lived. It was amazing. They were all so well behaved and had so much respect for myself and all the other teachers. The thing that amazed me the most was that when I stepped into the classroom, my nerves and worry completely disappeared. It felt as if I’d been doing this for years. I had so much fun the first day, that I even went back the second!

It was honestly the best thing I have done in my life.  If you are bored with your job, or want to change the path you’re on, then don’t hesitate to do it. It’s simply amazing. I’m teaching in Thailand till October, with the opportunity to come back next term. The great thing about TEFL is that it is a recognized qualification all over the world and Hannah and I are looking to teach in China next year. So if you are thinking about doing it, then stop thinking and just do it. My only regret is not doing it sooner!

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