Jean-Marie Robertson

Teach Enrich Empower

My TEFL Story

My name is Jean Robertson and I am 47 years old. I live in Cape Town South Africa In the last few years, I have frequently visited a very remote part of South Africa.

I have made visits to a few schools here and have also collected and donated books and toys to these schools.

This made me realise that I would like to get more involved in teaching here on a more permanent basis.  Although I had volunteered at a city school before, the program that I was involved in was well run with a huge amount of resources for the volunteers to use, but I realised that If I want to get involved in these rural schools, I would need formal training.

This is when I decided to start on my TEFL journey.  I enrolled in the 120-hour TEFL online course with The TEFL academy.  Although I found the online course challenging, it was very logically laid out and easy to follow.  There is an opportunity to raise tickets if you need to ask questions.  I thought that I will be doing this all the time, but there was never a need for me to do this.  I studied in my own time and surprised myself with earning a distinction!

“TEFL gave me the confidence to design my own course materials”

I started my TEFL course in February 2017 and did my first month-long volunteer teaching post in April 2017.  The kids are taught in their own rural language at school, so I was faced with tremendous obstacles as far as study and course materials were concerned.  TEFL gave me the confidence to design my own course materials as well as the opportunity to become much more creative in this regard.  It made me understand how to plan a lesson and manage a class room, which was desperately needed and invaluable in this rural setting.

I stayed in comfortable accommodation and had the opportunity to walk freely and meet the people living in this town.  I took part in their local traditions and even attended a feast in honour of their ancestors. Might I add that I got quite a few marriage proposals!

Although my intentions with studying with TEFL were not to earn a living with my qualification, it is hugely rewarding for me to be able to make a difference in the lives of a small community’s children.

My plan for the future is to relocate permanently to the Eastern Cape next year.  I want to set up a network of volunteers for the area so that many more schools can benefit from qualified TEFL teachers and their teachings.

TEFL has given me the opportunity to do what I love.

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