Margarita Ruszkowska

Teach Enrich Empower

Observing, exploring and learning

My name is Margarita. Last summer I made a final decision to resign from my secure and “cosy” office work in Brighton, and went to a country I’ve always dreamed of visiting – Madagascar.

I spent three unforgettable months there. The experience made me realise that I could actually become a good teacher and that I want to continue travelling, instead of working in ordinary office jobs. I wasn’t sure where exactly I would like to go next, but as soon as I got back to Britain I knew that I want to top up my teaching experience with a solid English teaching course. I spotted The TEFL Academy and funnily enough, one of their courses was just taking place at the time of my return. I signed up with no hesitation.

The initial weekend course was one of the best learning events I have had the pleasure to attend so far; Lovely people, a friendly teacher and a lots of inspiration. By that time I already made plans of travelling to Vietnam and was quietly hoping to be able to remain there for longer working as an English teacher. I finished my course online during my travels through Vietnam and Cambodia, where I had a pleasure to visit as well. After nearly three months of travelling, I managed to graduate with The TEFL Academy and secure a teaching position in a couple of secondary schools in Ho Chi Minh City – the south capital of Vietnam.

The TEFL course gave me the confidence I needed for a classroom environment. I am currently teaching in two secondary schools, a primary school and a Kindergarten in Ho Chi Minh. My students are between eight and twelve years old, except those at the nursery, who of course are much younger. They all have different levels of English comprehension. In order to make sure that all of them benefit from my classes I try to use non-verbal communication as much as I can, which often leads to funny situations, when I gesture to show the meaning of a word and the kids laugh a lot.

“One of the best learning events I have had the pleasure to attend so far!”

Vietnam is a beautiful and interesting country to live in. Communication in English with the foreigners is not as common as in Cambodia or Thailand – two biggest rivals in terms of tourism, hence I like seeing my work as a mission. I very much enjoy driving my motorbike in Ho Chi Minh City. The traffic is enormous, but I am very proud of myself that I managed to “conquer” it.

I intend to stay in Vietnam for a while, and perhaps move to Cambodia or Myanmar to continue my “teaching mission” later on.

The advice I’d give to anyone who wants to teach abroad is simple – just go for it with an open mind. Observe, explore and learn.

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