Tiger Temples & Elephant Trails...
Teaching English in a foreign country is in my view, a true life experience!
So I went back to work in retail, the job I worked at before I went to university. I knew this job was not the kind of place where you could progress; however a job was a job at the time. My friend and I could not get over the position we were in; both fresh graduates of 2012 in dead-end jobs, unable to find work in the field that we had studied.
So, after learning from various people along with advertisements on the Internet about TEFL courses, we decided to see what all the fuss was about. Three weeks later in the month of December we got together and just booked it! 120-hour TEFL course booked in December and ready to start in January.
20 hours of in-class teaching then 100 hours of online study. It took us around 7-8 weeks to complete as we had quite a bit of time to do it in, so we did not rush. A few days after completing it we received our certificate through the door and we were buzzing!! We were straight on the Internet to see what jobs were on offer.
All it took was to upload our CVs on to various websites and the amount of emails we received was unreal. I ended up with a job in Thailand with my mate going to China.
I arrived on a Friday and was expected to go in to the school on Monday, which I thought was to meet other teachers and have a look around the school to get used to the environment. However, I arrived at 7.30 and was expected to teach at 8.30. Crazy right? But hey, what can you do? Don’t get me wrong, it was scary stepping in to the classroom for the first time, but think, it’s like any other job that you have just begun where you are scared and nervous.
After a couple of days I was getting slightly used to it and could not wait for the weekend to recuperate. The main reason I could not wait for the weekend is so I could look over my TEFL coursework to get ideas for the class room for the next week. The TEFL coursework really will help you perform in the classroom in terms of:
- Choosing from a number of activities;
- Teaching styles;
- How to write lesson plans and tests;
- Teaching speaking, listening, reading, writing and much more.
In one of my classes that week there was a girl who started singing a song and dancing. I heard the same song in a bar the following weekend when I was out with other English teachers. Turns out it was the new famous pop song (similar to Psy with Gangnam Style and the Harlem Shake song) called ‘321 Kamikaze feat.Baitoey RSiam’ (check it out, it’s cringe, but actually quite funny), so I remembered part of the dance and the chorus of the song and when I was in class next, I suddenly started singing the chorus and using the dance moves from the video. The whole class was cracking up!
My teaching experience has definitely been an experience; I would not change it for the world. Being able to teach English in a foreign country is in my view, a true life experience. The kind of life experience that employers in the UK ask for in certain job requirements.
It is also the kind of job that you could easily do for a number of years. I met one teacher who has been teaching in Chanthaburi for nearly two years now. I also have friends working in South Korea where the money is really good, which is also the case in the Middle East.