I always thought that, for me, teaching English was one of those things you think with a stupid smile on your face while watching the emptiness, feeling dazed in some bus, train or driving to work with your brain in "deadly boredom" mode, think of something that makes you laugh".
I'm not talking about simple tutoring or helping someone to do some English exercise or review some grammar rules. I'm talking about teaching English from scratch, consolidating concepts and rules in those who already know it and want to improve it, being able to identify errors, explain difficult concepts, keep at bay different types of students or even a class.
In short, being a teacher in all respects.
At this point, I was already laughing at myself.
English teacher, forget it. Every time I thought about it, I went for a walk in the happy world of Paranoialand, where all your fears come true. For example:
- I teach things that are not true;
- I do not have the necessary knowledge to correct any errors;
- the students know more than me;
- everyone simply hates me;
- I introduce myself in class with a mumbling "I am", and then find shelter in the flask of vodka that all teachers have (or not?);
The only thing I was able to teach was how to sit down on command. And that was even a dog. How am I supposed to start with teaching a different language?
You will agree with me that this is all legitimate paranoia.
However, my level of English rocks. And I am not the only one who says it. Also, that great know-all and handsome guy that I see every morning in the mirror says it. Although I have to admit, two people are certainly not a crowd.
Eventually, what made me decide to embark on this teaching adventure was more a series of circumstances occurred at the beginning of the year when I had (once again) to reinvent myself.
Let's go over this fantastic timeline together:
- October 2017: I quit my job, officially enrolling in the glossy and sought-after register of the unemployed.
- Between October and January, I work exclusively at Mygrate ("work" here is in a broader sense since I had zero income) Read also: soon-to-be CEO of the Homeless Inc.
- In January, Andrea (the other from Mygrate) joins me in Perth to do big things (of course it's summer, New Year's, beaches everywhere, but that does not matter);
- At the end of January, the realization that staying in Perth to pulverize savings in rent and mojito will not take us far. If we have to push Mygrate, perhaps it would be appropriate to return to Italy, at least for a while.
- In Italy, there would also be a bit of network that never hurts...
- ... not to mention cheaper mojitos.
- February 2018, with trembling hands, I buy the ticket for Venice.
- February 2018 + 1 day: I purchase the course to become an English teacher.
The course, in practice, consists of 150 hours on how to bring out your inner teacher.
Just to clarify: all the grammar and the knowledge of the language is taken for granted.
This does not mean that they ask you if you know English, you tell him, yes, and they say ok, no problemo, go ahead.
The knowledge and level of English are put to the test before being admitted to the course.
If you do not pass this step, forget the course.
After this step, the real course is waiting for you, which will touch on topics such as the various methods of teaching and learning, planning and creating lessons based on the number and level of students, how to understand the level of the students, how not to lose your shit in class, and so on. Very interesting.
All accompanied by weekends after weekends spent to complete each of the 12 weekly tests each of them mandatory to move on to the following unit.
Each of the tests consists of a multiple choice quiz on the unit material plus a variable number of specific activities of increasing difficulty and complexity.
After the course and after passing the final exam, a minimum of 20 hours of practice is required.
In short, it'll be awesome.
I mean, while you're trying to put together a lesson on gerunds and the use of Past Perfect tense, all your friends will be at the beach, but hey... you will be a teacher!
Passing the course means obtaining the TEFL certificate (Teaching of English as a Second Language); which means that you can teach English to anyone who is not a native English speaker.
The real gem here is that you can do it anywhere in the world.
Which in turn allows you to:
- disembark to Indonesia for six months to teach English;
- disappear into the streets of some cities in China and teach English;
- live in Costa Rica for a while and teach English;
- hunt the perfect mojito in South America while teaching English;
- eat snakes in Cambodia while teaching English;
- being eaten alive by mosquitoes in Vietnam while teaching English;
- overcome selections for ISIS in the Middle East while teaching English;
- make your way into the Russian mafia in Moscow while teaching English;
- meet the famous Yakuza in Japan while teaching English;
- teach English in many other places while you do so many other cool things, always remembering not to die while teaching English.
Do you feel the urge to know more?
The course provider is the International TEFL Academy, based in Chicago with courses all over the world, as well as online.
If you click here and get in touch with Doug, you can get all the information you need.
Doug assisted me on this path and will also answer all your questions.
If you decide to continue with the course, you will also get $50 off.
I am now teaching English in Italy, while I focus on my Startup that aims to make things easier for those who want to go to Australia, called Mygrate.
For now, Italy is doing it for me, but I do not exclude the possibility of taking the opportunity to teach all over the world and, at a certain point, decide to disappear in some remote place infested with Dengue fever.
From the series: How to die while sipping the last mojito and... teaching English.
Writer wannabe, mojito and absinthe lover, one day I want to see the Earth from space. I’m a ESL Teacher.