Meet Our Tutors – Thomas

ThomasHow did you get into teaching English as a foreign language?
I was travelling and wanted to keep going and so I needed to find work.

Where in the world have you most enjoyed teaching?
Portugal because I was working in a particularly rural area and the people were really lovely and kind. Everybody knew me and valued my work.

What’s the worst tense to teach?
Present perfect because many European languages confuse this with the past simple.

How did it feel to stand up in front of a class for the first time?
I was really nervous. When I walked in the door and saw all those faces looking at me, I just didn’t know what to do even though I had it all planned on paper.

What’s your favourite food? 

What’s the most interesting thing that has happened to you abroad?
Arriving in Portugal with a suitcase, 20 pounds and not speaking any Portuguese! I spent half my money getting to a hostel and the rest on the first night in the hostel. Luckily enough I got a job the next day and the school gave me a small advance!

What is your best TEFL experience?
When a tall, 20 year old man suddenly bear hugged me in the street and lifted me off my feet. I didn’t know what was happening, and he said; “It’s me Alfonso!” A student I taught as a boy and hadn’t seen for 8 years!

What is your worst TEFL experience?
The one and only time I didn’t plan a lesson. It was the longest hour and a half ever!

Do you have any good advice for anyone who is about to head out abroad to teach English?
Plan your lessons! It does get easier and you can recycle the good ones. Reflect on your teaching. After every class ask yourself what went well and where you could improve.