I completed my TEFL course at the beginning of February this year, 2014. To begin with it took me a very long time to not only get motivated but also to understand what the course required. I found it very difficult, as I had only got CSE English when I left school in 1987.
The first couple of assignments in the 140hr course were very demanding, and I thought that I couldn’t do it, several times. However – I pushed on, with loads of very helpful advice and constructive comments from all of the tutors, especially Tim, who was there, at every turn and stumble. He was there; more importantly there was a fantastic network of “Buddies” people offering advice and working with one another to get each other through good times, and more difficult assignments.
The course is not there to fail you; you are the only one that can do that – if you give up. It tries to get the best out of you. I would like to reassure anyone struggling; there are fantastic people out there, don’t give in because when you feel what I felt, an amazing, incredible “Eureka” moment, once that light-bulb goes on, it all clicks, and I just could not stop typing everything flowed, I could not help myself. I had to get the course finished, I kept having ideas about what to put in the assignments, and had to write it down, this has continued and I still have loads of ideas for PPP lesson plans, structure of lessons, and things the kids could do to have fun and learn, once they having fun, they don’t know they are learning!
It’s really a compulsion, once you get the TEFL “bug”, and you understand the lessons, and you finish the first real assignment, the wait is the worse bit, waiting for the grading, you get that back with some nice comments, it will spur you on to do so much more, once you start you cannot stop, so much so for me, I had to finish the first certificate (140hr) and then I did a further 30hr teaching young learners course, I got back 100%; 412 points out of 412! I did not want to finish with just the certificate, I felt I needed to do more, I pushed myself and found I could do miracles, I could achieve something I thought was impossible once.
I had people to call on all of the time, either with the network of people already, like me on the course, I could “see” while online and talk to as friends, likeminded people, and the tutors were always there, only an email away, ready to help; to offer advice; to talk to.
I need to impart any motivation I can in anyone thinking of giving up or, that is struggling. I can honestly say this course was the best thing I ever did, it was the most rewarding, fun, educational and stimulating thing I have ever done, you will meet, online and face to face, the most wonderful, fun, friendly people, in-fact they are just like a warm, large and caring family, you could ever meet, so push yourself and DO IT, believe me you will NEVER regret it.
If you need inspiration – just think of sitting on a hot beach in Brazil, like I am just about to do, early next year after I sell my house and emigrate with my new wife, to do just that, go to work in the sunshine of Londrina, Brazil – one hour flying time from Sao Paulo – have fresh coconut milk and pineapple, go to a wonderful BBQ every weekend in the sun, just for doing something that you enjoy, and want to do, instead of the cold, dark days of England, in a job perhaps with no future or even, you hate – to be with people who want you there, you are one of the sources of their future, a bright, long future in a language they will grow to love – the reward – YOU have taught them – and you can go anywhere in the world and do this! Just like my mate who is going to Thailand, a country he loves to teach and give back, just like me – Now tell me what would you rather do..?