My name is Jenny Grant (28) and I was, and I still am, a biologist working as a ranger and on conservation projects. My current job is as a ranger on a nature reserve island in Scotland. I love my job but it is only a sixth-month contract. I thought to myself last year, how can I develop and try something new and give me a worthwhile job in the winter?
TEFL was always something I’d thought about as I enjoy teaching environmental education. I also love to travel so it was a logical step for me to investigate TEFL Org UK.
One of the great things about TEFL Org is that there are weekend courses in Inverness. Being someone based 2 hours north of Inverness meant it wasn’t too far for me to come as often other courses are in Glasgow and Edinburgh which is a bit of a mission to get to.
So last summer I took a few days off the island to do the weekend course in Inverness and last winter I escaped the Scottish winter. I arrived in a remote and rainy village in the cloud forests in Ecuador to help them out with various tasks including teaching them English. The villagers were keen to improve their English so that they could develop ecotourism as a source of income.
While living in the village I stayed with a local family and we often would have an English lesson in the kitchen after dinner. It was so much fun with a lot of laughing but also a challenge at the same time as everyone wanted to learn and my age range included 10-year-olds, teenagers and those of 30-something. The TEFL course really helped me structure the lesson and make sure they were doing most of the talking. I even assigned homework!
The most rewarding to teach from all the villagers that received lessons, was the mother of the family I was staying with. She had had a lot less education than someone might have in this country but the effort she put in was incredible. She was so determined to better her family and their quality of life, so, as a result, it was an incredibly rewarding and touching experience.
Although I’m back on the Scottish island now, I still think about the village in the clouds and the little house with toucans and hummingbirds in their garden and hope that they are still practising English with the book I left them.
That experience gave me a taste of what I could do with TEFL so I am now working on the online grammar and 50 hour course. I feel they are really consolidating what I learnt in the weekend course and the feedback you get from assignments really valuable. With these extra qualifications, I’m aiming to work as a TEFL teacher in Chile for a year once I have these qualifications. Not only will this improve my teaching skills and better my Spanish but I hope to get to know the people and culture as you can only do if you live and work somewhere. TEFL gives the perfect opportunity to do this.