TEFL Experiences: Teaching English in Peru, Mexico, Spain…

by Amy Renders

12 February 2013

My first job was in Peru. I worked for a private language school teaching children age 6 and over as well as teaching basic and advanced adults. It was challenging and nerve wracking but at the same time rewarding and I got to meet loads of people from all over the world. In my spare time I visited most of Peru! I went to Cusco and completed an exhausting yet exhilarating 4 day walk to Machu Picchu. I got on a cargo boat full of cows, monkeys, locals, food and hammocks for four days and sailed down the Amazon where I spent a month in the jungle with teachers I met from the previous job. I visited Máncora, too – a beautiful beach in the north.

I worked in a small traditional town called Chachapoyas and lived in a mud hut, ate great food (2 courses for a dollar). Their specialty is Ostrich and Guinea pig…delicious! I drank the local drinks and danced Salsa in clubs with the friendly locals. I am still in contact with students from there four years on….

school-peruThe next leg of my adventure was Mexico City. I worked in a small town about half an hour from the centre. I was an English teacher for a private bilingual school. In Mexico, teachers get amazing packages. We got a free house, free bills and a good wage. I also had breakfast and lunch for free every day at school! You can work at institutes in the evenings or private schools during the day. During my time here I saw cowboys roaming the streets, made some really good friends in the city, enjoyed excellent shopping and of course the stunning landscape. I saw hundreds of pyramids and had lots of holidays – one of the perks of being a teacher! I visited Chiapas, the jungle area, and chilled out on the beaches of Cancun. I taught all day to what were mainly secondary students – 7:30 to 2:30 usually. This was an experience I will never forget. I love to teach now. All of my teaching experiences have been different but always fulfilling! I’ve met some great people along the way, too.

After this I decided to move back to Europe to be closer to home. I wanted to experience a different culture but wanted to speak Spanish and live somewhere with a better climate than London. This led to me getting a job in Barcelona. Barcelona is a vibrant, exciting city with excellent shopping, beaches, bars, tapas and best of all sunshine nearly every day! I worked at a private language school in the evenings, so I had all day to enjoy the sun, go to the gym, plan my lessons and relax. Although teaching involves a lot of planning, when you’re going into work for 5 hours a day you can’t really complain! I taught English to children as young as 6, as well as to adults. There were loads of resources at the schools and there was help there if I needed it at all times. The books we used were great and there were loads of extra materials which make the lessons far more enjoyable.

As you know, teachers get the summer off… another perk! During my year in Barcelona I managed to visit Rome in December, England at Christmas, have a weekend in Geneva, visit Portugal during Easter time and then for the summer I travelled to Malaysia, Bali and Thailand for two months! I have just got back, but decided that I want to live somewhere slightly less touristy. I have therefore moved to Valencia, start my new job soon and think that this may be the location I settle in!

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