The TEFL certification program in Mexico has completely changed the way I view teaching. Learning to teach a language that is not my native language has been a challenge, but nevertheless it has been a great experience and I’ve learned so much these last weeks. The past 2 years I dedicated myself to teach Spanish. I was thrown in to a classroom of 30 students and asked to create a curriculum. I was inexperienced and didn’t have the support I felt I needed. Now, that I am almost done with my TEFL certification I feel like I’m ready to embark on this journey and I feel I have all of the necessary resources needed to feel confident about teaching abroad.
Arriving in Puerto Vallarta was easy, settling in was smooth, the people and superb ambiance gave me a warm welcome and a feel of the city. Meeting our Professor and advisor the day before class gave us an ease on things and we were able to see the establishment and ask questions about the program. First day in class was an eye opener, I realized that learning to speak English was a lot different than teaching it. So many rules, so many forms of use, it was a bit confusing. As week one passed we were able to practice various teaching skills in class with our classmates, I feel like that was what helped all of us feel more confident about what we were learning.
The student teaching was one of my favorite parts because not only did I help these students learn English but I was able to acquire some of the skills I was lacking. Patience and consistency are key. I learned how to properly write a lesson plan and prepare according to my students level. Getting to know your students and their needs is very important it helps you know where they are coming from and what techniques you can use to aid them better. I was very nervous the first couple of student teaching hours, but after my TEFL Trainer gave me feedback and constructive criticism I knew there was room for improvement. When my 9th and 10th student teaching hours came I felt very confident and I knew how to address each level and knew what their needs were. Some of my strengths I say have been being organized and prepared to teach as well as providing a positive learning environment for the students.
Overall, my experience taking the TEFL course in Puerto Vallarta has been an outstanding professional development and met all of my expectations. I am ready to apply the methodologies learned and facilitate the learning experience for my students as learning English as a foreign language can be very intimidating. Nino Di Loreto has done an excellent job as a professor, mentor, friend, English teacher. I am pleased to say that I am ready to teach, travel, and venture in Guangzhou, China.