During my life I have purposefully never left any stone unturned in the pursuit of life experiences. I am not certain if it was good or bad fortune to have been afforded the adventure at age 16, to travel the world aboard a tall ship for a full year as crew and student. I do know that I became addicted to adventure and learning.
 
That pretty much ruined me for any kind of “normal life”, and so I have just followed every whim, raising children and building businesses along the way. I thought getting my Private pilot’s license was academically challenging until I came face to face with some things I had avoided my entire life, grammar study and public speaking at the TEFL course.
 
The mere idea of studying sentence structure and grammar jargon just seemed unnecessary; after all, I had always spoken and written eloquently enough to accomplish any objective I had endeavored to do.
 
I chose to take on this challenge to teach English thru the TEFL course in person in country because at this point in my life teaching TEFL seems like a perfect vehicle for me to continue experiencing new cultures without depleting my savings.
 
There is no better way to learn than by teaching and no better way to spend extended periods of time in Spanish speaking countries and other exotic places I want to explore than getting paid to teach English.
 
So here I am, humbled by the awesome responsibility to pass along good teaching to eager learners at the ICEP-TEFL course in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.  I find myself a novice among masters. To be specific, I have discovered that I still have a lot to learn in this trade at the end of the 4th week and after 10 teaching practices. The course has been priceless and gives homage to the old saying, “the more you know, the more you realize you don’t know”. My strength is that I can read the room and find ways to get through to people with ease. My weaknesses are many when it comes to the trade of teaching, such as, picking up on learning patterns and adjusting tack accordingly, smooth transition from book to improvisation, stage fright, and of course hand writing.
 
I feel all will come together in time with practice as have most in my experiences in life. I plan to forge ahead working as a teacher and studying teaching techniques. With the solid foundation obtained here at ICEP TEFL I believe I am on track to a rewarding career and personal growth.
 
Referring to the solid foundation mentioned above, all the staff members are consummate professionals with an uncanny ability to impart information in a concise fashion which results in an enormous amount of knowledge acquired inside a relatively short period of time. None the lesser, are their teaching styles that one hopes to emulate. Aside from the teachings from the book, they are examples of teachers that will resonate with me throughout my career. 
 
In closing I would like to mention that my fear of public speaking has given way to risk taking behavior to keep the attention of the class. My aversion to grammar study has given way to fascination with the complexity of language structure, and my hand writing has shown a little improvement, although some may disagree with the latter. All in, this has been a great ride and I will walk away a better person and prepared to pursue my TEFL teaching career. 
Throughout my class time, my observations, and my teaching practices, I have learned and gained knowledge and experience. I still have a lot of room to grow but that comes with time and more experience.
 
I feel that I have improved with my teaching practices, not just because the grade has increased but because I have learned how to make a better and more detailed lesson plan. When I taught level one, I enjoyed it because it was the foundation that I was giving and I know how important that is. I can relate to how they feel because I remember when I first started learning Spanish. The level nine was more complex with more conversation, so conversing with them in L2 was much easier. I got to know them better because they are more advanced.
 
Managing the class was easy because the students do not misbehave. A student or two would start talking and get distracted but I was able to get them back on track and continue with the lesson. The students did a lot of pair work and I think I was entertaining to them.  I need to work on the pace, when there is a lot of reading or writing to do, depending on the class.
 
I will only become a better teacher with time and experience. My mind is still young and growing and I catch on easy, I just sometimes need to be told exactly what to do. Each school and each class is different and I understand I will have to implement different techniques at different times. Having a job right after the course was amazing!
My overall experience earning my TEFL certification at ICEP TEFL Academy in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico has been great. Before coming here, I did not know what to expect and that made me fearful. I did not know how I could learn to be a teacher in a one-month time span. It seemed like too much for a short period of time. Once the first day of class was over I was more confident in how things were going to be done because we went over a course overview. This was perfect for me because I was then able to put my only fear about becoming a teacher aside. From grammar review to classroom management most aspects of being a teacher have been reviewed and taught. I have learned a lotduring this month that I have been living in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

 

My teaching skills have developed tremendously. I have learned how to manage a classroom, present new information and create a lesson plan. With these skills I will be able to more easily adapt to my new job as a TEFL teacher. I have seen a great improvement in the way I present information. I am able to come up with more activities and questions to give my students a variety of ways to learn. I am less nervous in the classroom therefore; I am able to more comfortably discuss or introduce different topics that expand conversation.

 

I need more growth in being able to answer questions that I did not expect. I have learned that it is ok to look things up using technology or a dictionary. For my last few teaching practices I have used this tactic and it was extremely helpful. I also would like to deviate from the book more. I learned how to do this towards the end of my practices. I see how helpful this is to the student and it makes the class a bit more fun and interesting.

 

The ICEP TEFL staff has all been very helpful in leading me through earning my TEFL certification. Through them I have learned how to teach a grammar lesson, how to create and execute an excellent lesson plan, how to be personable with students and other classroom tactics. Having these teachers’ help was one of the greatest assets to the program.

 

The school in its entirety, technology, classrooms and other resources, was enough to create and execute great lesson plans. The book I was given as well as the teacher books were very helpful. They enabled me to see how to begin a class with a catchy “Lead In” for the students. Any supplies I needed were available and this made things very easy. Wifi was a tremendous asset as well. I was able to use my computer and phone to reach the internet to find different answers and activities that were not in the books.

 

 
Being a student at ICEP has been a great learning experience and a pleasure. Grammar, teaching tactics, classroom management and assistance from other TEFL teachers at ICEP have all given me what I need as a teacher.  I have learned a vast amount of information that I feel confident will help me succeed in my new career as a TEFL teacher.