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.