October 28, 2017
I got my TEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) certificate about a week ago. It means I can now teach anywhere they speak something else.
Since I now have more options, it made me realize how much I'm enjoying my life now so I don't want to change anything at the moment. I'm blessed because I don't have the need to make drastic transformations to feel fulfilled.
As I write this, I'm singing "Please, don't tell let this feeling end..."
Although I've handled an entire class when I was with TeleTech in the mid-2010s and really enjoyed it, I prefer a more intimate, one-on-one conversation. Like I told a friend recently, I'd rather be in a coffee shop with one person than in a bar with a crowd.
The first time I taught ESL (English as a Second Language) was in a South Korean school in Quezon City during the early 2000s. In most afternoons, I would always find myself at the Sunken Garden at the nearby U.P. Diliman campus with my sketch pad.
We had our own classrooms with a glass wall, like in Children of A Lesser God where William Hurt plays a teacher. I love those movies with teachers as the hero, like Dead Poets Society with Robin Williams and The Emperor's Club with Kevin Kline. I should add The X-Men saga because Charles Xavier is also a teacher.
We created our own lesson plans. I work best if I have the freedom to be creative, so I would incorporate the TEFL predecessors TOEFL (Test Of English as a Foreign Language) and TOEIC (Test Of English in International Communication) lessons to our own exercises.
Instead of the usual textbooks, I would bring my own materials. I would have them read Reader's Digest, then we would talk about those stories. I would give them photocopies so they can underline unfamiliar words, write notes on the margins and study them at home.
They also read the "Laughter, The Best Medicine" section and I would watch if they get the joke – which is a really fun way to measure comprehension.
I want them to gain confidence in speaking, so I let them do the talking. I'd ask questions, from everyday stuff like "Tell me about your favorite Korean movie," to more thought-provoking subjects like "Who do you think built the pyramids of Egypt?"
My purpose was to two-fold: to make them think more deeply, and to make them excited to share their own thoughts – and it worked like a charm.
It is pure pleasure to be with young people who are eager to learn and leave their egos at the door. And if you have a teacher who knows what he's doing, and who is secure enough to even want his students to exceed him, then it is going to be a wonderful learning experience for both of them.
Get Your TEFL Diploma at TheTEFLCertificate.com/freeteflcourse/