Before the Course
As someone who spent a wonderful semester abroad during university, I knew that I wouldn’t be staying in my hometown after I graduated. Although I wasn’t sure what exactly I wanted to do, I knew Europe had to be a part of my plans. A professor suggested teaching English, and I was immediately sold! I wanted somewhere where I could work legally and travel easily, and Prague quickly became the obvious choice. I chose Live TEFL because the course was highly reputable, conveniently located, and offered certification that is recognized worldwide! After my application, I was quickly accepted and had a lovely Skype conversation with a coordinator that was quick to help with housing, airport pick-up, and the many other small questions I had for her. I was absolutely prepared for my time in Prague, but I confess I had no idea what was to come!
I chose to receive accommodation through the TEFL program, which generally means living in an apartment managed by or even housing another Spěváček teacher or coordinator. This means that all locations are very safe and personable, as most of these teachers have been in your shoes before! The rent was a very good price, and food is even cheaper.
During the course, the coordinator helped us look for a more permanent apartment, checking the lease and giving advice on areas to look at or avoid. We found the perfect apartment, close to the city center but in a quiet neighborhood, for a price of 10,000 CZK each. If you want to live alone, many studio apartments are also available, and there are Facebook groups and websites designed for these kinds of apartment hunts!
The Longest Four Weeks of My Life
Intense and demanding, the title is not an exaggeration. We were there to learn though, and learn we did! The amount of information that I received in that class was amazing, and none of it seemed overwhelming or irrelevant. We received personalized and detailed feedback on all of our teaching practices and assignments, and the teachers were always available to help with any questions or problems regarding any module, not just their own. The materials available to me during the class were extensive, from hundreds of textbooks to worksheets and website subscriptions, it was easy to find resources for my trial lessons and beyond, and the teachers of the course were always willing to look things over for you. It was clear throughout the course that the teachers and staff were there for your improvement, and, although a stressful time to be sure, every minute was worth it! As an added bonus, everyone in the class was welcoming and motivated to be there, and we all bonded quickly- and some of them are now my closest friends!
After the Course
When I was hired on at the end of the course, I was thrilled to start working with the community that I’d gotten so close with. I was now an equal with my former teachers and quickly came to know the other teachers in the school. Whether talking about classes at the computers or complaining about the weather in the kitchen, there’s always someone in the teacher’s room that’s ready to chat. I began taking Czech and German lessons, offered for free for Spěváček teachers, and attend academic seminars and monthly game nights hosted by the school. As a teacher, I certainly felt prepared to face my first class, and my schedule now, though it would’ve seemed daunting to me six months ago, is now both manageable and enjoyable.
In the End…
Looking back on my first few months in Prague, I know that I wouldn’t change a thing. The language is a challenge, but a welcome one. Prague is an amazing city and has given me the opportunity to explore the Czech Republic as a ‘local’. Whether travelling alone or with a friend, Prague is an easy transition to make, especially with the Live TEFL and Spěváček team on your side!