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Thomas’s Story

What made you want to change your life and take a TEFL program in a foreign country?

I was interested in teaching as a profession, but I wasn’t an education major in college. I thought that TEFL would be a great way to get my feet wet and see if teaching was something that I was interested in long term. The opportunity to do that and experience a new part of the world was too much to pass up.

What were the best and worst moments of your TEFL course?

The worst moments were long nights spent prepping and studying for the course. The pace is rapid and it takes some work to keep up. However, these moments are also some of the most rewarding because you are going through it with your fellow classmates and there are a lot of opportunities to make the work fun.

How were the two months after finishing TEFL? Can you describe your first experience with English teaching?

The two months after the end of the TEFL course really flew by! I pretty much immediately started working for Spevacek. The time is spent getting accustomed to your lessons and adding more to your schedule. You are also spending a lot of effort trying to discover your own personal teaching style and how you like to structure lessons. In my free time I spent a lot of evenings exploring Prague and getting to know the city better.

What is it like to be an English teacher (in Europe)? Is it what you expected?

I taught mostly in company courses for adults. The classes are often very informal and time is split between instruction and discussion. This is not to say its easy! Preparation is key.  A lot of the students are very motivated and will tell you what they want from the lessons. This makes it easy to tailor a program that fits their specific needs. Many of them want endless conversation with you correcting their errors and clarifying different linguistic concepts as needed. This lends itself to an interesting and rewarding relationships with the students. How many people do you sit down and talk to for an hour a week? You get an opportunity to get to know a lot of different people.

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