Jumping into any job can be difficult, especially without any prior knowledge, experience or training. Being thrown into a classroom with no experience, after learning which classes I would be teaching the previous day was even more difficult. There was no probationary period and no observation time prior to my first day of school. I was on my own, unsure of what to teach and how to execute it. While it has not been a total disaster, and I really do enjoy my classes, I decided that it was time to reach the high level that I had expected from all of my previous teachers. I would do this by becoming TEFL/TESL/CCA certified.
Through the university that I teach at I was offered a discount on this teaching course. From 9-1 every day for a month I was to report to the school to learn about classroom management, linguistics, lesson planning, and everything else that is vital in a TFL classroom.
If you are unfamiliar, TEFL means “Teaching English as a Foreign Language”, TESL is “Teaching English as a Second Language”, and CCA is “Cross Cultural Awareness”. After October 3rd I will be a certified teacher in these fields. In the United States, most of the learners are learning English as a second language, meaning they learn English in an English speaking environment, On the other hand, we teach TEFL, which is much more difficult, because our students are learning English in a non English speaking environment.
Within the next month I will complete 80 classroom hours, 6 graded observations of my own class and additional classes, sit in on 6 more hours of classes as an observer, and complete a portfolio of lesson ideas and other homework. While doing this, I will continue to teach 6 hours a day. (Comparatively, my senior semesters in college I had class about 12 hours a week and worked about 12 hours a week, with additional homework of course)
It always seems impossible until you do it. I am excited to become more qualified for my job and to offer my students a high caliber of education. But, getting to the finish line will be a challenge in itself.