TEFL Certification Course Diary: Jack’s first week
Enrolling in a TEFL certification course is a huge commitment—or at least it is when you attend a real TEFL training program that includes onsite training and observed teaching practice.
Sure, you can drop US$100 or less on an online TEFL course found on Groupon. But guess what? Almost any employer who’s willing to hire someone on the back of online study alone would have hired a teacher without a TEFL certificate all together.
While you don’t legally need a TEFL certificate to teach in most countries, the benefits of real TEFL certification quickly become obvious to the vast majority of those who complete our course here at TEFL Campus in Phuket, Thailand.
This is certainly true for Jack, who took our TEFL training course in October 2018 after having completed his bachelor’s degree in Japanese studies. An affable traveler with a passion for teaching, Jack was a natural fit for the course. But he was also concerned about his learning difficulties until we spoke to him over a Skype chat to assess his chances for success. We committed to providing him with additional support and he committed to taking our course soon after.
The following is Jack’s TEFL Certification Course Diary for the first week of training. It’s the first installment of four diaries he wrote for us. His answers are honest, and we hope that they provide first-hand insight into what it’s like to get your TEFL certificate and eventually find a great TEFL job overseas.
Jack, can you summarize your first week in three words?
Challenging, interesting and rewarding.
What were your first impressions of Phuket when you finally arrived?
The first thing I noticed was how incredibly kind people in Phuket are. I was visibly tried and stressed upon arrival (jet lag drives me insane), and within moments I had several older women asking me if I was okay or If I needed any help.
Was getting from the airport to your accommodation difficult?
Not in the slightest. Everything was prearranged because I chose the Premium Package and if the unthinkable were to happen and you couldn’t get picked up, there are several taxi companies posted around the airport.
Were you happy with your accommodation at Sakul House?
The accommodation is very close to the school. As well, staff are very friendly and helpful.
Were you greeted by TEFL Campus staff once you got to Phuket Town?
Yes, I was greeted by a trainer named Simon. He was kind and did everything to answer any questions that I had about the course and Phuket in general.
What did you see and do before the course started?
I went to a number of Thai restaurants. My personal favorite was Yellow Door. I also went to Naka market to take advantage of the cheap electronics.
How did the first day go?
The first day was very challenging. There was a great deal of terminology to get to grips with. This dispelled any belief that I had that teaching English was just a matter of being a native and reading off a script.
What do you think of your classmates?
My classmates are fantastic. We are all our own support network and when any of us are feeling challenged or are struggling, we help each other.
What did you learn from watching experienced teachers in the classroom?
I learned about the effectiveness of the ESA method. This system doesn’t only focus on teaching English; it also aims to get the best out of the learner and guides the teacher towards creating an effective teaching plan.
How did your first observed teaching practice go?
In three words: a train wreck. It didn’t go well, but I believe this is normal for anyone teaching a class for the first time. My advice is do not be harsh on yourself and consider how you can improve in your next lesson.
What are your impressions of the lectures so far?
The lectures were tough but very rewarding. I struggled at first because I was being so harsh on myself, but as the days went by I found myself better understanding the concepts we were being taught.
What surprised you most during the first week?
The lack of zebra crossings (crosswalks) in Phuket. I felt as though every time I frantically ran across the road, Death was sharpening his scythe.
What’s your best advice for those preparing to come to Phuket for the course?
Do not study TEFL methodology or grammar. Spend the additional time you have researching Phuket and Thai culture in general.
What’s your best advice for the first week of the course?
Do not be harsh on yourself. I was my own worst critic and that only made me suffer more. Accept that you are not going to be perfect and consider any mistakes you make as points that you can correct in your next lesson.
To continue reading Jack’s TEFL Certification Course Diary, click here: Week 2.
For more information on our TEFL Certification Course, be sure to contact us and we’ll get back to you within 12 hours.