I’m so excited to share that I am officially TEFL certified! If you’ve been keeping up with my posts for the last year or so, then you know that I was taking an online course to get
certified to Teach English As A Foreign Language in other countries. After a year-long process that was extended to an additional three months, I finally completed my course and passed with an A! If you read last week’s Life Chats, this is the personal goal and
achievement that I was referring to. I struggled so much at the end of this course to
complete my lesson plan assignment. My deadline for everything was March 2, so of course my procrastinating self waited until the last week to do my final assignment. I did this all throughout college, but in a crazy way I feel that’s why I always got good grades. As much as I stress myself out in the process, for some reason I work better under pressure when the clock is ticking. I can’t really explain it. I’ve been this way my entire life. I drive myself nuts, but my creative juices flow better when I know that I am running out of time.
I definitely allowed myself to feel a little defeated last week though and there were several moments where I questioned if I could actually do this. Could I really teach English in
another country? Do I have what it takes? Am I crazy for this? I looked over at my father’s photo and spoke to him. I asked for his help and guidance. This is something that he would have been SO excited about. He was a principle, so he always wanted me to get into education in some way, shape or form. He always told me that he could see me teaching others. You may not believe me, but I swear that after I asked him for help everything started to flow much better for me. I began to understand the assignment more and before I knew it, I was submitting everything to my teacher. I woke up the next morning to an email saying that I had passed and completed the course and was now certified! I was so ecstatic. There are no words to describe how amazing it feels to have accomplished this long-term goal!
Why I Did It
After my first solo trip to Ireland back in November 2015, I remember coming home and
feeling like a completely different person. I felt free from so many of the emotions that had been weighing me down ever since my father passed. I quickly realized that traveling alone had opened up so many new possibilities for me. It was therapeutic and it truly started to change the way that I was viewing not just the world, but my life. I met an amazing girl, Dana, on my Cliffs of Moher tour. We quickly bonded that day and have stayed in touch ever since. After many different conversations of us sharing our stories, the events that led us to a solo adventure in Ireland and our similar love for travel, she inspired me with the idea of getting certified to teach English in other counties. The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to do it. It just made sense to me. I minored in English in college, so it’s not as if this idea was completely out of left field. It would also allow me to travel and get paid at the same time. Now the money might not be the best in most of these places, but I know that it would be such a rewarding experience and I could continue to work for myself anywhere in the world. I would be experiencing a new culture and making a difference in these kids’ lives. I can also teach adults! Most of you don’t know me personally, but if you did then there’s one thing for sure you would know. Once I set my mind on doing something, I do it. I might struggle or feel defeated throughout the process, but I won’t back down. I had my heart set on doing this course and completing it, so that’s exactly what I did.
What This Means For My Future
As of right now, I do not have any set plans for when I would do this. The beauty of being certified is that I am certified for life. I love the idea of having this in my back pocket for whenever the time is right or whenever an opportunity presents itself. I haven’t given up on the idea of meeting my Mr. Right, falling in love, getting married and having a family. BUT, I’m 33 and this is still not a priority for me just yet. I still haven’t given this a sense of
urgency. Everyone that surrounds me is engaged, married or has children and I am just not there yet. It could happen in the near future or when I’m in my 40s or it may not happen at all. Here’s the thing though, I’ve learned to be OK with either outcome. The things I want right now fall in line with expanding my business into something more and seeing as much of the world as I can. My soul is still longing for places I have not yet been to and I can’t shake that. Maybe I never will. The wanderlust is real. There’s a really good chance that I might move away within the next several years and teach, but there’s also a chance that I might not do it until later on in my life. I think when it’s meant for me to go, I will know. I’ll have options too, which is amazing. I could do something long-term with a 9-12 month contract or I could start out smaller with 6 months. I could even volunteer or spend a summer abroad somewhere so that I can test the waters before jumping in completely. The best part is that I don’t need these answers right away and I don’t have to decide right now.
Where Could I See Myself Teaching
This is probably the question I have been asked the most. As of right now, I think that I could see myself teaching somewhere in Europe, Latin America or Asia. I know that’s not
really narrowing it down, but I’m trying to keep an open mind. There will be many factors that determine where I end up like cost of living, salary, and if I get hired! Some of these countries require face-to-face interviews while others do phone and video. Some jobs will help you find an apartment and reimburse you for flights, while others will not. There are also start up costs involved for the first 6 weeks that I would have to pay out of pocket until I receive my first paycheck. There are many different components that come into play with
deciding on where to go. TEFLEN has a job board and gives a breakdown of the information I need to know for every country. It will be a great resource for me when it’s time for me to decide.
More About The Course
I’ve written two previous posts that touches more on the specifics of this course. You can check those out here and here. There are other websites that you can use and I also believe you can take this course in person too. I would suggest doing some research and find out what works best for you. I found out about TEFLEN through Dana, the girl I met in Ireland. She actually enrolled the same time as me so it was great being able to chat about all of this with her. If you’ve had thoughts about getting certified, I say go for it. Don’t get caught up in all the What Ifs now. There are no strings attached after you get certified. It’s completely up to you if you decide to even do something with this or not. Either way, it’s an investment for your future and an amazing opportunity that you are creating for yourself.
I have no idea what my future has in store, but I believe now more than ever that it is filled with endless possibilities. My journey may be a bit different from most and that’s OK. I’m ready with open arms for whatever life throws my way and I’m excited to see where this new accomplishment will take me. 💛