Excellent course by great people!
After two+ years of teaching and traveling in Korea and Southeast Asia, I finally returned to my home in the Midwest, USA at Christmas time 2011. I knew my stay would be short-lived, but I had no idea how short it would turn out to be. I had planned to stay for 6 months until summer, and then hop over to Europe to volunteer and travel in Spain. But after only 3 weeks in Indiana, I knew that I wouldn’t make it until summer.
I had studied Criminal Justice at Indiana University and after graduation in 2008 found little opportunities on the work market for my field. I knew that whatever job I worked I wanted to be able to travel either with the job, or have the time to do it on the side. After working multiple dead-end restaurant jobs to make ends meet I received a good tip from a friend of mine. He had just signed up to teach English in Asia and thought it seemed like something that I would be interested in. I was skeptical at first because I knew little about teaching and even less about living in Asia. But after much deliberation I was convinced to send in my CV and see what would happen. Sure enough, the recruiter contacted me the next day with a job in the same city at the same school as my friend. I thought, why not, it’s only a year and it’s a new experience. It turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made and it opened my eyes to teaching English abroad as a career, or in the least as a means to travel the world and make some good money along the way.
I taught English for 2 years in South Korea, but the whole time wanted to get a TEFL certificate to understand more about the how and why of English teaching. I started researching the subject online and quickly found TEFL Worldwide Prague. Based on previous knowledge and experience, I knew that Prague would be a fine city to study, live and work. I booked the plane ticket immediately and didn’t look back.
I felt that while teaching in South Korea I really developed some useful skills in teaching English. I had a great rapport with the students, both young and old, and I always had good feedback from my peers and supervisors. I really enjoyed the work, but I knew that I could grow in my development as a teacher. I wanted to know more about the English language and study some more methods about how to teach specific areas of the language. This is what I was hoping to attain by taking the course at TEFL Worldwide Prague and I wasn’t let down at all. The two instructors at the school were very well-educated, experienced and professional. They were accepting of other people’s views and experiences in teaching, but also were able to pass on their own perspectives to aid in the trainee’s development. They taught us as students for half of the class so we could see the exact routine they would go through in an English classroom, then talked to us as peers in the second half of the class to break down exactly what they did and why. After taking part in their classes I become a much more well-rounded teacher and understand more about the methodology of teaching English.
To go along with the excellent instructors, TEFL Worldwide Prague employed a very helpful and competent staff of supporters. There were people there to help with creating a CV, finding and applying for job opportunities, finding a flat in Prague and assisting with the visa process in the Czech Republic. They were always friendly and willing to help with anything one of the students needed. Through their end-of-course job fair I was able to find a job teaching at an English kindergarten in Prague.
So for the past two years I have been teaching English to young learners here in Prague. It’s a tough, but fun job and I have really developed a new patience for dealing with beginning English speakers, and beginning language speakers in general. Through hard work and commitment I climbed quickly to the position of classroom coordinator and eventually coordinator of the entire school. The job is fairly-paid, stimulating, rewarding and exciting, however quite a bit challenging—all aspects I look for in a job.
As much as I like the job, I like more the things that the job has allowed me to do. I am a ‘work to live’ kind-of-guy, not the other way around. While living here in Central Europe I have had a great opportunity to travel, play sports and experience the exciting world around me. I have been on numerous hiking, camping, rafting and canoeing trips in the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia. My travels have taken me to the Netherlands, Serbia, Spain and even to India. I have been a player, captain and committee member for a Gaelic Football club. Through this club, I have been to Warsaw, Bratislava, Munich and Vienna to compete in international tournaments where we have been champions and losers, but having a great time no matter the outcome. This club has also introduced me to the closest friends that I have here in Prague and has really defined my entire experience here. So outside of work, I have really taken advantage of the opportunities that present themselves living in a vibrant, exciting city in the heart of Central Europe.
But as the old adage says, “All good things must come to an end,” my time here in Prague has also run out. Although my leaving will be bittersweet, I do it with hopes to move on to something new and even more exciting. At the moment I am applying for a volunteer position teaching English on a ship. The ship leaves from Japan and over three-month’s time circumnavigates the globe, stopping in port cities through Southeast Asia, around the coast of Africa and South America and then returns to Japan. The theme of the boat is to promote peace, sustainable development and global cooperation throughout the world. This is a great opportunity for me to fulfill my thirst for travel, my love of teaching and my desire to learn more about the people and the world around me all at the same time. This voyage could provide ample new experiences and opportunities to me that could change and shape the person that I am and the person that I could come to be. I cannot pass up something as fulfilling as this!
So if you are sitting on the fence about whether or not to abandon your home and venture into the unknown world of teaching English abroad, just as I was over five years ago, I say just take the first step. You never knew where it will lead you, who you will meet and what you will experience. But take my testimonial as an example of all the possibilities that are waiting for you just outside of your front door. The world is yours and your life is what you make of it. You only have one life to live, so better to take your chances and have no regrets about chasing after what could be the best thing you ever do.
Great school. Seriously.
I'll admit, choosing a TEFL school in Prague always felt...a little dicey. That's how I felt when I was at home deciding which school to choose. And how would I really know what I was getting myself into when choosing a school in a country I knew (admittedly) very little about? And it doesn't help when I read the reviews from this site and there's a dozen reviews from January 2012 all with identical titles and ratings.
[side note: class of January 2012, you are lame.)
I took the course in August 2013 and was very impressed. From the first lesson, it was obvious that the instructors knew what they were doing and that they took the course seriously. It sounds silly, but I didn't know what to expect, so that was very reassuring. In general, the instructors were always great about making classes enjoyable, and there was a lot to learn from them about how to structure effective lessons. They were also very nice, approachable people. If I ever had any concerns, it was easy to go to them for answers.
The course itself is tough, but very manageable. You teach a lot, which can be intimidating at first, but you'll get over that quickly (they make sure of that by getting you in front of a class of Czechs on your second day!). You'll be busy teaching and planning lessons throughout the course, but you'll be better off for it.
The office staff are lovely, incredibly helpful people. I've been finished the course for a month now, and they still contact me with job openings. They're great, is what I'm trying to say.
In conclusion, TEFL Worldwide rocks.