Our Featured Monthly Comment/Question – relevant to many newbies . . .
I will be 41 in December. I have a BA in Philosophy and have spent about 5 years as an Associate Teacher [a.k.a. Substitute].
I was offered a job, and awarded E2 Visa sponsorship from a school in S. Korea. At the last minute (days before I was to leave) the recruiter informed me that the school was retracting the offer.
So I figure a TESOL/TEFL Cert. will be a great benefit/ make me more marketable.
Any thoughts or feedback is appreciated.
My response was as follows:
Forty-one isn’t all that old, so don’t count yourself out of the running yet!
In terms of training, the great majority of TEFL programs are fine. TEFL methodology is not rocket science. It is important to know, but most people can master it in only a few weeks. Thus all the four-week courses.
What is important to check is that it meets the generally suggested international standards which are usually thought to be a minimum of 100 hours and preferably at least six hours of observed teaching practice with REAL EFL students (not your teacher trainee peers) and that you receive detailed feedback from an experienced EFL teacher.
All that said, most people would agree that it is best to take your TEFL Certification in the country where you first intend to teach.
That may not be possible in Korea though.
Don’t give up – I was exactly 41 when I took my first EFL job – also in Korea. My first six months were a real mess – but I got past it and the last 17 years have been just fantastic. Nothing wrong with getting all the bumps in the road smoothed out right at first!
Training? Great idea. Though, particularly for Korea I wouldn’t assume that is why things fell apart at the last minute.
Never hurts to build the resume and improve your skills though – can’t hurt!
TED’s Tips™ #1: Building your resume is always a good idea.
TED’s Tips™ #2: If an offer falls through, don’t take it personally. It can mean anything from a teacher the school thought was going to leave decided to stay to a highly qualified candidate just walked in the door and they won’t need to buy a plane ticket for them – as they would for you.