I am certainly not an expert in either the English language or teaching. However, I have nearly completed my first year of teaching in Italy so I want to share what I’ve learned for anyone who is thinking about starting a new life and diving into teaching!
Firstly, I didn’t plan on becoming an English teacher. When I moved to Italy I had no idea what I would be able to do, but I was determined to find work. I live in a small town where English is not widely spoken, and I as I don’t speak Italian my options were always going to be limited.
I did some research and found an English school online, within five minutes I had sent an email with my CV attached in the hope that even if there wasn’t a job, there would be the opportunity to volunteer.
If you’re seriously thinking of teaching English I would recommend getting a qualification before you set off in search of your new life. Schools now have a higher standard than before- simply being a native English speaker is no longer enough. I completed an online TEFL course (which is widely recognised) or there is a more in depth (and more pricey) CELTA course. I believe this is run in several locations throughout the UK and lasts approximately one month.
I can only comment on the TEFL course. There are several different courses you can choose between- the more in-depth, the higher the price point. I selected the biggest online course, but luckily for me they were offering a hefty discount at the time. I think TEFL do this regularly so it’s worth looking out for.
So if you’ve decided to take the plunge and get a qualification, next you need to decide how and where you’re going to make some money! You can work in main stream schools, an English speaking school for all ages or even give lessons online.
Although I don’t feel like a natural born teacher, I have surprised myself with how I have managed to engage with even my most timid of students. I feel like I’ve grown as a person and I’ve have the privilege to meet so many new people with a variety of backgrounds.
I truly feel that anyone who teaches English won’t ever regret their decision and the world of possibilities they’ve opened up to themselves.
Have you ever thought of teaching English abroad? Do you already teach English? Let me know!