Life as a TEFL teacher provides the perfect opportunity to travel!
Rakesh studied with TEFL UK and has taught English in Poland, the Czech Republic and online. He shares his experience of life as a TEFL teacher!
A frog in a well believes the sky is the same size as the hole in the roof. I felt the same way while I was working for a financial firm immediately after graduation. I had a decent job, a decent pay, 9-5 working hours, and everything a 21- year-old needs from a first job, but I wasn't satisfied. My passions were travelling and swimming. My swimming was mediocre at best :) However, I believed that travel may be a viable job alternative if I could capitalise on it.
I was looking for some travel options one day when I came across an article about TEFL and the opportunities it could give. I could travel and earn money at the same time. So I contacted TEFL UK, and with their help, I earned my TEFL certificate and began my TEFL experience.
My first job was in Poland. That was my first encounter with the ocean, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I started working for an English Immersion company and spent more than a year in Poland. I began as a trainee and eventually became a coordinator. During this time, I met teachers from all over the world as well as amazing and talented children from Poland. Through museums, I learned about Polish culture and had the opportunity to learn about historical events that occurred in Poland. While I was having the time of my life, I decided to practise my Polish. I learned to say hello and thank you, numbers as well as my favourite Polish phrase, Jedno piwo, prosz (One beer, please!) This was the year I realised I wanted to teach English as a foreign language. It made me extremely happy.
The Czech Republic, a small and beautiful country in central Europe, was the next stop. I was here working with business professionals to help them improve their professional English. They were a group of managers, HR, programmers, lawyers, and other professionals. When we started working together, I realised that I was learning the art of negotiation, business etiquette, interview expectations, and many other things while teaching them English.
After finishing my work, I returned to my hometown, everything was the same but it all felt different to me and I thought about the journey I had and would that be even possible without TEFL. I was planning for another journey but this time I wanted to go to Asia but before I could go the pandemic started. The travelling and schools were shut all around the world. At this desperate time I received an email from TEFL UK and they mentioned all the websites that TEFL teachers can use to teach online. And then I began with online teaching. During the difficult time of covid-19 I had the opportunity to work from home and I started focusing on my work-life balance, which would have been very hard in my 9-5 job. I used to organize game nights with other teachers online to stay connected during the tough times. I cannot thank enough the teaching community for all their help and support.
Now that the pandemic is almost over, I am thinking about travelling again, I am thinking about exploring again, I am thinking about learning a new language again. And I am planning to be lost in a world of amazing people, amazing food and looking forward to an amazing adventure.
At the moment, I am working from the comfort of my own home. As I look on the life I have had as a result of TEFL, I can say without a doubt that I would not have had it otherwise. I would still be that frog, thinking about how lovely the well is while missing out on what was going on in the ocean.
My next trip could be to incredible Asia, marvellous South America, or somewhere in Europe to spend my summer, and since it's my job now, I don't have to worry about it. I have the freedom to work and travel whenever and wherever I want. If I don't want to travel, I could continue to work from home. Whatever I do next, I am certain that I will continue to teach, and all of this is possible because I jumped out of that well.
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Previously: Teach English on a Paradise Island!