So here we are, after a month of studying, lesson planning, teaching practice and stress, my classmates and I can now say that we are TEFL certified!
It has been an experience that’s for sure…
Yesterday we had our last day on the course at the school in Borgo San Lorenzo and it was quite emotional for me. I don’t think I have ever felt so tired in my whole life. Sitting there yesterday I was like a zombie. Poor Kristin was talking to me and asking me questions and I really struggled to answer – I apologise Kristin, for not being my bubbly happy self but I was on the verge of tears the whole day and I knew if I said too much the floodgates would open. I’m not sure if it was due to being so tired or the fact I am so proud of myself and my classmates Mary and Nikoletta for achieving, but I just wanted to cry (again….).
On the last day we spent a few hours in the morning getting out portfolios together and making sure our CV’s were up to date before Kristin conducted a mock interview with us all. I’m pretty sure we were rubbish during the interview, we were all so tired! I know for a fact that I will be much better after a week of sleep and some more prep in my own time.
It was really useful to get information and feedback from Kristin on our CV’s and portfolios. It really will be helpful when looking for a job. I am looking forward to getting out there.
On reflection and looking back over the last month it has been a real rollercoaster ride for me. There were some moments I found myself so confused and anxious that I thought I wouldn’t be able to do it, like when listening to all of the grammar rules and preparing to teach my first lesson. There were also times that I was enjoying myself so much I knew that I’d be able to get through it, like when I got great feedback on my lessons and during the sessions I found really interesting.
Even with the ups and down, the whole experience has been a great one. Summed up as the longest month of my life that went faster than I could imagine. I have learnt so much, more than I thought I ever would. It was so much more challenging than I thought it would be, and I thought I was prepared for it. I wasn’t. I am literally exhausted, the travelling to and from Borgo San Lorenzo (which I didn’t mind) and the emotional stress caused by me and my own mind have worn me out. My mind is so full I am not sure if I could remember anything else right now if I tried. I hope I remember everything I have learnt, if not, I do have mountains of notes to look back on!
In my role back in the UK I supported learners to achieve vocational qualifications and I had some experience of teaching but this course has opened my eyes so much to the process behind it, especially around language learning. I envy anyone who starts and completes a language course, they really are full on. I also have a new-found respect for teachers, especially ESL teachers. The amount of preparation and thought that goes into it is astounding. Anyone who says being an English Teacher is easy, has probably never tried it!
As I go forward with this next chapter in my life, I know that the last month and all that it has involved will be the reason why I am able to do it. The course was amazing, though challenging, and I am so grateful for all of the support I received. The course materials and facilities were great and demonstrate that this is a serious course for serious teachers. You can’t come here and do this for a bit of fun.
I recommend this course in Florence/Borgo San Lorenzo completely. If you want to become an English Teacher and be TEFL certified – this is a great place to do it. You will be pushed and stretched but you will leave with an amazing comprehension of English grammar and the methodologies and thought process behind language teaching and learning.
Thank you Kristin, Michael, Bianca, Peter and everyone at TLC/Centro Studi Mugello – you are amazing!
For more information on the course click here (click it.... you won't regret it!)
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