Sunday, July 11, 2010

Work hard and play hard: My TEFL course!

The reason that this blog has been so neglected of late is due to the hours involved in my TEFL course. I recently completed a 4week intensive course to get certified to teach English. When I decided to move to Costa Rica with Mark, I knew that I needed something with which I could to fill my days, so completing a TEFL seemed like a good idea. And actually, it was. Not just because I now have another qualification (which we all know means diddly squat in the current economic climate) but because I had so much fun doing it and met some amazing people along the way! They were all Americans (which can be frustrating when learning how to teach people English, but only very slightly. Mainly because Costa Rica is so americanised, so I tend to be the one in the wrong...). I found myself at times saying that I was just 'gonna run to the store' and used the word 'like' about 100 times in a sentence. The day I say "I'm just gonna go ahead and do something..." is the day I give up completely on my British heritage. But anyway, I digress...

Whilst completing the TEFL, I woke up most mornings at around 6.30-7am ( a shock to the system, believe me after a year of doing almost nothing!) and attempted to work out the bus system, which is more confusing than the address system in this country. Buses come often (just not at the times that they say) and cost very little (about 40p). However, I needed 3 buses which would have taken over an hour to complete a 20min drive, had I managed to work out the bus system, which I did not. My first week involved walking aimlessly around downtown San Jose, getting on a circular route bus and ending up exactly where I started and getting on the right bus but in the wrong direction, oh and hanging around with the prostitutes downtown. Remind me to ask which the direction the bus is going in future! Anyone who knows me well knows that I do not do buses, for the reasons mentioned above and so many more! So, when given the option of a bus+taxi every day, I happily took it. However, my bank account did not! Time-wise it was much better as the course hours were pretty long anyway and I had quite a bit of homework in the second half of the course, so the idea of a 2-3hour daily commute time just did not appeal to me.

The course involved the basics from classroom management and lesson planning to hardcore grammar and practical teaching week. This is the week when, after 3 weeks of lessons and beach-going, you are presented with a class looking at you like you know what you're doing. AND the most shocking thing of all is that you actually do! The highlight of my week was a game of Alibi, where students made me cry laughing pretending to be 'detectives' interviewing the 'suspects'. "Hey man! I ask the questions around here, man!" Well, at least they seem to be watching TV in English!

My TEFL classmates were also hilarious, they helped me to celebrate my birthday which fell bang in the middle of the course and we had a great time just hanging out in the classrooms planning and also took a great trip to the beach (More on that later!). We also all got together for the England vs USA game, where we suffered a terrible draw, so they loved that! I did not.

However, I am now a fully qualified (and employed!) English teacher. And my new job is considerably closer than my course was. In fact, I can usually get a lift from somebody to the place to taxi costs have gone down considerably! I'm enjoying teaching. In fact I've just completed extra training to teach little kids, so I'll be the one singing "Put your finger on your nose, on your nose" to the tune of "If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands..." if you are ever passing through Berlitz offices in Santa Ana...! Not the most strenuous job, I'll admit!
Stef x

No comments:

Post a Comment