Prior to blitzing the 4-week full-time TEFL course in London at SGI, I had been working at an advertising agency practically around the corner from the school for several years. Admittedly, I was a little too easily in my comfort zone, and after repeatedly saying, ‘I fancy a challenge,’ boy, did I get one.
Having looked through these testimonials myself last year, I was prepared for a tough month; however, I can’t recall another course that has given me the same degree of insight within such a short period. Moreover, the sheer range of topics covered throughout the month was unreal: ranging from the Unknown Language Journal (itself a real eye-opener) to an introduction to phonology.
Apprehensiveness and lack of confidence are not exactly uncommon traits when starting, yet the staff at the school made the quick transition to teaching (read: first day!) much more palatable through their eagerness to help and by being so approachable. True, you may just start to take on the appearance of a social-hermit for a month, but your own assuredness will increase immeasurably owing to constructive feedback from tutors.
After completing the course, I headed to SGI’s joint-venture school in Moscow in the dead of winter, which was a culturally rich and markedly interesting experience. Having now returned – what’s next? Well, the beauty of the CertTESOL qualification is that it leaves that door open to me, and anyone else who relishes the challenge; it’s one that comes highly recommended.
Oct 2012 Update: I've now been recruited to teach at an SGI sister school in the amazing San Sebastian in Spain!
Listen to Ben discussing (in free podcasts)...