Teaching English in Indonesia: Leslie’s Story

Meet Leslie, originally from Norfolk in Virginia, USA, she has been teaching English in Indonesia (or Jakarta, to be precise) for the last two years and has been loving every second of it, and will soon be starting a new chapter of her TEFL adventure by relocating to Turkey.  Read on to find out more of her story…

Why did you decide to TEFL?

I decided to TEFL because I felt that my life was boring and needed something to spice it up!

What made you choose Indonesia?

I had initially wanted to move to Spain for my first big adventure but quickly realized that it would be kind of tough for a newly qualified TEFL teacher like myself (and not an EU citizen) to get a job there.  After sharing my dilemma with my younger sister, she suggested that I consider working in Indonesia. I had never considered going to Asia, but after I did some research about Indonesia, I was mesmerized by its traditions, culture and archipelago.

What was it like stepping into the classroom on your first day of teaching?

I was really scared my first day of teaching because I had no idea what to expect from my students, although everything quickly changed when I learned how polite and kind they all were!

What’s your favourite/least favourite thing about Indonesia?

My favourite thing about Indonesia would definitely have to be the weather – almost every day is a beach day!  My least favourite thing about Indonesia is the skin-whitening.  The locals are blessed with beautiful weather year round and many hide from it relentlessly.

What’s a typical teaching day like for you?

The hours at the school I work are from 7:15AM to 3:15PM.  I am picked up by a driver then taken to the school. After I arrive, I have time to organize everything before my lessons.  In the classroom the students are polite, eager to learn and a lot of fun to teach!  After classes, I do some preparing for the week ahead and if there is no after school teacher’s meeting or extracurricular activity I have to attend, I catch a ride with the driver back to my nearby apartment.

What age students do you teach and what level of English are they at?

The students that I teach are ages 4 through 9 (Kindergarten through Primary Grade 3), and they range from beginner to intermediate levels of English.

How would you rate your TEFL experience out of 10?

I would rate my TEFL experience a 10 out of 10!

What are your plans for the future TEFL-wise?

In June, I plan to leave Indonesia after my 2 years of teaching here.  My next move will be to TURKEY!

What would you say to someone who’s thinking of getting TEFL qualified?

I would say to them, “Stop thinking and go for it! The experience will change your life forever!”

If Leslie’s inspired you to kick-start your new life of teaching English overseas, you can take a look at our courses here.


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  1. Omer

    Great job!!

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