Who said TEFL is just for when you graduate? TEFLing Paul completed his EDI CertTEFL during the summer holidays then jetted off to teach English at a summer camp in Italy.
We quizzed him to find out how he did it. Everyone, meet Paul.
So Paul, Why Did You Decide to Start a TEFL Adventure?
As a 29 year old college student of early childhood education and care I decided to explore the world of TEFL because I’d seen friends who had travelled around the world on amazing adventures. As I always enjoyed travelling this seemed like the perfect opportunity to see the world while enhancing my CV and gaining teaching experience in the process.
What Made You Choose i-to-i as Your TEFL Course Provider?
I heard about i-to-i from a friend who suggested I equip myself with the biggest (and most prestigious) package and I went for it!!! I decided to take on this course mainly due to the lure of the chance of getting my first teaching experience.
Did the EDI CertTEFL Course Meet Your Expectations?
The EDI course met all of my expectations and with 6 hours of first-hand teaching practice it certainly prepared me for a real life situation. Teaching English classes to foreign nationals during the course gave me confidence which is invaluable in a classroom.
What Was the Next Step?
The next step for me was to firstly get back to the grind stone of college (as I completed most of the EDI CertTEFL course while on my summer holidays!) Soon after returning to college the emails telling me about TEFL job vacancies all over the globe came flooding in.
Can You Tell Us a Little About the Interview Process?
Of the many TEFL jobs, one in particular caught my eye, it was a summer camp job in Italy and after applying they sent me on an application to complete. The application form included lesson plans which I was familiar with, thanks again to the EDI gang. Without wanting to gloat I was very proud to include my 6 hours experience of teaching (which was completed over 6 Saturdays in Dublin) as well as the whole TEFL (course) package.
What Do You Think Made You Stand Out From the Other Applicants?
Although I do have experience of working with children, the teaching practice from the EDI CertTEFL was invaluable.
What Did You Find Easy/Difficult?
My first day at the summer camp went unbelievably well. At first, I must admit, I did feel nervous. But with the relaxed atmosphere at the camp, and classroom, that nervous feeling only lasted about 10 minutes. I felt at ease with my class almost immediately and as the company I worked for put so much emphasis on the kids having fun it was difficult not to enjoy myself while at “work”.
One thing that was slightly difficult was the 35 degree heat Italy, but I won`t complain.
What Advice Would You Give to Someone Thinking About Taking a TEFL Job At a Summer Camp in Italy?
One piece of advice I would give to someone thinking about teaching at a summer school would be to set the ground rules from the get-go. This establishes the foundations for good behaviour and makes for a more enjoyable time for all.
What Was the Best Thing About Living In Italy?
It’s impossible to pin point the best thing about living in Italy. From the friendly and laid back attitude of the people and the beautiful weather to the amazing scenery of endless mountains and rivers, along with the delicious Italian cuisine and vibrant nightlife of the many locations we visited.
How Did Your EDI Qualification Prepare You For Your First Teaching Experience?
I was more than prepared for my first teaching experience. Not only did I have the benefits of practice but also the knowledge that comes with the theoretical aspect of EDI. I found this to be very clear and well structured too.
How Would You Rate Your TEFL Adventure Out Of 10 So Far?
So far my TEFL adventure can only be rated as 10 out of 10. It was an eye-opening, mind-blowing experience that I will never forget. I met dozens of people that are now my friends for life through this experience…..be them fellow tutors (native English speakers from as far as Australia, Canada, the USA to Britain and Ireland) that I trained with at San Remo in Italy for one week, my host family while at camp or even the many local Italian who I befriended…..not to mention my class and all the other kids at the school!
One stand out moment would be the training camp at San Remo. Another would be the summer camp. Another could be the circle time every morning or the amazing nightlife of Torino….but again it isn’t possible to pick one stand-out moment. The whole experience was amazing but the pride of seeing my class graduate was unbeatable!!!
What’s Next For You?
Now that I’ve got the summer camp under my belt I’m back home where, thanks AGAIN to the whole TEFL and EDI qualification, I`ve got myself a job teaching 4 Spanish children English. I return to college in September for my final year and I’ve already got the itch for another adventure next year, so thankfully the TEFL jobs abroad are still flooding up my e-mails.
Like what you see? Excited to get your first TEFL Job? Then check out our guide to the Top TEFL Destinations.