The journey to becoming a teacher has been a long one. Teaching has always been at the back of my mind as something I wanted to pursue. While living in Riyadh, I became involved in the ESL community through tutoring and volunteering. These relationships with international students, primarily from the Middle East and Africa, truly ignited my passion for language and language teaching.
That's why I decided to enroll in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL), in order to grow as a teacher and for my professional development.
It was quite overwhelming at first but wasn't something I couldn't handle. The long hours and challenging tasks were a different story. That was a year for growth and exploration, and more than anything my dream of becoming a teacher was confirmed and I finally knew that teaching was my calling.
During each class I discover something new about the learning process. Tricks of the trade you might say. Things like not talking too much so that the class are able to focus on what they are doing rather than on you. Always having a basic exercise up your sleeve for the moment when you have to gather your thoughts. This also is beneficial for the students as their attention begins to waiver. Methods like this allow for a more comfortable environment for both teacher and student.
What lead me to TEFL?
'The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step'. ~ Lao Tzu
Our journey as human beings is not about following a pre-ordained path, but about creating that path. Life rarely makes any 'more' sense when things are done in an order. Life makes sense when we are centered in a our hearts and we let go of resisting how our unique universe needs to unfold in it's own beautiful unruly way.
The next 3 months allowed me to find myself more as a teacher by creating all of my own lessons and units under the guidance of no one. It was liberating and exhilarating while being challenging and overwhelming at the same time, but I loved it. It was a time of experimentation and risk taking. With small classes and ever changing students, there was plenty of time for reflection and growth.
Although this journey has been long and at times confusing, one thing has never wavered; my passion for teaching and belief in education. I have experienced amazing education and had wonderful teachers and now it’s my turn to give back and I can’t wait to get started.
Finally. one last word of advice for the budding teachers out there. Never forget your experiences as a student in the early days of your training because you'll probably find your hopes and fears at that time reflected in your students today.
"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid."
~ Albert Einstein