Our blog has been a little quiet lately because we just completed a TESOL certification course in Phuket, Thailand. Our 120 hour course included teaching six English lessons to Thai students, completing assignments, lesson planning, and studying for our final exam. We taught a class on day three! Perhaps there was the occasional motorbike to the beach, playing games with new friends, exploring the island, and eating our way through night markets taking up some of our time as well. Watch our Phuket video for more on that.
Many of our friends and family have asked us: "Why teach English?" Sure, the extra money while traveling will replenish our depleting bank account. However, there are many more valuable reasons why we have chosen this path.
-- Desire for Education --
Bre and I are thirsty to never stop educating ourselves or taking on new endeavors that will make us more well-rounded citizens of the world. We believe it’s never too late to go back to school or decide to do something different. To us, settling into a single career and working our whole lives in one trade is not realistic, healthy, or challenging. This desire is what ultimately led us to move to Thailand to become certified teachers. The TEFL class was coursework heavy and an intense one month, but so worth it. We learned years worth of grammar, phonetics, and methodology in four quick weeks -- as well as taught several classes. However, we both feel prepared (and excited) to enter into a classroom and teach English. We also enjoyed discovering a new side of one another. Since we previously had such different career paths in Portland, we've never seen one another in a work setting. It was fun witnessing each others' teacher modes. We are thankful that a combination of hard work and privilege brought us to this experience, and that we leave with a new valuable skill set.
-- Culture Immersion --
Immersing ourselves in culture wholeheartedly is one of the essential reasons we are traveling the world. When it comes to curiosity, there is only so much the internet can provide until you must physically go experience the world for yourself. We knew teaching English would bring us closer to the culture. Not only would we be traveling through stunning countries, but actually living and breathing these experiences on a daily basis. Through our month long course in language immersion, we have already connected with the Thai culture on a deeper level. We taught Thai students a few times each week, took a Thai culture class, and even learned some basic Thai once a week. We've met some of the most fantastic people, including our instructors, classmates, past graduates, and students. Each of them challenged us, made us laugh, made us a bit nervous, and left us with smiles that we will never forget.
-- Living in a Foreign Country --
We had a feeling when we left for traveling long term that we may come across some places that a week, two weeks, or even a month would not be enough time to fully discover. Our intuition was right! We have already experienced multiple places that we wish we could just settle into for an extended period of time. Luckily, teaching English usually requires a six month to one year contract. Now that we are done with the course, we plan to finish out the year travelling -- but we are quickly narrowing down our ideal place to settle down for a year to teach beginning in early 2018. Stay tuned for an update!
Our experience at TEFL Campus Phuket greatly exceeded our expectations. Our three instructors were professional, incredibly knowledgeable about teaching around the world, and hilarious. There are a lot of courses out there, and it's overwhelming trying to select one that will be best for you. That being said, I highly recommend TEFL Campus Phuket to anyone interested in teaching abroad. Let us know if you have any questions!