An Interview with a TEFL Graduate – From Italy to Spain!
Name: Michela Rossi
What were you doing before your TEFL Course?:
So, I had been working as a translator for six and a half years in Italy. I was an in-house translator for an agency doing translations and research. I also did one to one English classes for Italian speakers.
What made you decide to take the TEFL Course in Malaga, Spain?:
Well I knew that the course was also offered in Italy, but I fancied a change of scenery. I felt that I needed a change in my career and life in general. Translating was quite a solitary job as it was always just me and my laptop. I felt that teaching would suit me better as I missed being in contact with people and felt that the course would open new doors of opportunity. I chose Malaga because I had been thinking about going for some time. I met many people who had talked about Malaga or people who had plans to go to Malaga so I became fascinated by this city. I knew there was a beach and sunshine so I gathered it would be a great place to explore. I always had this idea of spain being a more relaxed atmosphere and offering a better quality of life. I actually started seeing signs that told me I should go to Malaga the more I thought about it!
My great friends from the course!
What was your overall experience on the TEFL Course?:
So the experience was seriously great but also very hard and intense. I knew people who had taken the Trinity CertTESOL course previously so I already knew what to expect, well so I thought! I really didn’t expect the workload that came with it. I will admit I struggled a few times and I had some sleepless nights but it was all worth it in the end as we always had a lot of fun and even had time to be silly!
Me and Taina being silly!
What were the highlights of the course?:
One of the things that I appreciated the most was the constant support from the trainers and my peers on the course. The relationships that you build with your peers is like no other. We were all struggling and stressed but at the same time we all supported each other. This was important because these were the only people who could understand what I was experiencing so they became like my family.
I also had another great companion which was Flori ( my hosts dog). The first thing she did every morning was open my door and come and greet me. She would sit with me with me while I studied in the evening. She would literally sit and wait for me to play with her, which unfortunately I never had time for but she eventually settled for keeping me company!
Flori was a welcome distraction from my assignments!
Were there any funny moments that you remember from your course?:
We had a great moment on moderation day while we were waiting for the verdict from the moderator! Everyone was nervous and obviously stressed. We all wanted to pass the course so badly, especially after all of the hard work we had put in. We decided to play some music to relax and we all started to dance. It felt like a real relief from the stress of the course and the never ending wait of the moderators verdict. We had a real laugh!
At TEFL in Spain they have a fancy dress box which is for TEFL trainees who want to relax and detach from the course. We had some spare time one day and our Trainer Charles was forever arriving to class with a different style hat. We decided to try some on. It was a welcome break from the course and a way to really have a laugh and let go!
The TEFL in Spain Fancy Dress box was a real hit!
What have you been doing since gaining your TEFL qualification?:
I started a Teaching and Marketing Internship at TEFL in Spain straight after the course. I chose this option because I really wanted to gain more teaching practice. I knew how valuable this would be with regards to getting a job as an English Teacher. I also wanted to put in practice all I had learned on the course and build on my confidence as a new teacher.
After my course I did the Teaching Young learners course which I had heard about previously. It sounded fun so i was really looking forward to it. I knew that by studying these extra modules it would boost my CV and help me when applying for jobs. When I did the course I became more aware of the differences with teaching children and that many factors needed to be taken into consideration like the way you teach (less rigid and in a much more fun and engaging way). I think the course brought out my creative side and taught me that students can be engaged in learning through many different methods. You need to think of different activities for your lessons as the children really need to enjoy the class, have fun but also be learning at the same time. It is all about finding the right balance. I am now planning to do some additional Teacher Development courses. I really feel that I would benefit from the Teaching Business English course and Teaching Cambridge Exams. All of this experience will really add to my CV and help me be a more qualified and experienced teacher.
How do you feel the course has changed your life?
From a professional view it will give me the opportunity to teach anywhere in the world as it is a recognised qualification at an international level. From a personal point of view I have gained more skills and strengthened my own self-confidence. I learned a lot about myself and that sometimes I need to prioritise myself and my needs as well as my professional needs. I also learned to relax and enjoy what I do.
What are you planning to do next?
I would like to stay in spain for a while to do some travelling, gain more experience in teaching and find my feet as a teacher. I haven’t seen that much of Malaga yet but I am looking forward to exploring the beautiful historic city.
Beautiful Malaga. Muelle Uno Port.