Thursday, September 23, 2010

I have been ...

I have been damn busy the last couple of weeks and it will probably go on for a couple more weeks. Unfortunately, it means I have been neglecting the blog.

Why have I been busy you ask? Ok, you didn't ask, I did. I am getting my TESOL certification through The TEFL International Corporation. It was recommended to me by my buddy Spock.

After 9 years of teaching I figured what the hey. It may help me get a teaching job at home, or I can go abroad again. I am leaning towards abroad. Mind you, Mr. Wonderful's doom and gloom is scaring me off of South Korea. ;)

I held off getting the certificate for years. Part of it due to arrogance. I had taught ESL for X-number of years why the hell would I need a certificate? What could they possibly tell me that I hadn't already learned?

I managed to choke the arrogance down and convince myself to get certification now. There were still nagging doubts and I would be lying if I said I wasn't expecting to find it a waste of time. Luckily, I fought past those thoughts and dove into the work. It was a good decision.

I wish I had taken the course before I went to Korea in 2001. Even after 9 years of teaching there are things a person can learn. Sure, I know some, maybe even a lot, of what is being taught but I learned it through trial and error without learning the theory behind it. I have also learned some new things thus destroying the old adage about the dog and new tricks. ;) The review of what I do know has been helpful as well. All in all it is an interesting course that is worth the time and money I have invested.

If you are thinking of working teaching ESL I highly recommend getting your TESOL certificate first. It would have made my first year, or even years, easier.

1 comment:

  1. I took my TESOL in Korea, courtesy of Juseong University in Cheongju. It did have all of the things that Flint talked about, but it wasn't too difficult.
    I was the only foreigner in the class, the rest of the students being hagwon teachers. Naturally, the instructors had to "dumb it down" for them. All of the exam questions were given beforehand, so all a guy had to do was memorize the answers. Very Korean.
    There were two foreign instructors, and one Korean professor.
    The foreigners were OK, but sometimes my attention would wander when some things were being explained to the rest of the class.
    The Korean professor was a bit of a trial. He did select a text for the calss, which he promptly told us would not be necessary for class. He would be e-mailing handouts to us to study for discussion in class.
    The handouts were e-mailed to us the day before his class, so I would not get a chance to look at them until I was finished work, at home, getting dinner, and unwinding from the day. In the perfect mood for studying ESL theory.
    So I would arrive at class, not really ready to contribute in a meaningful way. It didn't really matter, because his lectures were...obtuse. He would bring up things that caused all of us to stare at him like a deer in the headlights. Some of it was useful, but getting to the meat of his lecture was kind of a hit and miss procedure.