One of my many plans for The Best Ticher this year is to showcase some other voices, not just my own. After all, I’m not the only EFL teacher out there! To kick off my new series of ‘Interview with an EFL Teacher’ posts, I’d like to introduce my friend (and former colleague) Allison.
Allison is an EFL teacher from Long Island, New York. She did her CELTA in Wroclaw, Poland and currently works in Prague, Czech Republic. In her free time, Allison likes to read, draw, do arts and craft projects and play on her ukulele.
Hi Allison, thanks for agreeing to answer some questions for my site!
So, first thing’s first, the big question: why TEFL?
One of the big reasons I chose TEFL was because I knew someone who had done it; my sister! She taught in Prague and in Japan. She really loved the experience and culture in the countries she was in and inspired me to travel and teach!
Did you have any teaching experience before taking your CELTA?
Yes, actually I did! Before I did CELTA, I received a Master’s in Science in Elementary Education (aka: Teaching Primary School Children). I looked for some jobs after I graduated, but I was a little nervous. I kept asking myself if teaching in one place was what I wanted to do. Before settling down, I wanted to travel. Teaching and travelling seemed like the best option for me. It made me excited to think about the possibilities of living and teaching in another country.
What was your next step after receiving your certificate?
After I got my CELTA, I stayed in Poland for at least a month in order to find a job as soon as possible. While I applied to jobs, it gave me the opportunity to travel around central Europe.
What’s been your favorite teaching moment?
My favorite teaching moment was when I taught in pre-school in Prague. One day, I arrived to class and a little girl came up to me, grabbed me by the hand and showed me a picture she drew. She pointed out the colors that we learned the week before and said them in English. I gave her a high five and she grinned.
I also love singing songs to my pre-school and primary school children. It’s wonderful to hear them hum the songs that we learned and then they sing it for you. ^_^
What’s the most useful thing you’ve learned?
The most useful thing I learned was that experience is valuable. The more practice, support and resources I got, the more I grew in my teaching skills.
Is there anything you wish you’d changed or done differently?
No, not really. I don’t regret anything and I think everything I learned helped me to become a better teacher.
If you could give one piece of advice to a new teacher, what would it be?
Be patient. The art of teaching is not mastered overnight.
Complete this sentence: “Teaching English abroad is…”
Teaching English abroad is life changing, yet rewarding.
Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions Allison!