Simona is a graduate of the ICAL TEFL 120-hour course. Simona graduated from the course in June 2015 after returning to Italy to teach English privately. Her great insight into how you can use this course to not only benefit yourself, but others as well, will provide some useful advice for those considering becoming a TEFL teacher.
Before completing your course, what were your aspirations for teaching once you had your TEFL certificate?
When I moved back to Italy, I started teaching English by giving private lessons to students who had difficulties at school. This experience made me realise how much I enjoyed teaching and how rewarding it was to see my students improve and be able to obtain better grades. That is why I decided to take this new career path and complete a TEFL course, so that I could become a qualified English teacher. My aspiration was that of teaching in the first and second grade schools, I liked the idea of spending a lot of time with children and teenage students and help them to gain a good knowledge of the English language.
How has your life changed since you completed your TEFL course?
Completing my TEFL course has given me the chance to apply for jobs as an English teacher in private schools. I went from teaching individual students to working with classes with more than one student, an experience from which I am learning on how to deal with various situations, like different ages or cultural backgrounds. Having my TEFL certificate has also helped me to change my economical situation, as I can now apply for more jobs in my area.
How are you using your TEFL certificate?
With my TEFL certificate I am currently teaching in private schools and in some companies where it is a job requirement for their employees to learn the English language. Unfortunately, I do not have a degree and, here in Italy, you cannot teach in state schools without it. But my experience in England and the TEFL certificate are giving me the opportunity to apply as Assistant for conversations in a foreign language in public schools, which is something I am working on at the moment.
For current TEFL students, do you have any tips or advice for once they have their TEFL course?
I’d suggest to current TEFL students to gain all the information on how they can use their TEFL certificate in their own country, as I am aware that not all countries have the same rules. They can also ask their local private schools if they are willing to employ them as trainee teachers, while taking their TEFL course. They will have a chance to gain experience in the teaching profession and also see whether it is something they really enjoy doing, as I believe the most important skill required to teach any subject is to have the passion for it.