As part of my soon-to-be expat journey, I’m getting my certification in teaching English as a foreign language. As I’ve said in other places, this is something people around me have been telling me would happen for years but I never thought it possible or even desirable. I’m still skeptical as to whether I would be a good teacher or even enjoy teaching, but in getting this certification, I can try it out and learn the skills that would make me a good teacher. To be fair, I’ve also constantly felt like I’m a bad student, and yet here I am graduating with highest honors from university next week, so feeling like I won’t be good at something has proven to be a poor indicator of whether or not I’d actually be good at something.
I have a background in linguistics thanks to my degree, so the technical aspect of knowing the language isn’t as daunting to me as setting up lesson plans, partially because I’ve always had trouble fitting any kind of scripted talking to a specific set amount of time. So keeping a lesson plan to about 45 minutes each is something I foresee as being a challenge to me.
But isn’t that why I’m doing this in the first place? Because I want more of a challenge for myself? What more of a challenge than moving abroad to work in a field I think won’t come easily to me?
I’ll be participating in The Language House’s May-June program in Prague, so I’ll be arriving in about a month to get started. We have to complete a series of grammar tests before we arrive, each with perfect scores, the content of which should be committed to memory before arrival. I’ve completed the tests, and have compiled the information for study. For now, there’s plenty of time around final projects and graduating and packing to make sure all the information is in my brain somewhere.
I’m excited and a little nervous. About my performance in the course, about my job prospects, about whether or not it’s something I’ll actually enjoy after being skeptical for so long. But I’m giving it a proper chance, and the nature of my visa will be such that if I don’t really like it after all, I’m not limited to just this field in order to make a living. So I do have a kind of fail-safe in place, and other fields I may pursue if this doesn’t work out. I just have to remind myself of that more often.
I’ve already applied for a few jobs and am waiting to hear back. Not expecting anything right away, but the thrill of having my CV out there is enough to feel like I’m making serious progress. So we’ll see how it goes.