Chalkboard is i-to-i's TEFL community.
It is currently still in testing phase which could mean you find the odd bug!
Q: What is i-to-i Chalkboard? A: It's the online community of TEFL specialists
The last time I counted, which was early November 2011, I'd taught more than 2300 students in my eight years as a TEFL teacher. That's a lot of lost looking faces, funny English accents, and spur of the moment questions that I've had to answer. I'm not saying I'm the most intelligent TEFL teacher, only last week I really grasped the difference between subject and object questions, but I can offer some advice to those willing to learn. Check out my blog http://teachingenglishinaforeignland.blogspot.com/
After doing a TEFL course in London with St Giles College in 2003, I bought a one way ticket to Australia with a stop off in South America. I left alone and without any job prospects but I was pumping with adrenaline; my new life living abroad was about to start.
My first job was in Quito, Ecuador, where I got paid $2 an hour for teaching feisty Ecuadorian teenagers. I wasn't interested in the money, teaching was fun and I got a buzz from helping them. It was so much better than the pressurized sales jobs that I'd escaped from. After three months teaching in Quito I was hooked.
I travelled overland to Salvador (getting robbed in Rio on the way) and was lucky enough to get more work just before the carnival. I stayed for four months and really fell in love with teaching, and Brazil.
My time in Sydney wasn't such an adventure, but I learnt a lot teaching vigorous Chinese students. I saved up enough (the pay was pretty good) for an amazing three week trip up the east coast, and shot off to Bangkok where I'd lined up a job.
I was met by a strict Catholic nun, my new boss, who pummeled me into shape, or at least she tried, and that's where I first learnt how to teach younger learners. Despite being in Thailand for the Tsunami, which I almost ended up in, my seven months teaching was amazing. I loved teaching tiny, funny kids who were smiling all day. I saved up enough for a six-week overland trip through Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, China, and then to Moscow on the Trans-Mongolian Railway. I returned to England a new man. I'd travelled the world and had become a teacher, but my thirst for adventure continued.
After the summer teaching in London, I head for Seville, Spain, where I've been ever since. That was six years ago and in September 2011 I got married to my Spanish wife, who, incidentally, used to be my student (she was 21 and I was 25 before you ask), but more on that later.
In my six years here I've really learnt how to teach thanks to some excellent training and a stiff hand from my boss. I know how to teach now, I get excellent results and my students like my classes, well, the majority of them who can be bothered to learn.
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