Jon Grenier in from Canada and completed our Trinity CertTESOL course in Prague in September 2017. In this blog post, he describes his experience on the course and the community in Prague and how he is earning a steady income while teaching English online.
A few questions come to mind when I think about my time with Oxford TEFL, like why did I choose this particular program, across the world in a country I’d never visited before? What did I learn and see while in Prague? What does it all mean to me three or more months later?
Some answers are easier than others. I chose Oxford TEFL in Prague because I did my research. I looked at online reviews, I saw what the courses were offering and where the courses were being offered, and I made a choice. Simple! If you’re reading this, you’re probably doing the same thing, and looking for some hot tips and details about life in Prague while learning how to Teach English as a Foreign Language.
The best part about taking the course at Oxford TEFL was the community. Our group was lucky in how big it was, a total of twenty future teachers. When we weren’t in class teaching students or relearning things we’d long forgotten ourselves – like how to conjugate future perfect or what the heck a 2nd conditional actually was – we were out exploring the city and the many pubs Prague has to offer ($2.50 a pint is not bad). I fell in love with old Town Prague, especially at night, walking the cobblestone streets and watching buskers.
But you don’t need to have such a large group to make friends. The Czech students are delightful, eager, and fun. You’ll find they want to share things about Prague and learn things about your home almost more than they want to learn English. And there’s no one better to ask about where to find good beer and food.
Probably the most valuable part of the course is the teaching practice. Believe me, it’s nerve wracking at first, but the tips we got from the tutors and the techniques we stole from each other were invaluable. We went from wondering “How the heck can we fill forty-five minutes of teaching?” to “Why can’t we have a bit more time with these students?” The best advice I can give is be patient, be prepared, and be open. The students will surprise you and your lessons will be more fun if you let them develop naturally rather than sticking to a strict formula.
But where does the program leave you after you’ve done your teaching, taken your tests, and drank your share of pints? As corny as this line is, it really does leave you with opportunity. Right away, my inbox was flooded with opportunities in Prague from schools eager for new, professional-minded teachers. After the class, I travelled from Prague to Dusseldorf to Vietnam, and I was offered work both in Europe and Asia. I personally love the idea of travelling so much that I took work online. I teach Chinese students online, while travelling anywhere I want. Right now, I’m planning a trip across Europe and back to Prague for a bit, to catch up with friends I made at Oxford TEFL, all while earning a nice income.
I don’t want to go on and on here. You have other blogs to read before you choose where to earn your Trinity CertTESOL. I can only sing the praises of the tutors at Oxford TEFL (they were kind, intelligent, and helpful, with amazing advice built on unique experiences), the program itself, and the students who take classes there. If you’re keen to see the world, you could do a lot worse than starting in Prague, exploring Petrin Hill and eating at Mr. Hot Dog (believe me, it’s delicious).
This was a great course and one I definitely recommend to you and anyone interested in teaching English. Have fun! And enjoy what could be the beginning of your next big adventure.