TEFL Adventures with English in Action
Ever wondered what it's like to be a TEFL teacher? Let me share with you the story of my TEFL adventures with English in Action.
So, back in the early '90s, after getting my degree as a middle school teacher, I decided to embark on a year-long TEFL position in Greece. That's where my journey with teaching English abroad began! From there, I taught in Spain, Italy, and Austria, enjoying the diverse experiences.
Then, one day while I was in England, I stumbled upon an intriguing company called 'English in Action.' The name caught my attention, so I applied, and a few weeks later, I found myself attending an induction for new teachers in Canterbury. It was exciting yet overwhelming, with so much information and meeting new people.
Fast forward over 14 years, and guess what? I'm still with English in Action! My role has evolved, and now I spend half the year traveling across Europe, teaching and supervising other teachers. During my downtime, I contribute to blogs and handle various tasks for the company, like writing materials.
Let's talk about my first week with English in Action. Over a hundred people attended the induction, and we all flew out, still blurry-eyed from the early morning flights. I was heading to Eisenstadt, Austria, which was to be the first week of a seven-week contract, hopping from one town to another each weekend.
Contracts with EiA can be short or long, depending on the schools' needs and teacher availability. When I arrived in Eisenstadt, we had a meeting with the Director Of Studies, David, who introduced us to our teaching partners and helped plan our lessons for the week. We mostly follow course books designed by the company, but we can add our own touch to make the classes engaging.
The teaching days were action-packed, filled with games, activities, and fun, all focused on learning by doing. It can be a bit stressful at first, but once you get the hang of it, the week flies by!
One of the unique aspects of EiA is that after finishing one contract, we move on to a new town and school on Monday. The weekends can involve travel, sometimes just an hour away, and other times, it might be an eight-hour journey to a different country.
The social aspect of working with EiA is fantastic! I've met people from diverse backgrounds, ranging from their twenties to their seventies, all connected by their love for teaching and travel. We socialise in the evenings, explore the towns, and sometimes put on a show or presentation for the students at the end of the week.
Now, I won't lie, it can be challenging, and there are pros and cons. On the one hand, EiA provides all the teaching materials, and contracts can be flexible in terms of duration. However, it might not be the best fit for teachers who prefer complete autonomy over their teaching approach or those who want to see long-term student development.
Overall, it's a unique and addictive teaching environment. If you're up for an adventure, English in Action might just be the place for you!
Check out their website for more info and how to apply. Happy teaching!
Written by Larry Walder