When we graduated 2 years ago, we knew we didn’t want to go down the standard path of getting a job related to our degrees straight away. I studied Spanish and Maths and Ryan studied Biochemistry. Neither of us had a clue what job we would actually want to do, and we were sure we didn’t want to end up in some boring office/lab job or doing something we didn’t enjoy.
Before we met we both had an idea of living abroad after university, so it was great to decide to do that together. I had considered teaching English before, and when we met someone who had been teaching in Vietnam for years we were really inspired to go for it.
A month after we graduated we did a CELTA qualification to teach English abroad, and a few days after we finished we jetted off to Hanoi. It was the best decision we ever made. We discovered a real passion for teaching, and now we plan to teach English indefinitely all around the world. Here are the reasons why we teach English abroad.
It allows us to travel the world
Learning English is in high demand across the world, so teaching English is a really great way to combine work and travel. That was one of the main concerns we had about getting into a graduate job, we didn’t want to be stuck to one place. But with teaching English there are so many options! We’ve already taught in Hanoi and now we are about to start teaching in Valencia, Spain. After this, who knows where we’ll be? We keep thinking of new countries we want to teach in, from Asia to South America.
It gives us an insight into the culture
Unlike travelling around from place to place, when you teach English you tend to stay in one place for a long period of time. We were teaching in Hanoi for a full year, which meant we learnt so much about the culture in our day to day lives. On top of this, we also learnt an incredible amount from teaching Vietnamese children. I would always ask my students about traditions around the different holidays and we even did a topic lesson all about their Lunar New Year celebrations.
Before starting teaching, I’d heard so much about how fun it was, and how everything can be made into a game. I couldn’t believe it when I taught my first class and realised it was true, it is bags of fun! I’m so glad I get to teach in such a fun environment, by playing games and singing songs, rather than sitting in a boring classroom with the students copying words. The more I teach, the more I wish I had been taught in this way at school. I really believe it’s the best way to learn and teach, by being enthusiastic and getting to do fun and silly things from the minute you enter the classroom. In some ways it feels like being a kid again.
With teaching, one day is never the same as the next. Yes you may sometimes teach the same words or grammar, but one class you can be teaching 3 year olds and the next teenagers or adults. Even if you just teach one age range, there are always new ways to mix it up and teach something differently. There is just so much variety from day to day that I think it would be very difficult to get tired of teaching English. Especially if you are moving to teach in different countries every so often, the teaching styles and ages are always going to be different.
It’s a learning curve
When I started teaching I really didn’t have a clue what I was doing. Yes I had done a qualification, but that was mainly based on teaching adults, and I was teaching children so it was entirely different. The beauty of teaching is that you learn so much on the job and you never really stop. Everyone has a different teaching style and that takes a while to figure out. The great thing is you can try new things and see what works for you. There is no shame in trial and error, in fact in my opinion it’s a big part of teaching. There have been times when I tried something new and it went horrendously and I gave up on it and other times when a new activity went amazingly and really helped the students progress.
These are the main reasons why we teach English abroad. I am going to write more specific information about teaching in Hanoi and in Spain soon so follow us on social media to keep up to date.
Do you teach English abroad or are you thinking of teaching English abroad? Do you have any questions about it? Let us know in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you!
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