I am currently half way (ish) through my “Online teach yourself teaching others how to speak English without actually having grasped their native tongue (if indeed your own)”. Slow and diligent progress I make.

I must admit, Living Social had their way with me that day – £49 for a course worth £400. Yes – I can see myself now, teaching cute kids in the Philippines when whale shark season isn’t at its peak.

How I imagine my TEFL classes – but with more palm trees

So I signed up immediately and got stuck in. Then the intimidating Grammar Test loomed after Module 1. I saw it straight away and thought it a bit dramatic of an 8 Module course to put a Grammar test as the first hurdle. But then I thought, I know my own language, this’ll be grand. Unfortunately I don’t remember being taught grammar, it has always just been there; sometimes close to me, sometimes just a little bit out of reach. When in a rush, exhausted or in the company of white wine, grammar can be that elusive Wagon Wheel parked on the kitchen counter, and I the 4 year old fatty trying to grasp it.

So I postponed for a while, looking in to past participles and imperatives and trying to locate all the “Caecillius es in horto” stuff I learnt as a 12 year old in Latin. Perhaps it was my pride talking, but I really wanted to blitz this Mother Hubbard of a test (I do not like failing). The reason I signed up to the course was from a feeling that I wasn’t progressing or getting new qualifications or experience. So, by god, I wanted to be “the best TEFL student to ever take a grammar test having not studied linguistics ever”. In the end, trusty Wandsworth Library helped me out with an aptly named Rediscover Grammar and I nailed the test (obvy?!) 94%. I can neither confirm nor deny whether the said book was open.

Having been basking privately in this glory for about a month now, I feel I should see what Module 2 has to offer, seeing as I only have 7 months left to complete the course. I’ll give myself a 3 week deadline.

Whether I will use the qualification is yet to be decided (the thought of 20 seething 14 year olds’ eyes judging me might never cease to make me sweat). I know teaching would be thoroughly rewarding (see Jesus picture above. Also ref. Sister Act 2) but I can’t help thinking that rose-tinted glasses and Hollywood have blurred my vision so much that I cannot see the 7 year old weeing in the corner, nor the GCSE year’s Facebook page that announces a petition for “Miss Mayne needs a boob job” (like). Instead I see a class full of adoring cross-legged mini human beings singing the lyrics of “You Can Go Your Own Way” with me air-guitar soloing on my desk (also ref. School of Rock).

However, whether I put the learning into practice is not why I signed up. It is fear of stagnation, and doing a qualification at least exposes me to something new. Doing it in something that interests me is a bonus. But here I shall draw a line through being a teacher full time in the UK (despite those holidays…) for the following reasons: Desperate impatience and fear of children. Not sure I need any other reasons to throw this career path off the bridge.

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