What position do you hold at TEFL Campus? What has been your career path so far?
I started teaching in Thailand in 2004 before going to work in South Korea. After having been to Thailand, I really wanted to get back so I took a job teaching science in Sriracha (home of the famous Sriracha sauce). I was asked to become an online TEFL course tutor in 2007 before becoming an onsite trainer in 2008. I was named the course's Lead Trainer in 2011 and now I'm the Course Director.
Did YOU teach abroad? If so, where and what inspired you to go?
I got hooked on travel after studying abroad in college. My university studies were great, but what I learned during one semester in Europe provided me with more lessons than any classroom could have. Taking that a step further, I graduated from college and figured I'd start my life-long learning by living and working aboard. I haven't looked back since.
What does the future hold for TEFL Campus -- any exciting new programs to share?
The future is bright. We're always looking for ways to provide a more rewarding experience for our trainees. TEFL training is the first priority, but the weekends offer chances for travel and other experiences.
We're working on including a Thai language course, as well as a Thai cooking course. We've also started a partnership with a professional training company that will offer one-day seminars on emergency first aid response. We feel all of these are great complements to our main TEFL training course.
What about the future of the teach abroad industry? Have you noticed any big changes in TEFL courses?
To be honest, I'm a bit worried by all the online courses. They can be great for experienced teachers and for those who've already undergone in-class training. However, if you've never been in the classroom and never received feedback on your teaching, how are you to know if you're doing it right? Practice makes perfect, but practice is pointless without a good coach, or a trainer in this case.
If there's one thing that our trainees agree on, it's that they don't see how anyone can teach English without having a bit of guided experience in the classroom first.
Which teach abroad destination is most underrated? Conversely, which is most overrated?
That depends on one's circumstances, interests and needs.
Countries like South Korea or Saudi Arabia are great for those who need to earn a lot of money but they can be rough on those who are looking for more adventure and time for travel. Conversely, countries like Italy, Argentina and Thailand are excellent for anyone who wants to explore local history and culture, but if you need to save a lot of your salary, accomplishing these goals can be difficult.