When I decided to leave the corporate world to teach English in Asia, I knew it would be a challenge. What I didn't realize was how exciting and rewarding it would be as well.
I don't even know where to begin when talking about Samui TEFL. From the word "go", they were right on top of everything. When I sent my initial inquiry, I expected to wait a day or two. I had sent my inquiry on a Friday night, Saturday morning for Koh Samui. Within an hour, Rosanne had sent me an email with an introduction to the course. Attached was the answer to everything I could possibly think of that needed answered. Of course, being the person I am, I thought of other questions. Every question was answered quickly and professionally.
When I was trying to select a TEFL company to train with, I had set up a criteria list. Included in that list was: a challenging curriculum, a professional staff, experienced instructors, good support staff, and job placement. I also wanted to see reviews. I believe the best judge of a program is someone who has "been there, done that".
Challenging is not the word for this program. I could tell from day one that Kathryn (instructor) had a firm grasp on not just the English (especially grammar) language, but on what we needed to learn to be successful in the classroom. I am not just talking about Thailand. I am talking about ANY classroom where we may teach English as a foreign language. From Kathryn's teaching a segment in Italian, to spending extra time on a particular subject...Kathryn was there!
No good course can be successful without good back of the house support. Once again, Samui TEFL came through like a champ. The first day, we were introduced to Ashleigh. She is another great player on the Samui TEFL team. She pulled our CV (resume) and started working on each one individually. Ashleigh took the time to restructure and set them in a way that prospective employers could see the information they needed. She also coordinated with a local agent to talk to us about teaching in Thailand. It was a good conversation, as he wasn't selling his services. He answered questions about teaching in Thailand and what to expect. Ashleigh (like Kathryn) worked odd hours to support the class as was needed.
All three constantly checked with members of my class to make sure that we were getting the training we needed. They also supported those of us that were seeking employment. By the time week three rolled around, I had 6 solid job offers. I was feeling a bit overwhelmed, as all had merit. Ashleigh was a great behind the scenes advisor. She took me aside and said, "quit looking for more jobs and choose one". I took her advice and quit looking at ajarn.com. I chose a direction to go and that is where I am.
I could keep writing stories about how the training was "dead-on" at Samui TEFL. From how Thai students would respond to us, to how fellow Thai teachers may be, they were right. The classroom control points were invaluable. The staff spoke to us extensively about what it was like to teach in Thailand.
Before I arrived at Samui TEFL, I knew where I was staying. A driver was sent to pick me up at the airport and take me to the hotel. The Samui TEFL know the local area VERY well. They know the places to see, the restaurants to eat at, the beaches, and the other islands. If they don't know the answer, they find out.
I completed my course in November, 2016. I waited to write my review, as I wanted to see how my skills match those who are teaching now. Before this course, I had never taught in a elementary school. I now teach 4-5 grade math/science. I also do private tutoring. I tutor 3 first graders. The owner of the school has asked me if I have time to do a class for some second graders. It would seem that the parents' of two of the first graders want me to take on their older children and had said something to their friends. The rate I am paid is higher then the standard rate paid for tutoring in this area. I attribute that to the style of teaching I use. Presentation-Practice-Production, A/B sticks, Drilling procedure, activities, hands on activities, and even lexis substitution. If you know these terms...you have been to Samui TEFL!
Oh and BTW....you stay in a tropical paradise for class!!