“I had a blast; always on the edge!” A recent TEFL graduate shares
Name: Saqeb Shahzad
What were you doing before your TEFL Course?
Before recently moving to Málaga, Spain I was working as a Marshall in Dubai Autodrome and importing cars from USA/Japan for my father’s car showroom in Dubai.
What made you decide to take the TEFL Course in Malaga, Spain?
The current ESL market in Spain has a huge demand for TEFL qualified teachers. After doing some research, I quickly figured that an accredited certificate such as the Trinity CertTESOL in Spain would be recognised by employers worldwide. I had just moved to Malaga and was pleasantly surprised to find that TEFL in Spain was right next door!
What was your overall experience on the TEFL Course?
I had a blast; always on the edge, waiting to be handed new tasks and assignments for my Trinity CertTESOL course in Màlaga. It kept me busy and motivated. I made the most awesome friends on the course and met great people, both staff and peers. TEFL in Spain has become a second home to me and THIS course was the best thing I had done in a very long time. I’d never in my life even considered becoming a Teacher, but within a couple of days I noticed a change in myself. It was unlike anything I had experienced before. My entire mood and presence in the school changed. I was energetic; I was undeniably passionate and dedicated to my work. My true character came to life! I came alive while teaching classes. Those moments reaffirmed my love for the English language, but above anything else, they helped me discover a hidden love of teaching and education that I never knew I had.
Were there any highlights or funny moments on the course?
There are so many memories to choose from. I shared many happy and funny moments with my peers and the Trainers on the course. However, one of those that comes to mind is when I was teaching a group of B2 Level students for my 5th teaching practice and I couldn’t pronounce the Spanish City ‘Torremolinos’ correctly. I literally got a pronunciation drilling session from my Spanish students and the course director along with some of my peers that were observing me. I got so embarrassed and nervous but eventually we all had a laugh later on. To this day some of my peers still remind me of the correct pronunciation of Torremolinos. I felt privileged to have such wonderful colleagues and very supportive trainers.
What have you been doing since gaining your TEFL qualification?
I had fallen in love with teaching. Armed with the information we were given in the TEFL in Spain Career Service session, I got straight to applying for teaching positions! On a Trinity CertTESOL course there is no time for procrastination. I would have previously considered myself a procrastinator and a perfectionist. I taught my first private class 5 minutes after I was informed that I passed the course. I lined up two interviews with schools that same week and I am currently employed part time in a school teaching young learners.
Where will you go from here and what are your future plans?
Following the course – the survival of which merits a post of its own – I will stay put, always near my second home (TEFL in Spain, Malaga). I will look for Jobs in and near Malaga. Coming from a place where the average temperature is 45 degrees, I love Malaga’s climate and the friendly people here make me feel very much at home. Since taking the course I have also now completed some of the additional Teacher Development courses offered by TEFL in Spain; Teaching Young Learners, Teaching Business English, Teaching Grammar and Teaching Cambridge Exams – I feel more qualified than I ever thought possible!
Do you feel TEFL has changed your life?
Oh, my goodness, everything I had expected from the Trinity CertTESOL at TEFL in Spain came true! The last week was definitely the easiest! They say the days will be long, but the month will be short…I can testify to this feeling! They say it’ll be extremely rewarding…this is an understatement! The amount of happiness and pride I have knowing that I have this certification is unexplainable. It was DEFINITELY a rough start. I won’t lie, at one point (during the first unknown language session) I questioned whether I had wasted money by taking this course. Now that it’s over, I have no question, in my mind; that it was worth it.
Even though it seems crazy that in only 4 or 8-weeks you could be an accredited English teacher – it is the case! I know that within the next few years of working, I will continue to learn. I’ll start to make more friends within this career-field who I can learn from too. Not to mention, all of the resources I now know about, that will help guide me in the right direction.
If you are interested in taking the Trinity CertTESOL course, I urge you to do it! You’ll be surprised at all you can do with this certification. At the very least, it’s a way to experience a new country and meet some cool people. The TEFL community is a special group of people with a lot of same interests. They are looking for a change of pace, to explore and travel, and they are willing to take risks! Not to mention, they are probably in the same boat as you are when it comes to finding a place in a new and exciting city such as Málaga!