Thursday, March 17, 2011

35 TEFL Career Milestones


(Article from 2005. Back when dinosaurs roamed the Earth.)

The following is a list of typical career milestones for a TEFL teacher. How many have you achieved? How many will you achieve? Just tick them off, and see if you can consider yourself a full-fledged master of the game, or just another also-ran. (Note: these are in a likely, but not inevitable, chronological order)

* Your first job

* First time you make a kid cry in a children's class

* First time you are late for class

* First time you vow you won't end up like the losers you work with

* First time going to class without any preparation at all

* First temper tantrum with management over late paychecks or scheduling

* First 'relationship' with a student

* First time student breaks your heart

* First time you return to your home country and experience culture shock

* First angry posting about your employers on the Internet

* Second job

* First time going to class drunk

* First time going to class without any sleep

* First time going to class drunk and without any sleep

* Second relationship with student

* Second time student breaks your heart

* First time you vow never to date a student again

* Second time going to class drunk

* First time you vow never to go to class drunk again

* Third relationship with student

* Second vow never to date a student

* Third time going to class drunk

* Third job

* First time you vow to go home and straighten your life out

* Fourth job

* Second time you vow to go home and straighten your life out

* First time you realize you aren't qualified for or suitable to any other job

* Turning 30 abroad

* Fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth job

* First marriage to foreigner

* First child by foreigner

* First divorce

* First realization some of the younger people you work with think you're a sad old drunk bastard

* Second marriage

* Turning 40 abroad and peaceful zen-like acceptance of your lot in life

Score:

1 - 8 milestones achieved -- you're pretty much still a rookie

9-15 milestones achieved -- consider yourself a member of the gang

15 -25 milestones achieved -- you're a total pro, baby

25 - 30 milestones achieved --- man. You poor bastard.

5 comments:

Ricky said...

Ahh, on 14.

Just 1 more to make myself a pro. I guess I'll just have to fuck another student, instead of getting that CELTA.

Petits Choux said...

where do you fall etx?

Openmindedtraveler said...

I cant believe it but after teaching in Brazil for 6 months I think I have 1. passed and appreciated all the reasons for the English teacher aptitude test. 2. I think I have also scored at least 9 items on this list....its crazy. I have also experienced some of the disillusionment of working in this field for a school that wants to bitch at you for stupid shit....ignore the important shit...and make you life hell for the rest of the shit.
And to top it all off I LOVE it!! Give me more pain, be back next year when I can ge a new Visa for Brazil!!

Tom Phillips said...

9 so far. But I've made three students cry. Does that count as three?

Anonymous said...

One aspect lacking in the list is arriving at a newly established school with a management demented by greed and having absolutely no resources to work with.