Hello, amazing adventurers! My recent adventure involved taking a month-long TEFL class. (Kim, I believe you know all about that?) It was pretty intense, because I also started a new full-time job at the same time! Yeah, not smart, but here’s what happened- I paid for the TEFL class while on unemployment, thinking I would start a new career field teaching English as a Second Language here in Chicago. I’ve taught ESL as a volunteer for the past year, at a school on my block, and found it to be very rewarding. So I thought, why not get certified and make it a part-time job? I’d LOVE to go overseas and teach it, but since I have young kids, that’s not really an option until they’re grown. There’s lots of social-service organizations in Chicago that help refugees though, and I thought maybe I’d get a job at one of them, helping to settle new immigrants or something. My actual background is in substance-abuse counseling, however, and a job opportunity came along that I couldn’t pass up. It was everything I’d been looking for, so even though I could have stayed on unemployment, I decided to go for it. The TEFL school had warned that their class wasn’t meant for students with other jobs, but it was too late to get a refund and I figured I could handle it.
Well, this turned out to be an adventure in sleep-deprivation, too! LoL. First, my ex-husband agreed to keep the kids for the month of July, as there was no way I’d be able to do all this and be a mom. I felt really guilty about that, but knew the kids would be happier getting to play at their dad’s house rather than deal with me being so busy. Besides, he didn’t get to see them much and it was definitely an adventure in parenting for him to suddenly have them full-time. Hehe
My schedule was: Wake up at 4:30am, leave for work at 5, work 5:30-12:30, eat lunch, teach ESL from 2-3:30, class from 4-9:30pm, home by 10, an hour of homework/typing papers or lesson plans, hopefully asleep by midnight. Sometimes I did the homework at work during the day because I was too tired to do it at night. I was so out-of-it during the days, giving myself fake energy with sugar and caffeine.
Somehow I finished the class, with just 6 hours of practicum teaching time short of receiving my certificate. I’m going to finish it when classes start up again at the school near my apt. in September. I hate to say it, but I wasn’t as dedicated as I would have been, had I not been so tired or busy with working during the mornings.
It was definitely a great experience though, and I loved making new friends and learning about how to teach English as a second language. I recommend anybody go for it- but be careful/prepared if you already have a full-time job!
Thanks for reading 🙂