Archive for August, 2012

Hurrying Up to Wait

Well, I’m about three weeks into this journey. I am working hard to satisfy all of the prerequisites to become a teacher in Asia. I have completed numerous applications and posted my resume on several reputable ESL websites. I’ve received a mixed bag of responses, but most said the same thing: do you have TEFL/TESOL certification? Background check? Passport?  I, recently, purchased an online TESOL course for $190 from International TEFL and TESOL Corporation. The course is 100 hours and most forums give it a decent rating for securing a job. I began the course modules on Thursday and am already about halfway through the entire thing. It is not light work by any means. I’ve never created a lesson plan or taught in a classroom. My only saving grace is I can eyeball errors and can dissect a sentence fairly easily. Proofreading is almost a gift and a curse. I’m that dude who notices your and you’re. And the use of s’s when they should be the American z’s. I am moving through this coursework fairly quickly and hope to complete it by week’s end. Two weeks ago, I submitted for a FBI background investigation and passport renewal. The process for both is in the four to six week range, so hopefully, I will get them back withing the coming week or three. I’m in a holding pattern, but my goal is to continue to put everything together while the various agencies peruse my sh*t. I’ve updated my resume and CV to reflect the course and plan on making further updates as I acquire more qualifications. The latest being my application to Arizona State University online graduate program. I have educational benefits remaining on my GI Bill and plan to use it to get a Masters in ESL. I have already contacted the Veteran representative and am going to begin in October. I want to do this regardless of whether, I’m hired by then or not. First, a Master’s degree makes me more attractive as a potential hire and I can occupy my time while I “hurry up and wait” for my documents to arrive. I’m really surprised with how quickly this has come together. I have started a HUGE life change in less than a month and it feels really good. It is totally one thought to the next thought to fruition for this. Like I’ve repeated, I don’t believe in preordained movement, but this is getting eerie. I’ve narrowed my choices of places I want to go to Korea, China and Spain. Korea is my main choice. I’ve found a wealth of information on teaching jobs there. Korea is also one of the countries with a lower cost of living and above the economy means teacher pay. It seems a long way away right now, but soon…soon.

THINGS HAPPEN FOR A REASON

I don’t believe in “things happen for a reason” or any of that mystical bullsh*t anymore. Truthfully, I look to be gainfully employed and doing something that I find rewarding in some way. Recently while job hunting/deciding on a program of study for a graduate degree, I stumbled across a website called Dave’s ESL Cafe. ESL, or English as a Secondary Language is my latest roll of life’s dice to see where I land. I majored in journalism and quite frankly burned out fairly quick after over five years of broil and toil. I tried the small daily newspaper and the large metro New York Times affiliate. I enjoy writing, but the smaller dailies don’t pay enough and the larger metros pay decent, but don’t allow for any rocking of the boat creatively. So after assessing two things I enjoy most, traveling and manipulating the English language, I decided to try teaching English. First, I thought to get a Master’s Degree in English from my Alma Mater, the University of Alabama. But what do you do with an English degree, except teach? So I looked at Education and thought, no way do I want to be saddled raising children in underfunded public schools in my hometown. I did a search for english jobs on the university website and discovered the aforementioned, basically an ESL blog. And I was amazed to see, hundreds of teach in China, teach in Pakistan, teach in Spain, teach in Korea ads. I had been approached several years ago to become a teacher, but had been set on becoming a journalist at a major newspaper. I didn’t realize that these types of positions exist. After browsing some of the forums located on the site, I found Korea to be one of the countries with a reputable influx of foreigners looking to see the world and teach young people. When I began, I had no idea this would become a viable option for my future. I found this website about seventeen days ago and have sent out over twenty applications, registered on several Teaching English as a Foreign Language job sites and spoken with teachers, recruiters and school administrators. So I guess, this may be something I want to pursue.