I’m retiring in 3 years and will have been a public school teacher for 20 years. I’d like to travel and teach abroad to help pay for expenses (plus that will help me immerse myself in the different cultures — most likely Central/South America). I’m wondering how much TESOL certification I need. Since I have so many years’ experience as a teacher, do I need to worry about how much practicum and/or in-class experience the training course provides? I want to be sure that whatever training I take will be worthwhile because I want it to be accepted, but I don’t want to waste my time and money getting more than I need.
5 September, 2017 at 14:20
Total posts: 770
With 20 years teaching experience you presumably already have the classroom management skills and confidence that are required in TESOL. As a result, employers shouldn’t need to see as much of a practical aspect to your training as someone new to teaching.
And this is true to an extent – many employees will take your experience into account. The problem is that many don’t necessarily think about the box and take individual merits and circumstances into account – some, for example, require a 4 week classroom based course with at least 6 hours of observed teaching practice. Full stop! They could perhaps argue that TESOL teaching is different to public school teaching, and so you need TESOL practicum as much as anyone else. This may or may not be the case (I’ve seen cases where it’s true and others where it’s not).
My personal opinion is that it would be worth taking a course which includes some teaching practice, if time and money permit. Another alternative is to take a cheaper course and then try and get some TESOL experience before you go, perhaps as a volunteer – a year of relevant experience (i.e. TESOL) can go a long way if you don’t quite tick the box in terms of the exact type of qualification.