I love to travel. I mean, who doesn’t? but a ten-day tour to the Caribbean or a week on a beach in Florida never really satisfied my wanderlust. However, no one was lining up to pay me to hop on a plane and travel the world, so I had to find my own way.
I was born lucky. Let me explain, I am lucky because I was born into a native English speaking country, with a British passport. This meant that I could travel with very few restrictions. It also meant that without even trying I had a skill that was marketable around the world. I spoke English.
English is a global language. In fact, we should be correct here and say Englishes. English has developed across the globe and has made its way into every boardroom on the planet (probably).
This is why I chose to train to become a teacher of English. I knew that being a native speaker was not enough, so I started to look around for courses. I found a teacher training course quickly, and within the first few hours of the course, it became apparent how much there was to learn. People assume that teaching their own language must be easy; after all, we have no problems speaking it. However, it is a difficult task and in many ways undervalued.
I loved my course. It gave me confidence in my own abilities and motivation to learn. The course was intense and I remember feeling so exhausted. My mother would come around to my apartment and clean for me, make me food, do my laundry because there was no available time. still, putting the exhaustion aside, I learned skills, I learned about different cultures and I learned of all the new career possibilities that I had open to me.
At the end of the month, a shiny new certificate in hand, I started my journey into teaching and into the wide world. Teaching took me to South America, where I swam in the Amazon and taught 3 years olds endless repeats of Heads, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes. It took me to Africa where I watched the Dervishes whirl, saw the sun set over the Nile and saw wild animals graze.
As the years passed my passport filled up with stamps and visas. I taught a wide range of courses and took further training. I had found a career that could be challenging but rewarding. My next step took me into teacher training, and this time I could apply my skills and knowledge to the next group of teachers coming through. Graduation day was always special, but I was a little envious of those heading off to new climes for the first time.
Being a teacher is an amazing job, but being a teacher of English is really a lot of fun. It is a job that turns you into an ambassador, a travel guide and a mentor. I really wish that everyone had the opportunity to work around the world, I think that I learn as much as my students. So my final words of wisdom today, go, get qualified and get your passport ready. Become a teacher and travel the world.