Thinking out loud here.
That is a quote by Seth Godin. I am not sure what he means exactly. And in this post I am going to try to think about what that means to me as I have a marketing problem because I feel like people are just not getting my message on ESLinsider.
You’re probably anxious about going abroad. You don’t know who to trust and you are probably not sure what you need. You want to make a change and you want a job, but it’s a whole new beginning and I have to say the challenges that you are having right now aren’t going to go away when you get a job.
In fact if your experience is anything like mine then your challenges are going to increase when you get abroad and start teaching. Sorry to say that. I know it’s not what you want to hear, but it’s part of the truth. Teaching is hard and it’s especially hard when you have no experience.
Yes, there’s excitement that comes with something new, but it wears off and if you are not enjoying your day to day life then you won’t be very happy.
That’s why I made this course. It’s because I want you to have a better experience teaching than I had.
Look if you just want to get a job then you don’t always need a certificate to do so, but if you just want a certificate to check the box then go to Groupon.
The reality is that on paper TEFL certificates are viewed mostly the same by most employers. The brand doesn’t really matter. Sure some schools may be familiar with some brand names, but they are in a different country and they don’t really care about certificates.
What do they care about?
Many schools just want a good teacher and 99% of schools value experience more than any certificate. A certificate is just a piece of paper that shows that you supposedly learned something. “Supposedly” is the key word because if it’s a low quality course without any teaching observation, feedback and it’s just not targeted towards who you will be teaching then you probably won’t remember much of it.
And it’s the same if you chase the carrot – the certificate.
It’s like that saying that life is a journey and not a destination. It’s the same with a course.
And it’s not all your fault.
It’s the education system. It’s focused on ends too like grades and useless archaic info to memorize that just goes in one ear and out the other. With TEFL courses that useless info is called studying English grammar and teaching theory.
The 2 other courses I have taken were boring and impractical. I learned a lot of… well I shouldn’t say learn because most of it went in one ear and out the other.
I took a TESOL course before I went to Taiwan (my first country) in 2004 and if I remembered right it was “accredited”, claimed to be “internationally recognized”, said it was a 120 “hour” TESOL course and offered a “guaranteed job”…
I later realized that none of those things mattered and the whole “hour” thing was a bit of BS and I could find more jobs on my own if I just looked.
So what mattered?
The teaching is what matters. What you learn in the course is what matters. The process matters.
“Don’t do it for proof, do it because the learning itself is worth it.” – Seth Godin