Are these your excuses for putting off doing the TESOL course? Rach delves into the main ones finding possible solutions.
Missed previous blogs in this series? Catch up here:
As of now I am only two course lessons away from completing the whole certificate! I am so excited.
One of the biggest barriers for those who want to quit their jobs and work online, is finding the time to build a business or complete a course while still doing their regular work. Most people can’t afford to just quit and then decide what they are going to do, and that is why completing an eTEFL certificate might be perfect for you! If you are worried about trying to squeeze everything in, I hope that my experiences will give you the self-belief that you can do it, and that within weeks you may be able to quit your job and start earning money teaching English online.
In the previous blog, I talked about how I focussed on completing the first lessons in the evening after dinner, which I did quite easily. For the past two weeks I have tried to simulate other ways busy people with a lot of commitments may need to finish the course. So I did one week of completing what I could of the course during a one hour allocated lunch time, and then another where I replicated catching public transport, to and from work and completing course work while on a mobile phone.
Here’s what I found!
Studying at Lunch Times
If you work in an office environment with your own computer it is very easy to just jump on to it and munch away at your lunch while watching the required videos, reading the additional information and completing the assessment. It is easy to note where you are and return to it the next day if you don’t get through all the content in one sitting. If you are likely to get interrupted, I would suggest completing the assessment tasks at home so you can focus.
However; if you can get yourself to a park or library, even if you don’t have access to a computer, you can use your mobile phone! The eTEFL course website is very mobile friendly, and I was able to watch the required videos, download the supporting documents and complete the assessment all on my phone.
If you don’t work in an office environment or find it hard to get some peace and quiet, completing the course during your lunch time is probably not for you. While the content slowly builds up and isn’t instantly difficult you do need to be able to concentrate on the course which may be difficult if you are on a building site or a large cafeteria where there is a lot of distractions.
Studying on Public Transport
Okay, so I am in a remote area of Portugal at the moment, and I work from home so not much opportunity to use public transport. I tried my best to mimic what the conditions on public transport would be, some background noise, having to work on a tablet or smartphone and possibly only being able to study for 30 minutes at a time. As mentioned above working on my Samsung smartphone was really easy. I just popped in some headphones to watch the videos and was able to download the course work easily. My only suggestion is that if you have limited data and no access to wifi on your commute, that you download the PDF’s of the class before you leave home or work as some of the files are quite large (which is expected with all the content they have!). I was even able to complete the online assessment on my phone. By having access to everything the course offers in the online classroom on either your PC, laptop or mobile device it really means you can complete this course anywhere, and anytime.
If you are planning on completing your certificate while commuting to and from work I would suggest you don’t do bits and pieces while waiting for your bus or train as you might end up missing important pieces of information. I would suggest you need at least 30 minutes of study time so you can actually grasp the content, I don’t think doing it in 10 or 15 minute blocks would be beneficial for you, or for your students when you start delivering classes.
Time and money are two of the biggest barriers to potential ESL teachers getting started, the third is whether an online TESOL/TEFL course will provide them with the knowledge to actually teach English. I will cover that in the next part of this blog series!
Excuse #1: No Time – “I’m too busy, I don’t have the time”
I believe I have shown you here that you can get started today, and complete your certificate even if you are busy with work and family commitments. The course is well written enough and simple enough to follow at your own pace that if you can find a little bit of time every day, you will be a qualified ESL teacher before you know it. Many people acknowledge that they spend too much time in front of the TV or computer or on their phone, but this certificate will actually help you change your life just by changing a few habits in the short term so you can get your certificate completed.
Perhaps you could find the time by spending a little less time on Facebook and invest more time in yourself and advancing your skills?
Or maybe on the train trip to and from work, you could put the book or newspaper aside (or just not fall asleep!) and put the time to constructive use?
I have been asked how long it can take to complete the certificate, and I asked that of Jody, the owner of eTEFL, and he answered that everyone is different, which is true. Some people have a lot of time to be able to sit down and study consistently, others are fast readers (like me), others have procrastination issues (also me) but Jody did tell me that some students complete the course in as little as 14 days, and that the maximum is 6 months. No-one can judge how long it will take YOU to complete the certificate but one thing is certain:
Remember, the longer you take to make the decision to start, the longer it will be until you finish.
Excuse #2: No Money –
“I can’t afford it”
Most ESL teaching roles with online platforms start with a minimum of US$15 an hour and continue up to US$25+ an hour! That is more than most people are earning while having to drive to and from work dealing with traffic and coworkers they don’t like. Doing a TESOL/TEFL certificate really is an investment in your future but as mentioned it can be a barrier to those who want to do it. That is one of the reasons eTEFL is so great! You could be earning more money than you do now, from the comfort of your own home.
In actual fact, you could sign up for the course today and start applying for jobs immediately! Just put on your resume that the TESOL Certificate is ‘In Progress’. If it takes a few days for the recruiters to come back to you, you may have been able to complete a few of the modules by then already and this would be enough for some recruiters to see you’re serious about becoming a ESL teacher. You could literally be earning money at the time you’re finishing the TESOL certificate, so it could have paid for itself a few weeks after that!
What’s stopping you? If you’re worried about whether you can actually teach English, read the next blog in the series which will explain what you will learn in the eTEFL certificate course, and how I think it will help when starting to teach English.