In 2011 I travelled to Timor Leste because I had heard of a village outside of Dili, high in the mountains, where I could teach English to children, as a volunteer. Being a woman of nearly 60 years with no previous teaching experience, this was to be quite an adventure and certainly something I never would have contemplated had I not completed the Foundation Course with ATA. The course provided me with valuable information, such as how to identify what TESOL level the students might be working at, how to use realia [whatever happens to be easily available e.g. flowers for colour lessons], how to plan lessons according to the time allocated, what methods are used to keep focus and interest, and how to reinforce the learning. Also, what topics might be appropriate and why, and so much more.
I mostly taught large classes [up to 50] year 7 students. The children were polite, helpful and enthusiastic; we drew pictures, sang songs and laughed a lot.
I also taught a year 12 class which was much smaller. These young adults were full of questions, focused, keen for conversation and excited about the possibilities of great careers in front of them. It was an absolute pleasure to teach them and to spend my time in such a constructive and rewarding way.
In 2012 I found myself in Myanmar [Burma], [now with some previous experience and growing confidence thanks to ATA], at a Monastery teaching English to Monks between the ages of 18-24 years. Many of the Monks had come from remote villages, their aim being very clear, they were keen to get an education, English being a very important part of that education.
It was an amazing experience for me to teach and observe the daily life style of the Monks in their Monastery and of the world nearby in the village. On arrival to class each day I was greeted with huge smiles and welcoming questions, the time in class flying by, as the Monks were so enthusiastic about the lessons.
The ATA TESOL course has enabled me to travel, experience, live and volunteer in a most rewarding and special way, my life has been enhanced.