Get certified or nah?
A big decision I had to make once I knew I wanted to teach English in Spain is whether or not to get my TEFL certification. The Spanish government does not require language assistants to take the course, so it was a matter of personal choice. Ultimately, I chose to enroll in the course, but not before making a classic pros and cons list!
Let’s start with the cons. Right off the bat, this course isn’t cheap. It took some of my savings to cover the cost and it hurt. I took my course through CIEE and it was $1,000 for a 10-week class: 150 hours including a 20 hour practicum. Additionally, it was time-consuming. I took this course while working a full-time job, so I would come home and work for 2 hours minimum on the unit. I put in more work than I expected and I was exhausted at the end of each day.
On the other hand, I learned so much during the 10 weeks and I felt more prepared for my job. Despite the price, you get a lot of value and material from the class. Also, even though I don’t plan on teaching for the rest of my life, I have the ability to teach ESL in other countries (or even online for extra money!). I love traveling and immersing myself in other cultures and having this certification gives me an advantage for other opportunities. Lastly, I connected with a network of people going through the same process who were traveling to all corners of the world. In fact, one of the girls was also coming to Madrid and we met up when we arrived!
In the end, I'm happy with my decision to get certified. So if you want to teach English as a foreign language, do a little research into the requirements and weigh your own pros and cons to see if the course is right for you!