Decision Making Process
Today’s article is written for the Reach To Teach Teach Abroad Blog Carnival, a monthly series that focuses on providing helpful tips and advice to ESL teachers around the globe. The host for this month is Sarah Steinmetz, here you can find other similar articles. I’ll be posting a new ESL related article to this blog on the 5th of every month. Check back for more articles, and if you’d like to contribute to next month’s Blog Carnival, please get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll let you know how you can start participating!
Graduating with a degree in Sociology can leave you with a new perspective on the world, but it is also one of those subjects that doesn’t exactly have a specific job at the end of it. It pretty much applies to everything, as it is woven into all aspects of society, but if you are as indecisive as I am, this can actually work against you.
So there I was, university was over, this protective bubble I had been living it up in for 3 years had been pierced and the real world was gushing in at a rate I most certainly wasn’t comfortable with. I felt like decisions had to be made fast or I was going to drown. I originally decided to try to take my background in care work and use that to perhaps become a social worker. This isn’t what I wanted to do, but that sphere was filling up fast and I was running out of air.
Then one day I went for a small family dinner with my aunty and my two cousins, now my aunty has had a very positive influence in my life, she guided me onto the right path to get to university and she has become somewhat a bit of a life guru, a less green and more lean yoda.
It was during this dinner that the subject of my future came up, as I knew it would, and after going through all of the options that I thought I wanted to do, but, really, didn’t want to do, my aunty reminded me that I once wanted to be a teacher, something that I had somehow miraculously forgotten. Then it all came back to me, before going to university I was set on being a teacher, the three years at university swept me up into the whirlwind of other people’s ideas of their own future and somewhere along the way my teaching dream got swept away.
So there it was, one fateful dinner with my yoda-but-not-yoda aunty had once again put me on the path to my future. So I took this new found destiny and I played with it and shaped it, stretched it, twisted it, and slowly but surely molded it into my own version of what I wanted it to be. That is how I came on to the idea of teaching abroad in ESL.
I have always had the travel bug within me, lurking there, laying dormant, waiting for the right time to sting me with its barb. But I have always been of the mind that it just wouldn’t happen. Excuses always seem to come up to delay or put myself off the idea. Excuses such as: ‘I won’t be able to afford it’, ‘it will take way too much organizing’ and ‘there’s way too much to think about’. Here’s a word of advice, these thoughts are demons and you should extinguish them from your mind as soon as you can. This is your mind throwing up rationality to keep you in the safe zone. Get out of the safe zone.
So the plan for me was to come away and teach English abroad for a year to gain some valuable experience and then head back to England to begin a career in teaching. Now things went a little off with my first teaching experience in Bali, so I switched to teaching English in Taiwan, and it was bliss ever since.
So if I was to give some nuggets of advice to the readers out there that are thinking about teaching English abroad I would say that in the absence of a yoda-aunty you should take my advice and not listen to the little voices of doubt in your head, they only serve to hinder you. What you should do is research, take a look at how easy or difficult it is to teach in the country you wish to teach in. Find out about the country to minimize any surprises, check out the Reach To Teach page to learn more about teaching English in Taiwan, China, Vietnam, South Korea, Singapore or the UAE.
The more you think about it, the longer it will take you to get out on your teaching adventure. Be careful not to delay for too long.