Support for ESL Teachers

Support for ESL teachers thinking of going away to teach English in a new country is vital to helping a person make that big step into this grand new adventure. So who was there to help me? and how can I do my bit to help others?

Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 10.10.11 PMBefore coming abroad to teach English, there were many people I had to consult. I was about to embark on two new journeys, traveling to a foreign land and teaching a language. I needed advice and direction, but mostly, I needed those reassuring voices letting me know I was making the right decision.

There’s a lot of time, money and sacrifice that goes into this. What if it doesn’t work out? What if I hate it? Or dare I ask…what if I FAIL? These are the emotional waves that we all go through before deciding to commit to this new life.

Foreseeing being in a foreign land for a whole year without anything common to you appears to be a grand undertaking. Furthermore, if you fail, you’ll feel like you’re even further behind in life than before you began. All of those questions, doubts and concerns were normal.

It wasn’t supposed to be easy, but along the way, we all found that there was a support system out there to help facilitate the process. Turn our questions to answers, console our doubts and relieve our concerns. That support system had already been through it and were now giving back to us, the untrodden, skittish prospect. Now it’s our turn, as we are the seasoned, well-versed vet. It’s our duty to give back.

They see, they ask

I’m not bashful about admitting that my journeys abroad have been broadcasted to the fullest extent on social media. It isn’t a matter of showing off, but instead, I am just proud of how I made it here. I also have friends who are truly curious about life in other parts of the world.

Sharing your journey through adventurous pictures and anecdotal stories has a stronger effect on observers than you’d imagine. When you start receiving private Facebook and Instagram messages, from close friends or people you hadn’t spoken to in ages, asking for tips on making a similar move, it adds enrichment to your purpose of being abroad.

Now you are in the position to shed light on a world others may have thought was unattainable, but by seeing you do it, it now gives them hope. Friends who are jaded with the daily routine and weren’t sure how to hit the reset button, you’ve now shown them a new avenue to take.

We become ambassadors of an alternative lifestyle after University. No longer is it just good enough to graduate and hop into your career. You can challenge the status quo by teaching English in another country and enjoy traveling for a few years.

The payoff

During my time abroad, I’ve already been responsible for two friends successfully completing their TEFL certification in foreign countries and beginning a life of teaching. Also, 4 other friends can happily say they’ve traveled abroad for the first time to Europe and Asia when they came to visit.

Add in the numerous private messages and those reading these blog posts, I know that I’ve touched a number of lives. Career-wise, I was a lost 25-year-old when I began this journey. Three years later, I’ve developed leadership, interpersonal and guidance skills that I look forward to applying to my next career.

Teaching made me realize that I want to continue to work around young people and now foster a career as a School Guidance Counselor. I’m thankful to say that this journey that started with others giving back to me with their guidance, has now given back to me its biggest gift yet. Now it’s my turn and my duty to return the favor.

Kenneth ParrisKenneth is a Travel and Teaching Blogger. Kenneth began his ESL teaching adventure in Prague, Czech Republic before his far east journey to the ROK (Republic of Korea), better known as, South Korea. You can call him an avid traveler or a dedicated teacher, but the title he’s most proud of is “Bonafide Foodie.” Always seeking the signature tastes of other cultures is a true passion, and he’s got pictures to prove it. Ultimately, however, Kenneth’s main goal is to share those real personal teaching and travel experiences that YOU can relate to.

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