Tips for a demo lesson that will blow ‘em away

(or at the very least, help get you that teaching gig) The tragedy of being a Director of Studies is that I have on more than several occasions, sat through a 40 minute interview, growing to like the candidate and beginning to think I would like to offer that teacher some work, only to find during the demo that sadly, this person couldn’t teach their way out of the proverbial paper bag. They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Fair enough, but that first impression is still the result of a combination of small events contributing to the ...

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How’s about teaching abroad, eh Canadians?

You’ve decided to try your hand at teaching English abroad. Good on yah! Assuming you are already TEFL qualified, etc, you‘re pretty much set to go. If not, that‘s the next step. For those who are TEFLized though, visa and immigration restrictions are getting tighter, permission to work legally abroad isn’t as hassle-free as it once was. Getting yourself sorted with the least amount of heartache, really depends on researching well where you want to go. TEFL Teaching Hot-spots There’s South East Asia - where English teaching jobs are plentiful. Schools often ...

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So you want to teach abroad, huh?

Great idea! Only, there are some questions you should probably ask yourself (and the experts) before taking a big step like this; questions ranging from the plainly practical to the mildly philosophical. Like: Where do I want to go? How much is it going to cost? What kind of paperwork and qualifications do I need? How will they feel about people from my country in this new place? Will I like it? Will I be safe there? Who’s going to feed the cat while I’m gone? Will my mom be worried about me? What if I get homesick, arrested, pregnant? Or all three? Hmm. Oh where ...

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Teaching English at a Capuchin Monastery

Before I decided to move to Prague I was working as an accountant at a real estate investment management company in Chicago. It’s safe to say my decision was quite spontaneous and caught my friends and family a bit off guard. It had only been a few years since graduation but I was already tired of the office lifestyle and spending forty hours a week in front of a computer screen. I had been to Prague once before and loved the city, so I figured it was good a place as any to start this next chapter.   Overall, teaching English has been a great experience, and ...

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Baby Jesus

When I first decided to move to Prague I was an English major in a small college town in Northern California. I had been reading quite a bit of Czech literature and had a friend who had a great experience teaching in Prague. I initially decided to move to Prague for one month, take my TEFL course, and then travel Europe and return to the United States. Two years later and I am still in Prague teaching and working with the people I had met when I first moved here. I had never spent a serious amount of time in another country before moving to Prague, so I assumed things ...

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Prague, a Way of Life

As my plane was about to touch down at the Vaclav Havel Airport, my mind became flooded with an array of second thoughts.  After all, it’s not easy leaving close friends, family, and everything else one holds dear in life on a whim, particularly to go to a faraway city whose country of residence is unknown to virtually the entire world.  Oh well, I told myself, it’s probably only going to be for about a year anyway, and who knows?  Maybe I’ll have some fun. What has ensued since has proven to be the most enriching experience, personally, spiritually ...

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What I like most about living in Prague

What I like most about living in Prague is actually leaving Prague early on a Saturday or Sunday morning and hitting the Czech Republic's excellent network of hiking trails. Sometimes I go with friends, sometimes alone but I always finish at a microbrewery! There are now more than 300 in the country, and many of them are well-situated for the trails and train stations. Public transport is cheap and fairly reliable, so it's easy to get around. I took this photo last August in the the 'Radouš' microbrewery in Šťáhlavy (near Pilsen). The friendly owner told us that the ...

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We Lived in Prague

Within months of meeting each other in Richmond, Virginia, Lindsey and I decided we needed to see the world together.  After a year of planning, we got on a plane and made our way to Prague.  That was 2005.  We spent a challenging and satisfying 5 weeks going through an intensive TEFL program.  Over the next four years, we became 'proper' teachers.  We saw most of the Czech Republic, and much of Europe.  We made friends that we still talk to today.  Those friends attended our wedding in a vineyard in Prague 2, just before we left in ...

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Discovering Czech Culture Through Your Students!

After doing my 4 week TEFL course in Prague, I was fortunate to find my first teaching job there as well! To be honest, before taking the course I wasn’t convinced teaching English was for me. After all, I was always a shy person who hated speaking in front of people! But the trainers at the TEFL course were so amazingly gifted at giving you the proper tools and preparing you for the life as a teacher that I ended up enjoying it so much and stayed 2 years! One of the best aspects of the job was getting to know Czech culture through my students. I learned ...

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Marching for My Pay

Most travel guides recommend learning at least a few token phrases in the native language of the country you are visiting. Things like hello and goodbye, thank you, Where is the toilet? One beer more please; sort of thing. Being the cosmopolitan and experienced traveler that I am, I was no exception. I did my TEFL, got a teaching job and started learning Czech, relying heavily on Google translator (only until I got my head round a bit of the language, of course!) We were supposed to invoice our school on a monthly basis with the invoices filled out all in Czech. I ...

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