TEFL Certified & Final Days at Via Lingua

I am officially certified to teach English as a second language! My days as a student is over and now I can focus on visiting language schools in Italy and getting that first teaching job! After an intensive month of studying and teaching, it is time for me to move on whether or not I’m ready. Currently I’m on a four hour train to Rome since there are several language schools there. Plus I’ve been dying to go to Rome. It’s on my top 5 cities in the world I want to see. (London, St. Petersburg, Venice, and Athens are the other four right now – not necessarily in that order. Stockholm is a very close since my newly formed Swedish friend told me great things about that city!)

Anyways, I was planning on writing about my final days at Via Lingua while it’s fresh in my head. Now that I am thinking and writing at the same time, I don’t believe I described a typical day of school. Here we go!

8:00 am – The school day starts. This is also when we have our teaching practice. All the teachers-in-training are assigned to teach either the Intermediate or Elementary students. If we are not teaching, then we are observing the teachers and pretending to be a student. We have real Italian students to teach.

10:00 am – The instructors give the teachers-in-training feedback on the lessons they give.

10:30 – We have classes on how to teach and a refresher courses in English grammar.

12:30 – Lunch

1:30 – Lesson planning for our morning lessons (if we are not teaching the next day, we have this time off)

2:30 – Practice teaching lessons without the real, Italian students. We only had to do this twice.

We had five different lessons we had to teach the Italian students – reading, writing, listening, speaking, and grammar. It was a lot of hard work but very rewarding. The instructors at the school were very helpful but giving us tips and giving us both positive and constructive feedback. It also helped that all fourteen of us who were taking the course supported each other. We were truly in this together, which made this intensive course easier.

The last week was very busy for us. Our biggest stressor was our grammar exam on Thursday. Grammar has never been difficult for me. I worked at the writing center at my university during my undergrad years. I can spot and fix errors without problem. What I never had to do was EXPLAIN sentence errors using terms like gerund, past-participle, past perfect continuos, and so on. The good news is that now I know and I passed my test!

Now it is all over. I had my final meeting with my instructors who told me that they had nothing but positive things to say about me. They say that they love my energy, enthusiasm, and that I had a very good attitude towards constructive criticism. I left grinning like a fool now that I am fully certified.

The hard part (other than job hunting) is saying goodbye to my new friends. Some of them, like myself, are staying in Italy to search for jobs. My two roommates, Laura and Morgan, are going back to America. Laura has a teaching job lined up back in New Jersey. Morgan has a special education job back in Boston. I am going to miss them both. The three of us became close in the last month. We traveled together, ate together, relaxed together, studied together, and we were not afraid to show our true colors without judgment. Because I had not-so-positive roommate experiences at my university in Michigan, this was touching and refreshing. (If you’re reading this Ashley, I’m not talking about you, of course.)

Last night was our last night together. We went out to dinner to have pear stuffed ravioli with a cream sauce and pecorino cheese as an appetizer. We’re going to die of high cholesterol, but at least our tastebuds were happy. After dinner, we walked around and came across a Renaissance photoshop. The three of us got to dress up in Renaissance costumes and have our picture taken together. We went out with a bang and we really can’t forget each other.

Now we have to move on with our lives. I am a lone traveler once again. Yes, I have connections and friends from my course who are still here, but we are traveling in various directions in Europe to search for jobs. There are some of us who are applying for jobs in other countries in Europe. One girl wants to go to Prague and another has German roots and wants to work there.

Am I willing to go outside of Italy? Yes. I have applied for positions all over Europe. Have I received any interview invitations? Yes, just one right now, but I am going to refrain from sharing more details. I have faith that God knows EXACTLY where He wants me to be. A door will open. I just need to be willing to walk through the door God opens.

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