Teacher Spotlight: Michelle Carter
Meet Michelle, an alumni of our pilot Destination TEFL program in Vietnam. Below, Michelle discusses her experience in the impressionable city of Ho Chi Minh and touches on many of the reasons why we chose Vietnam to kick off the careers of some of our best TEFL teachers. Thanks, Michelle!
When and where did you complete your TEFL practicum?
I did my practicum in November 2016 in Ho Chi Minh City at YOLA. I was working with an instructor who also taught at the college level. The classes were students aged from 12 to 18.
What made you decide to do Destination TEFL Vietnam?
The opportunity arose when I was about half-way through the course. I was going to work with an ESL teacher in her classroom in August however I couldn't pass up the opportunity to get real-world experience in Asia. I had a vacation planned to Morocco but was able to rebook a different tour in Cambodia and Vietnam that ended two days before the practicum. It felt like it was a sign that I should do it.
For me, working in a different country with students was the best way to prepare me for whatever teaching position I would choose after completing the course. I was also excited about getting the extra hours and thought it would be a difference maker when seeking employment. There were a few hiccups in the pilot program (I provided detailed feedback when it was completed) but I would recommend it to anyone. I know out of the five of us that went, two stayed in Vietnam (1 accepted a position at YOLA). The best practice is in real world scenarios so you got the benefit of knowing what it would be like to live in another country and teach.
What makes Vietnam special? What was your favorite place in Vietnam?
I choose Vietnam because it had been on my list for a while. I have traveled all over the world and lived in Australia for two years. Because I am older and was looking to do something different, I had the ability to take some time off and check this off my bucket list. I was fortunate to be able to travel in South Korea, Cambodia and Vietnam before I started. I loved Ha Long Bay and Hanoi the most. Partly because the weather was a bit cooler but just the scenery of Ha Long Bay and the vibe I got in Hanoi was special.
What advice do you have for future TEFL students?
It is a great experience. It is a lot of work but it is very rewarding and a wonderful opportunity to live in another country and make a difference in someone's life. Learning English is very beneficial to many language learners and gives them an opportunity to improve their lives.
What will you do next with your TEFL certification?
I'm hoping that I can do some things stateside that will help me get experience using my TEFL certification so when I'm ready, I can teach outside the country.