CIEE TEFL Alumni Spotlight: Jake B.

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We recently had the pleasure of sitting down with CIEE TEFL alum Jake B. to chat about his experience as a CIEE TEFL student and teaching English abroad in Madrid, Spain.  Thanks, Jake!

1. What made you decide to get TEFL certified?

I believed it would better prepare me for teaching for Spain and it totally has. The material about structuring classes gave me confidence when it was time for me to start leading classes on my own at my secondary school. 

2. In your opinion, what was the most important thing you learned in your TEFL course?

During my practicum, I learned that it’s important to have a plan, but if an important lesson naturally arises from the plan- don’t resist it. Teaching is a great opportunity for these tangents. When I taught contractions at my practicum, I realized that “I’ll” and “aisle” sounded the same, so we talked about it. I embrace these teachable moments in class now.

3. What advice would you offer to future TEFL students / Teach Abroad participants?

Look up worksheets online and become friends with your school printer! Don’t get burnt out trying to design the grammar lesson from scratch- look for existing worksheets to structure your grammar exercises so you can focus on examples and explanations! 

4. What’s next for you? Any further plans for using your TEFL certificate beyond teaching abroad in Madrid?

I got TEFL certified for the flexibility to teach in Asia after Spain if I wanted to. I’m enjoying being settled here in Madrid and I love my school so I’m heavily considering extending my time here for an additional year.

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