Getting qualified as a TEFL teacher – Graduate Story

Thinking about getting qualified as a TEFL teacher? Want to know whether you’ll be able to fit teaching around your current lifestyle? Well Samantha, an i-to-i graduate, was in your position just a short while ago! Since then she has managed to complete her course in her holidays from university and she is now teaching English alongside her university studies!

Want to know more? Read on!


Can you introduce yourself?

My name is Samantha Rielly and I am from Durban, South Africa!


What were you doing before TEFL?

Before TEFL I was completing my second year of university and decided to do the course during my holiday.


What made you decide to TEFL? And why did you pick i-to-i?

I have always had a passion for sharing knowledge and I believe in life-long learning. I became interested in teaching English online when a friend of mine explained how much she was enjoying it! I also wanted to see what teaching was like. When I did my research, I found i-to-i to be the best and most trusted TEFL company out there. From the courses on offer, I decided to choose to do the 180 hour course to increase my job prospects, because I had zero experience with teaching. I also wanted to go the extra mile to develop my teaching skills. The course itself was not too difficult, I found it easy to navigate and understand. The 3 assignments helped me learn how to plan lessons properly and I still use this methodology now, in my lessons with my students!


Why did you decide online teaching was the right path for you?

Online teaching has been perfect for me because I get to choose my own work schedule. This has been amazing while I finish studying my degree.

Teaching online guide

How did you get your first online teaching role?

I was nervous at first, but Jordan (from the i-to-i Jobs Support Team) provided me with lots of job opportunities and continual support. I first applied for a voluntary job with Nevy’s Language. This provided me with amazing experience as a new online English Teacher and helped me to build my confidence. The experience also helped me to be in a better position to apply for paid TEFL roles. After 2 months at Nevy’s Language, I applied to The Really Great Teacher Company and they have provided me with a job with Talk915.


What are your favourite aspects of being an online TEFL teacher?

My favourite part about teaching is the joy I feel when helping children learn something new each day, it’s really rewarding. It also never gets boring, each lesson is unique and I have met so many amazing people from across China.


Is there anything you find challenging?

The only challenge is keeping that upbeat energy all the time when teaching young kids, it can get a bit tiring. I would suggest spacing out lessons instead of having too many in a row, that way you won’t get drained.


Do you have any future plans for your TEFL career?

I have enjoyed my TEFL journey so far and I hope to continue far into the future. I hope to gain more teaching experience online and then possibly travel abroad to teach in classrooms in the future!

Any advice for aspiring TEFL teachers?

It’s worth all the hard work and I recommend i-to-i and LoveTEFL jobs to anyone wanting to become an ESL teacher. “It always seems impossible until it’s done” – Nelson Mandela.


Great words to live by!

Ready to get started with your own TEFL journey but need to get qualified first? No worries! Arrange for a free call back with one of our TEFL experts, and they will be able to help you select the right course for you. Alternatively you can take our quick course matching quiz to find your perfect fit! 

Already qualified and ready to look for online jobs? Check out the amazing range available on the LoveTEFL jobs board. And our amazing jobs team, headed by Jordan, are always on hand if you need any help with your application!

I have been traveling and teaching ESL abroad ever since I graduated university. This life choice has taken me around the world and allowed me to experience cultures and meet people that I did not know existed.

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