What is your name, age and nationality?
I’m Kacey Andreotta, age 27, originally from the USA
What is your education level and background?
I have a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and a Master of Education in Counseling- Student Affairs
Have you travelled abroad previously, and if so where?
I lived in Prague, Czech Republic, traveled to England, Italy, Germany, Poland, Austria and France. Visited Canada and Mexico for vacation.
What motivated you to teach abroad?
I wanted to live abroad and with my teaching background, teaching English is the easiest way to do it! It opens many doors to countries and schools all over the world. Being able to touch the lives of students all over the world is definitely something that I wanted to be a part of!
What did you want to personally achieve with this experience, and have you succeeded?
I wanted to challenge myself in the most difficult way that I could think of: live in a foreign country, where you don't speak the language and the culture is foreign to you. By putting myself out of my comfort zone, I wanted to see if I would “sink or swim.” While some days can be difficult, I find that I am definitely swimming! I have made friends, learned some Spanish, enjoyed the Mexican culture, eaten enough tacos to feed an elephant and really have created a life here in Mexico!
I also really wanted to learn Spanish. While this is something that will take years for me to accomplish, I am very excited about my progress! Speaking with natives makes learning Spanish incredibly fun! They really do try to understand my broken Spanish and correct me when I make mistakes!
Did you apply for the program with a friend or on your own?
I applied on my own!
Did you know anyone who had taught abroad before you?
I had 2 friends who had taught English in Thailand. I spent a lot of time asking them questions about their experiences!
What were some of your concerns before you began teaching abroad?
Before moving abroad, I was concerned about the salary and how I would afford to live, the safety of the country, how I would make new friends, and if the language barrier would be as difficult as it looked. I found that opportunities and money is always available for people who teach English, friends are everywhere (local or international), being aware of your surroundings is smart no matter what country you are in, and love is felt no matter what language you speak.
TEFL PROGRAM INFORMATION
What made you decide to do a TEFL course and choose TEFL Heaven?
I decided to do a TEFL course because I wanted to prepare myself for a teaching job abroad. Completing an in-country course would not only help me adjust and transition to living abroad, but it would also provide me with tools to be a successful English teacher. I chose TEFL Heaven because they provided a detailed outline of the course. When I interviewed, I really loved the conversation that I had with the interviewer and could tell they were as passionate about international education as I was!
What made you choose a face-to-face TEFL course over other options?
I chose a face-to-face TEFL course for three reasons:
It provided me with a network of people who were interested in the same thing as me, could serve as a resource during my teaching career and experience living abroad, and a life long travel friend
It was a fun transition into a world that was completely foreign to me
It gave me tips/skills/tool to be an effective English teacher
Which TEFL program did you do?
TEFL Heaven- Puerto Vallarta, Mexico- 6/2018
What did you enjoy about your TEFL course?
I loved my experience in the TEFL course! The instructor who taught the course was incredible! I learned so many great things from him and found that my already established teaching style had changed significantly! Being in a classroom with other students, allowed me to see how others taught their classes! I made many improvements during this course and learned how to be an even better teacher for my students!
The location is also a complete dream! The beauty of Puerto Vallarta, the ocean, the beaches, the jungle, is absolutely breathtaking! There are so many fun things to do (ziplining, quad riding, jet skiing, etc), great places to eat (tacos, elote, churros), and the clubs are always full of people from all over the world!
How prepared did you feel for your teaching position?
Very prepared! I was nervous, but I felt like I had the necessary tools to teach English. I kept my textbook from the course as a resource to help me and still reference it from time to time!
How long have you been teaching in Mexico and how long do you plan to stay?
I have been teaching in Mexico for 6 months.
How did you secure your English teaching job?
I found my teaching job by contacting the school directly. They called me to schedule an interview and then I was offered the job the same day.
What does a typical working week look like for you?
I teach two groups of 5th graders, each class with 15 students. Their language skills vary from conversational to no English at all. I have to be at school from 7:30am-3:00pm. I have group A half day, and group B the other half of the day. I teach English and Science, and the students get pulled for 3 hours a week for special classes (robotics, sports, moral, and computers). One time per month we have a staff meeting for 1 hour after school.
What age group or range do you teach?
I teach 5th grade. Most students are 10-12 years old.
What do you most enjoy about teaching your students?
I really enjoy my students. They are very silly and have a zest for life and learning! Watching them learn, practice and speak in English is incredibly rewarding to witness!
How did you get your work visa?
I am currently in the process of obtaining a work visa. My school is helping me with the process.
What are your monthly expenses?
Rent: $2,250 pesos/month
Food: $750 pesos/month
Other bills: $500 pesos/month for utilities
Social life: $2000 pesos/month
Transportation: $500 pesos/month
Phone: $462 peso/month,
Other costs: Give or take, $500 pesos/month
Would you say you are able to live comfortably on your monthly salary?
ADVICE FOR PROSPECTIVE ENGLISH TEACHERS
What advice would you give someone thinking about teaching abroad, and would you recommend teaching English in Mexico?
If you are even slightly interested, SIGN UP! It is incredibly rewarding and will change you life in many ways. I’ve always believed that the way you grow as a person is by purchasing a plane ticket and placing yourself outside your comfort zone. Being able to experience a new culture, language, people and food, while impacting the life of children, is something that you will carry with you for the rest of your life. Not only will you have an impact on the students and their English skills, but the students will teach you so many wonderful things about the place they call home.
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