We caught up with Teacher Luke who recently gained his TEFL Certification with TEFL Heaven. We were able to ask him questions about his TEFL experience as well as what it’s really like to live and work in the beautiful country that is Mexico!
1. What we’re you doing before you began your TEFL Adventure?
Before I came to Mexico in August 2016, I had been working in the casino industry for the past 15 years. Around summer time 2015 I decided that I needed a change in direction, but I was not in the financial position to start the course then. So I took one last crack at casinos and moved to Spain to work there, unfortunately again I was not happy in my job but had managed to save up so the TEFL course became an option for me.
2.What gave you the incentive to Teach English in Mexico?
I had previously lived in Mexico as a child, and always wanted to return. I also really want to explore all of South America so I only looked at the courses on offer in this part of the world. And with my educational background Mexico was the only choice for me, But I would have started here regardless due to my love of this country.
3.Why did you choose TEFL Heaven?
I looked at a few different course providers online and it seemed one of the most reputable that I found. My friend has also completed a TEFL course recently, but she did hers online with just a two day face to face training seminar and that seemed a bad way to do it to me, I wanted the face to face training through out.
4.Now that you are in Mexico- Is there anything you know now that you wish you knew before?
I had a fairly good knowledge of the country before I came as I have lived here before so there hasn’t been any major surprises for me so far, but I’m sure there will be in the future as I move around.
5. What’s been the best part of your experience so far?
Experiencing Puerto Vallarta as a whole, it is such a fantastic place, with such diverse scenery, from the jungle covered mountains to some breath taking beaches.
The outdoor activities available to your more standard cinemas, bowling alleys, restaurants, bars and clubs as well! With it being a major tourist destination there really is something here for everybody!
6.Sum your training location (Puerto Vallarta) up in 3 words
7.How do you feel you are benefiting from face to face TEFL training?
Personally it was the only option for me. If you only have a computer screen to help you you don’t get the proper back up that you need if there is a particular topic or activity that you struggle with.
I find that it is always better to talk through any problems you may have with a real person rather than by email, as your intonation is a major way to communicate and your message can some times be lost if you do not express it in the correct form.
8.How do you generally spend your weekends and free time in Puerto Vallarta?
There is so much to do here in Puerto Vallarta, it caters for all types of people. Me personally, I have been going to the cinema or out to restaurants in the evenings to try and immerse myself in the Spanish language as the quicker I can communicate properly the easier life becomes.
9. How easy is it to adjust to the lifestyle and culture in Mexico?
I personally think that it is very easy to adjust to life in Mexico as the people are incredibly friendly and open, and as I spent the last year before coming here in Spain it’s not that great a leap between the two cultures. But even if you arrive from England or another similar culture as long as you come with an open mind you will be ok. As I say it is so friendly here!
10.What advice would you give to someone wanting to do TEFL in Mexico?
Just do it, if you really want to do the course and become a teacher it is a fantastic setting with really good people here to help you develop your skills. I have no regrets about coming here what so ever.
The only things I would say are bring lots of shorts and t-shirts as it is very hot and humid here! And on the other side of that you will need smart attire for when you are teaching (the one suit I brought with me was not enough, and I have had to go out clothes shopping for my teaching practices).
Also come with an open mind you will be put in new potentially uncomfortable positions but as long as you take on board the advise given you will make it through okay. The whole process is a learning process and it’s about learning a new trade not so much the topic of English itself, But the way to teach English, the methods and techniques you will be using in the classroom.
As for life in Mexico, maybe try to have a basic understanding of Spanish as it can help but not essential. But I believe it helps if you show a little effort no matter how bad you are at it, and the locals will thank you and probably speak back to you in English!