In August 2015, I wrote about “The Best Job in the World” – being an ESL (English as a Second Language) Teacher. I still believe that it is the best job however after 20 years of ESL classroom teaching, I have decided to end my career. You may be wondering why I would leave a career that I suggest is the best job so here are my six reasons:
Although I have developed as a teaching professional during the past two decades, there are so many other things that I would like to learn (including Spanish – see Costa Rica), and books that I would like to read (and not about language teaching, or course textbooks).
My last full time teaching position was in Hong Kong which ended in 2007. This has meant the need to juggle many different positions, and contracts in order to earn a decent income. The plight of precarious employment is a serious issue in higher education. I believe that this creates stress which I would like to eliminate by being my own boss.
In the past few years, I have missed out on some opportunities to travel and attend conferences because of the academic calendar. In April 2016, I will be presenting at IATEFL in Birmingham, England which will definitely be a professional highlight for me. I am excited about the opportunities to travel more, AND at any time of the year.
4. Costa Rica
Twenty years ago I was sitting at my dining room table, writing letters to ESL schools in Costa Rica. The year was 1995 – pre-email! The following month I went on a blind date, and ended up marrying “my date”. My goal is to relocate to this beautiful country in 2016 and complete what I started 20 years ago.
I believe that it takes courage to leave one’s comfort zone however I have faith that this significant change will open new doors to more exciting opportunities for personal and professional growth.
Although I may have lost my passion for ESL classroom teaching, I am still passionate in my work as a TESL Trainer. I feel that the opportunity to share my wisdom with the next generation of ESL teachers is meaningful.
My goal is to inspire teacher-trainees to develop as teaching professionals and hope that they someday reflect on having “The Best Job in the World”.