Hi, my name is Adam Beale, I’m thirty years old and I am about to embark on my second full year of teaching at IH Santander, Spain.
I have no real academic background to speak of. Instead of choosing university, like all of my other friends, I stuck to my childhood ambition of joining the Army and in the summer of 1999 I began my 12 week basic training. Six and a half years later, after travelling the world, seeing some amazing things and working with some of the best it was time for a change. A sense of disillusionment with Army life and a strong feeling that something was missing from my life, I moved on to try other things. I applied for university but never got around to sending the application off, I spent one and a half years as a tree surgeon, worked alongside my dad building luxury boats and when my engagement imploded in spectacular fashion (all my own doing I may add) I decided to pack it all in and go travelling.
An 11 month trip, that took in the likes of New Zealand, Chile, Argentina and Bolivia gave me time to get things in perspective and it was also my first real brush with language learning. I spent time at a language school in Santiago, Chile and this really opened my eyes not only to the prospects and opportunities that a new language can lead to, but also highlighted the lack of knowledge of my own language. I think this was the initial seed that has grown and carried to where I am today.
On returning home I knew that I wanted to travel again but also that I wanted to teach and I was drawn to the world of TEFL/EFL by stories I had heard and advice from people I had met. A brief stint of unemployment was followed by my 4 week intensive course at Trinity college London. I left slightly bewildered and with a sense that I still had a lot to learn but that I knew that I had made the right choice. Even from my intense and short observed lessons I had a feeling of accomplishment and fulfillment that I hadn’t experienced in any job previously.
A brief five week spell at a summer camp, my first real teaching job, lead onto my first full time position at IH Santander. One I grabbed with both hands after being told that to get into International house would require at least two years of experience and a lot of luck.
So here I am one year into my career as a TEFL teacher, still alive and still enthusiastic. My first year was quite a whirlwind and I’m only now reflecting back on what happened and where to go next with my teaching. I hope this blog will help with that. I hope you enjoy it.