The Oxford TEFL Blog

Graduate Stories: Daniela Petrovska

Daniela Petrovska took our Trinity CertTESOL course in Barcelona in June 2016 and is now studying the Trinity DipTESOL with us. In this blog she talks about her experiences and decision-making when it came to getting her TEFL certifications.

I was born and raised in the capital of Macedonia, Skopje. During my school years, English was an integral part of my life. Although I was not exposed to English native speakers, the world of the English language broadcasting on TV was so enticing that I became determined to major in English at the state university in my hometown.

As a student, my mind was focused on the fact that translation would be right choice for me. To some extent, it enriched my vocabulary and gave me the opportunity to indulge in various translation techniques but it wasn’t until I had the first contact with students in a classroom as a volunteer that I began to put my career as a translator on hold. Shortly afterwards, I tested the water one more time and volunteered as an English teacher during my fourth year of studies.

Having graduated from university, it was time for me put my knowledge into practice. Amid translating novels from English into Macedonian, I continued  teaching English. In my home country, I taught students of different ages and at various levels.

moscow-square

After a couple of years of the same routine, fatigue came to my doorstep. Being driven by the desire for a change and to travel outside Macedonia (after two great visits to the US) I began to browse the internet so as to familiarize myself with new teaching methods. I was sure that there was a way of doing so, I just had to find the right place and the right tutors.

The multiple positive reviews about Oxford TEFL I read on the internet were decisive for my choice to do the Trinity Cert.TESOL. Choosing between Prague with numerous cultural attractions and the warm and friendly look of Barcelona was not easy. In the end, Barcelona was the winning location. Looking back on the course, I am glad I did it in this city because it turned out to be soothing while having a short break from assignments. The intensity and pile of work seemed unbearable at some point yet rewarding.

The course’s focus on applying communicative and student-centered activities paved the way to me to become a better teacher. It did not take long for the skills I achieved from the course to prove to be appropriate. Even before completing the course I was offered a teaching job. My responsibility was to give private lessons to a 14-year old Spanish student. Once I obtained the certificate, I extended my teaching practice at Oxford Tefl, using the same useful methods from the Trinity CertTESOL. With my teaching experience and my new qualification, it made me quite employable and ‘’complicated’’ the process of applying for a job. I say ‘’complicated’’ as my inbox was getting full of emails from prospective employers asking to arrange an interview with me, therefore I had to think carefully in order to make the right decision.

The choice I made was to accept a job at International House in Moscow. The city’s beauty I could see upon my arrival seemed to be promising for my teaching career. Day by day, the city becomes a part of me and an incentive for my work. My colleagues as well deserve a credit. By helping each other and sharing ideas, we are more and more interested in teaching and learning something new so that we can pass the knowledge on to our students. I have a full-time schedule which includes teaching students at various levels and of different ages, from 7 to adults. The experience from Barcelona has eased my job in terms of dealing better with mixed-ability groups, something that is very common, adapting course book material and giving the students the chance for self reflection. The wealth of supplementary materials all teachers have been given by IH is a great asset to all of us.

Longing for further improvement and challenges, I recently started doing the Trinity DipTESOL course. The duration and required reading of the course seem daunting, but I am sure it will eventually be the most rewarding experience I will have ever had.

The enthusiasm of the tutors and fellow students on the course motivates me to complete the assignments on time and increases my curiosity to learn about new ideas from everyone participating. I will work hard because if I do so, the course will bring out the best in me.

Would you like to study or live in Barcelona? Get qualified to teach English in only 4-weeks with our Trinity CertTESOL course and take advantage of our visa support (non-EUs) and free lifelong careers service. If you are an experienced teacher looking for an advanced qualification, read more about our Trinity DipTESOL course.

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