“Is teaching for me?”
Is this the question you ask yourself? Maybe, my story will help you decide!
Hey! My name’s Laura. I am what I consider to be a typical 24-year-old girl from Glasgow in Scotland, except I am currently living and working as a TEFL teacher in Madrid, Spain. How did I get here? Good question! I had a typical upbringing and education. Nursery to primary, primary to high school, high school to university, and then . . . I hopped on a plane and moved country!
Many factors led to this decision. The main one being I graduated from university and for the first time in my life had absolutely no idea what I was going to do next. To say I freaked out and made a rash decision would be an understatement. I don’t think I realized what I was doing until I was waving goodbye to my family and friends and walking through the security gate at the airport. The point of no return!
Looking back now, I’m so glad I did! Almost three years later I am still here and loving every minute. I never intended to set up a life in Spain. It was only ever a temporary plan for me. I wanted to grow up a little bit and come to terms with the fact that I needed to find a “grown-up” career path. In the beginning, I set myself the goal of staying for a year. For the first couple of months that was what kept me here, as it was not as easy as I had first thought. I had done an Erasmus period abroad for 6 months in a small town in the south of Spain and thought, if I can do that and have a great time, then what’s a year in a capital city? Looking back now, I laugh at how naive I was. It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy Madrid, but going from the expectations of another year of the Erasmus lifestyle to the reality of a year of real life and work was a bit of a shock to the system.
I completed my TEFL course at TtMadrid and started to work the following Monday. I was running around all over Madrid going to interviews here, there, and everywhere for a pick and mix of different types of positions. Before I knew it I had a full schedule and was a real-life teacher, something that took me a while to get my head around. I couldn’t believe the nervous girl from uni that shook like a leaf and blanked out when having to give presentations, had turned into a confident teacher in control of a classroom after just a month of preparation and training.
Before I knew it a year had flown by and I was nowhere near ready to go home. I decided to stay until Christmas time; Christmas time turned into summer, and summer turned into another year. It really is true what they say . . . time flies when you’re having fun! Last year I finally decided it was time to go home and start this so-called grown-up career I was looking for. I applied to do a PGCE in Primary Education in Glasgow and sailed through the interview process with all the experience I now had. l. I was in class and didn’t want to open it until I had finished for the day, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Finally, I opened the email and I had been accepted! My heart sank. I was so surprised by my reaction. That was when I realized I wasn’t ready to leave behind this wonderful life I had built for myself, this amazing country with all its culture and life, the place I now considered home.
I debated my decision until the last possible moment. I went with my gut feeling and decided yet again to stay. My decision didn’t come as a massive surprise to anyone at home, but I was nervous about telling them. It wasn’t the first or second time I had broken this news, but it wasn’t very well received this time. My friends and family thought I was crazy to give up the opportunity, but I felt happy with my decision. The prospect of another year of la Vida Loca excited me. A couple of months later I was offered a position at an academy I previously worked for as a sort of head teacher/assistant manager role. I’m due to start this September and I can’t wait!
Somehow in this whirlwind of a journey, I’ve managed to set up an amazing life for myself in a country that I believe suits me. I can see myself calling Spain home for years to come and finding the “grown-up” career I was looking for. I’m excited about the future and what’s around the corner for me. Every day I’m thankful I hopped on that plane without a second thought. It was easily the best decision I’ve ever made! If you can take anything from my story it should be to do what you feel is right for you. Sometimes the risk pays off. Moving country and changing career is scary but I promise you won’t regret it.
How should you do this? TtMadrid. If it wasn’t for TtMadrid my journey would have been a thousand times harder. They help you every step of the way with absolutely anything you might need. Even now, three years on, I can still count on them for anything I need. They are not just a school; they’re like a family unit, which is valuable when you’re thousands of miles away from yours!
Were you wondering if teaching was for you? Did you find Laura’s story to be inspirational? Be sure to check out our course start dates and sign up for a new life as a TEFL teacher in Spain today!