Carley moved to Barcelona to do the TEFL Iberia course in July 2013. She has been working as an English teacher ever since. In 2014 she started working part time for TEFL Iberia, and she has been coordinating the TEFL Iberia courses for the last two years.
You are a TEFL Iberia graduate yourself. How do you use this experience in your current role?
When people are applying for the course it means that as someone who’s gone through the process themselves I’m in a good position to give them honest and useful advice. I had all the same sort of questions myself before I did the course, so I know exactly how applicants are feeling and the kind of things they want to know!
How did you transition from TEFL Iberia student to school manager?
I was working for our sister school Languages4Life as an English teacher so I was around the school a lot. In my previous job I had a lot of experience with admin, so when the role came up I decided to apply. I was really excited to get involved with the school again – I had such a good experience when I studied here and it was nice to be back working with the team again on a day to day basis.
What does a typical day of work look like for you?
In the morning I’m in TEFL Iberia, replying to emails, scheduling interviews, interacting with current students, helping people with visa and NIE paperwork – all the admin side of things. In the afternoons I have teaching hours. I really enjoy teaching English so that’s a fun part of my day, and it means I have practical, current experience of the job market which I can pass on to our trainees.
Based on your own experience, what makes earning TEFL certification at TEFL Iberia unique?
Compared to other courses, our course is really focused on making people employable, and giving them the best chance at being a successful teacher. There are so many things we’ve added that aren’t part of other courses – the careers sessions, the experience of teaching private classes, the video assignment, the session on teaching young learners, the smartboard training. These things are all invaluable once you’re entering the job market.
Describe an average day as a TEFL Iberia student.
The students start at 10.30am with the two hour input session which is where the majority of the theoretical learning happens, led by either Ian or Joanna. Then they break for lunch. Once they come back, they prepare their lessons with the support of the tutor, teach their class and then get feedback from the tutor who observed their class.
In what ways does TEFL Iberia provide participants with support throughout their time in Barcelona?
Because we’re quite a small school, nobody is a number to me. I feel like I get to know prospective students and their stories, even before the course. I correspond with some of them for months before they move to Barcelona. And that means that once they’ve done the course, it’s not a case of “here’s your certificate, bye!” – I’ve invested in the students, helping them come to Barcelona and start a new career that I was so excited about when I did it. There’s a real community atmosphere in the school and our graduates come back to see us all the time. A student who did the course in 2015 messaged me on Facebook the other day – he’s moving back to Barcelona so I’ve invited him to come in to do the careers session.
What type of post-certification support and job assistance does TEFL Iberia provide?
As one of the top TEFL schools in Barcelona we actually get a lot of language schools contacting us looking for teachers. We pass on job adverts on a weekly basis to graduates based in Barcelona. We’re available throughout your time in Barcelona to answer questions about job contracts, NIEs, teacher adverts. Once you’re at our school you’re part of our community and that doesn’t end post-certification.
What is the number one reason why prospective TEFL teachers should choose TEFL Iberia?
In a nutshell – because we genuinely care about your success.
Why do you enjoy working with TEFL students?
I feel like I see a little bit of myself in every student, so it’s nice to be able to relive my experience in a way every time a new student signs up. I know they’re going to have an amazing experience, because I did!