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I took a 120 hour online TEFL course. Stop thinking about it.

I just completed a TEFL course to formalise my decades long language tutoring experience with a certificate.

I got 96%, that seems high but I didn’t think much of it until I looked it up: 70% is a pass.

Thanks, I take that virtual high five you are offering! We are all here to cheer each other on. It looks a like I may have overdelivered just a little bit on my course work. What a goof I am. I dedicated so much time! But I am also glad that I did.


The missing credits are from a couple of tests I snoozed on and didn’t pay thorough attention to.


Of course this is a relatively low level qualification compared to my postgraduate degree but it is still nice to have the experience and to be able to tick this off from my 15 year broken-record-list of: “Should I do this? What is the best way to do it? What is the best TEFL course? Will it be too hard? Will it be worth it? Let me spend 3 hours reading every review I can find online and investigate every country on the planet where I could do it. What is the income potential? It’s not worth it for the money? Speaking of money, how do the prices compare? Is this even a recognised school? Is online learning a gimmick, is it a scam?” … and on and on this roundabout of considerations would go.

I can tell you in all honesty: You are worth doing things instead of thinking about them. It is so true that you are significantly less likely to regret taking action and having done something than having dissected the idea in your mind, for a decade or longer.


This is not an exaggeration: I could have gained 2 TEFL certificates (with ease!) with all the time I spent thinking about taking a TEFL course. Thinking simply doesn’t create movement. Just do it.

I have read countless reviews. Just stop. Just pick one in the next 3 hours, pay for it and start. It IS worth it because once you complete the program you will have peace of mind. You are reclaiming this little piece or real estate in your grey matter. Actions you just think about create nothing but roadblocks for your life’s flow.

What is next for me now? I don’t actually plan to use my TEFL for teaching a main focus but I like the idea of having the certificate and having done the work to gain it. I will probably (for a fee and an additional batch of learning and test taking) upgrade my certificate from a 120 hour one to a 150 hour one with an extension course from the same school. The extension course will consolidate prior learning and provide a few more tools in the ESL teaching toolbox. I have it in my mind that for a few hours each week I would like to teach English to recent Immigrants to the USA.

When I was sick I received a lot of healthcare help from MediCal in San Francisco and to this day I am being taken care of by a team of healthcare professionals who are reassuring and welcoming. I want to give back to the city and the community. By chance I ended up with a healthcare provider serving predominately the Chinese community and I can’t explain this too you with too much logic but I am drawn to giving back to that community.

We recently moved to a tiny, tiny (did I say tiny, yet?) apartment in China Town in San Francisco and I think I will see if the local library offers language support for immigrant and if they would feel comfortable allowing me to donate some of my time for a course of lessons.

That’s it for now. Have you looked at TEFL courses? Have you taken any? What positive things came from your having taken your TEFL course? What did you learn, what did the certificate allow you to experience? Whom were you able to meet or teach as a result? Tell me something good?

P.s. The TEFL certificate for me also serves as a key to a work visa in several places in the world that I would like to have access to as my plan C, in case J and I get burnout again and need a year or 3 of a structured, regulated life the type that one can’t even imagine as a self-employed entrepreneur in this world. (Would you like to hear more about this idea?)

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