So I’m almost done with my TEFL certificate course (TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language), which is a blended learning course with a 20-h workshop in Berlin (was in January) and a 100-h online course. I’ve submitted the first of two final assignments for grading and now have to wait for my grade before I can tackle the last assignment. So far, my grade is somewhere in the 90 % range, but the quizzes on the course materials only amount to 40 % of my total grade, with the two final assignments amounting to the remaining 60 %. Depending on the last assignment, and when I’ll get my grade for the first assignment, I might still be able to finish the course before university starts again (semester starts on April 18).
That being said, I just enrolled in a specialization course on Coursera called Virtual Teacher specialization. I’m paying for the certificate for this specialization because I think it might help me in my teaching career, even though Coursera certificates are not necessarily recognised by employers. Where I’m working, I do believe that my boss will give credit to it (not necessarily because he knows the course but because it shows that I’m studying to improve my teaching skills and knowledge). Plus, we’re switching to a new textbook series in September, with the new series offering blended learning resources and videos. I might also get a smartboard installed in the room where I teach my classes so that I can use the new books’ resources more effectively in the classroom.
This specialization course will hopefully help me to make the transition to blended learning smoother, and might even enable me to create and offer my own online courses at some point in the future.
With university and the first course of the specialization starting at the same point, I just hope that I’ll have enough time to dedicate to online learning. I’ll be teaching three evenings plus two mornings per week while attending six 90-minute classes per week at university, and I’m considering writing my bachelor’s thesis this semester as well. But I’m looking forward to all of it, and while I wait, I still have some books on teaching English spelling at home.