How many mistakes would I make again (as a teacher)?

Describing three of my strengths and three of my weaknesses.

Here are my strengths and weaknesses. Don’t worry, these are the real ones, not the “I’m too much of a perfectionist and I work too hard for minimal wage” like you are expected to say in job interviews.

1. Weakness: My CV can be confusing to some people. Strength: I thrive on challenges.

When I was looking at my university’s list of internship openings for my mandatory one on my second year of university, I knew I wanted to go someplace where my CV if I was looking for a steady job there would be one of the last ones on the list. Contrary to what you might think when you read that, I assure you there is a method in my madness.

I reckon managers can take more risks when hiring interns than when hiring people full-time, so why not take this chance to add something new to my CV so when I apply for a steady job on a future job opening, I can say that I have experience in that field?

So, even though I had no idea of art and was afraid of public speaking, I applied and got an internship spot in the Didactic Department at the Valencian Institute of Modern Art giving educational tours. It opened a new world for me, I learned to appreciate and see art in a way that I could never have imagined and ended my internship giving full tours by myself. 

2. Weakness: Work-life balance. Strength: Multitask.

I’m studying right now a degree in Pedagogy at University of Valencia while I’m doing an internship as a career counselor while I’m doing this TEFL course while I’m doing the teacher internship at an English academy.

Yes, as you can see, I can manage to wear a lot of hats, and it’s great because it widens my job prospects a lot, but I have realised that it can be my weakness too.

This year I found myself relying too much on coffee to keep the same energy during my internship in the mornings as my internship in the afternoons and going home completely exhausted. Even though I have never received any complaints at work and my bosses seem to be very happy with me I have realised that just because I have a lot of energy it doesn’t mean that I have to expend 100% of it at work and studies, I should keep at least a small percentage of it for myself and my social life.

Do I regret this multitasking? Not at all, I have learned so much about the world of employment orientation programs and teaching English at the same time.

Would I do it all over again? Not at all. I have also learned my limits and to take better care of myself.

3. Weakness: I am a Non-native TEFL teacher. Strength: I have studied English and prepared for Cambridge exams for several years

Teaching English as a Foreign language when you are not a native speaker can be tricky. I have seen job offers where they present different salaries and compensation packages depending if you are a native speaker or not.

(Picture: Job offer I found online for a TEFL job abroad, I prefer to not name the company)

I prefer to work for a company that pays their employers equally no matter where they were born, taking into account their qualifications and experience instead. I learned form past experiences that if you set the bar too low when you are looking for a job, your employer will set it up even lower. I’m not making that mistake again and neither should you.

Linda Dunsmore explains in her post “The Truth About TEFL for Non-Native English Speaking Teachers” in the blog International TEFL and TESOL Training, how being a non- native can help teachers relate to their students: “As a non-native English speaker, I also had to learn English, (…)I can, therefore, understand the students’ frustrations, and I believe it is easier to help them overcome these feelings for someone who had to face the same problems than for someone who did not struggle.”

I spent a year preparing for the B2 exam, another one for the C1 and two more preparing for the C2. I have passed three Cambridge exams so I know what’s it’s like to do mock exam after mock exam waiting for the perfect grade, worried your mind will go blank during the speaking part because guess what? Mine completely did for no reason at all at the introduction part of the Advanced one and I managed to survive and pass the exam anyway!

My adult students have asked me a lot of times how long did it take me to reach my level of English and I always tell them that it depends on the person and the effort they put into it, but even if they make mistakes along the way like I did, they can always recover from it as long as they never give up!


The Truth About TEFL for Non-Native English Speaking Teachers .. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.teflcourse.net/blog/the-truth-about-tefl-for-non-native-english-speaking-teachers-1.

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