Another sharing session. I’m pouring out my chain of thought, doubt and hope into this blog post because I want to make more sense out of my complicated mind and get a clearer wide-angle view of my own decision-making process *pun intended*. I’m writing this just five days before I leave for CELTA course at Auckland, New Zealand. Super nervous and excited right now!!!
Let’s do this in FAQ format, OK?
Q: Yeah yeah, I know you’re excited. But wait, I don’t understand. What is this CELTA thing? Why in Auckland?
A: Oh haha, it’s a long story. I don’t want to dwell on my old posts. You can read them in my old blog here and here and here. In summary, I have considered taking Certificate of English Language Teaching to Speaker of Other Languages since Feb 2010. I know, I know…it’s freaking 2013 now, what took you so long???
Actually, I’ve secured a spot in this course since Nov 2012 and have purposely selected either Nov or Dec 2013 schedule. I wanted to save enough annual leave and $ first after Taiwan and Australia trips in May. In the end, I chose Nov 2013 course and will be taking a mix of annual and unpaid leaves. It’s a short break from work.
Why Auckland, NZ? Well, this course is offered in a lot of countries. I was deciding between OZ or NZ and then just because SGD and NZD was almost at 1-to-1 when I applied, I finally chose the cheaper currency. I figured that it will be more useful if I take this teaching course abroad, as I will be forced to use proper English with zero mixture of Hokkien/Malay/Mandarin.
Q: Oh I got you now, but you haven’t answered my question. Why wait for 3 years? What took you so long just to decide on a 4-week course?
A: I’ve been procrastinating for as long as I can with these excuses: “Ugh oh, I haven’t paid off my student loan yet. I can’t waste money to take this course. Besides, I haven’t decided on my focus yet. I don’t know what my passion is”, “Oh well, I can’t. I don’t have enough annual leave. I don’t think I want to sacrifice by taking unpaid leaves. Better use the money to travel twice a year and save for emergency fund”, “Oh it will be difficult to apply for this course, I’m a non-native English speaker, can I become a good English teacher? Just stay with your Engineering job. It’s comfortable right? Just take home your pay, save it for the future, travel occasionally and life’s good. Why take the trouble of learning how to teach? and yadda yadda yadda…..BUNCH OF EXCUSES!!!
THANKFULLY, I’ve overcome the excuses above and here I am, feeling so excited and scared at the same time. Though it’s only a 4-week course, I hope I can get a glimpse of English teaching world and help me on my future decision making: to decide on my long term career focus and build a slash career (will elaborate more in my next post).
Q: Wow, I see. It’s not that easy making this decision. So after the course, do you want to be an English Teacher? Full Time? Part Time? Where? What will happen to your Engineering job? You’ve been working there for five years, isn’t this your time to move on? But why would you leave when you’re so comfortable there (with nice colleagues and familiar job)?
A: Seriously, I don’t know! That’s why I’m off to NZ and study to discover more. It has been my hidden ambition for almost four years now: making use of my flair in languages to do meaningful work. I have considered translation/interpreter work before but didn’t dare to take the necessary steps. I’m more confident in teaching English than any other languages (my Mandarin is not up to par to teach anyone yet). Any suggestion/advice folks? I’m an Indonesian citizen currently holding a permanent resident in Singapore. I was told many years ago that I have a slight American accent. I really hope that I still have it in me after so many years living in Singapore and working in mixed language environment. I’ll prove it to myself in the upcoming month and do my very best!
Friends, wish me luck!! 🙂