Over 50 and fabulous! How David and Denise Keep the TEFL Dream Alive
You want in on a little TEFL secret? You don’t have to be under 30 (or 25… or 20) to teach English abroad. In fact, there are plenty of job opportunities around the world for older travelers.
All that’s required is a little perseverance and an intrepid spirit. Don’t believe us? Meet David and Denise. Having taught English abroad for many years between Italy and Canada, they took a chance on an ESL experience served up a little differently. Read on to learn their inspiring story!
For many of us, it’s a dream to sustain a life of teaching English and traveling! So tell us, how did you do it?!
We started hosting international students in Canada 20 years ago so we could travel with our own children. This allowed us to experience diverse cultures in our own home, teach English, and travel abroad with our family of five.
It was always our dream to retire young and continue travelling and teaching. So we picked Italy…and recently retired and relocated to here.
It’s just wonderful that you were able to find a partner that wanted to travel and experience the world longterm. How did you meet?!
We met 27 years ago in a fitness class. Denise was teaching, and a mutual friend thought we would be a good match….so she set us up for a blind meeting. We discovered immediately our shared passion for travelling, teaching and health & wellness activities.
It was an instant match made in Heaven! A year after meeting, we were married and the rest is history. 🙂
Tell us a few more details about your different teaching jobs in Canada and Italy.
We have been teaching English through International Home Stay for the past twenty years. More recently we volunteered at three Angloville camps in the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary.
After that, we completed the TEFL online. Denise and I look forward to teaching English to Italians and other students from across Europe.
How has the field of teaching English abroad evolved in that past few years? Do you see it moving in a good direction? What is the biggest change?
All we can say is that we are fairly new to teaching English in Europe. We have been vacationing and living in Europe for the past ten years, and have however detected a trend.
More and more of the younger generation are starting to realize or believe that English is essential for both career opportunities and travel….as numerous high level and well paying jobs require two or more languages.
We want to hear allll the juicy details about your experience with the Anglo-TEFL scholarship! Can you describe a typical day?
The days at Angloville were very long and busy, but very productive and so rewarding. We had so much fun meeting and speaking with students who possessed extremely varied backgrounds and life experiences.
We met some awesome people that we hope to keep in touch with. The venues, food and accommodation were generally very good. And we found the online TEFL course to be very basic and fairly easy to complete.
So, be honest — who’s the better English teacher? 😉
My beautiful bride, Denise of course! Happy wife, happy life lol 🙂
What does your ESL future hold?
We intend to teach English in Italy and across Europe. We would like to volunteer with Angloville funds permitting, so we will apply for the $500 scholarship in the hopes of making it more financially viable.
What three pieces of advice would you give to future travelers who don’t fit into the stereotypical “under 30” paradigm?
1) Italians say “Piano, piano,” which means slowly, slowly. It takes time to learn a new language no matter which approach you take, so be patient with and be kind to the participants. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
2) Take time out for yourself every day to recharge your batteries. This way you the participants the best and the most you have to give.
3) Add days on before or after your volunteer time so you can experience the culture of each country.
Thanks for your advice and sharing your adorable stories! You had me laughing out loud at the coffee shop. Best of luck as you teach abroad in Europe, David and Denise!