Alexander Ford once dreamt of becoming a US Air Force Pilot. And while that might still be on the cards, this former lawyer has taken a detour east—Far East. Learn about Alexander’s journey to teaching abroad in the Philippines and where he hopes his TEFL certificate will ultimately take him.
Tell us about yourself! What makes Alexander, Alexander?
I’m a very social person. I love to travel and meet new people. I enjoy going to places I’ve never been and will possibly never see again. My hobbies include hiking, fishing, camping, playing video games, and assembling model kits.
What was your path to teaching abroad?
Before I taught abroad, I was a lawyer. I worked at an English company. Some things happened back home in the States that required me to return home. After a year, I decided to take a break from law and try my hand at teaching.
What TEFL course did you choose to complete and why? Did you do it in-person or online and why?
The 168 hour online course. I work on it around my classes. I haven’t finished yet. However, it has helped me already as I have no teaching background. It has also given me some ideas for class.
You’re now teaching abroad in the Philippines. Incredible! What have been your favorite parts of the experience so far, both inside and outside of the classroom?
Inside the classroom, I’ve had some great students. I’ve seen a whole class go from speaking no English because there was a culture of judging each other for grammatical mistakes to speaking English independently. Outside the classroom, I’ve made so many good memories. I’ve been to so many important cultural sites and just as many celebrations.
What is the TEFL job market like in the Philippines? What is your current work arrangement?
Job prospects seem good in the Philippines. I currently work five days a week and teach 20 hours.
What are your go-to lesson plans for when you have unexpected extra time in the classroom?
I haven’t really had this problem, but I’ve also only been teaching for five months. My problem is typically running out of class time. My students and I like to talk a lot and I really encourage them to practice.
Once I finish my TEFL certificate, more doors will open for me. There are a few opportunities that have been offered to me once I complete my TEFL and complete a year at my current position in the Philippines.
Thank you for taking the time to share your magnificent story with the Premier TEFL community. Happy travels!