For those envisioning an exciting path that merges the joys of teaching with the thrill of global exploration, the journey to becoming a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) teacher is an enticing opportunity. Teaching English abroad not only allows you to immerse yourself in diverse cultures but also enables you to make a meaningful impact on others’ lives. Here are five captivating journal prompts tailored to ignite your passion and guide you toward the adventure of teaching English abroad.

Journalling for travel and teaching

Hey there, intrepid globetrotter and aspiring educator! Are you ready to dive headfirst into the exhilarating world of TEFL? The journey ahead is not just about lesson plans and classroom dynamics; it’s an odyssey brimming with cultural immersion, personal growth, and impact. And guess what? Journaling is your secret map, guiding you toward a transformative and purposeful adventure!

Journaling, dear friend, is not just about jotting down words on paper. It’s about tapping into your inner explorer, allowing your thoughts to flow freely and your imagination to soar. It’s your personal brainstorming session! A brainstorming session filled with glittering ideas about the countries you yearn to explore, the cultures you wish to embrace, and the lives you aim to impact through teaching.

Now, grab a notebook and find a quiet space to write. Unleash your creativity with these journaling prompts tailored explicitly for the TEFL trailblazer within you:


Friends travelling, teaching and laughing together.


1. Dream Destination: Where do my teaching aspirations align within the vast landscape of cultures?

Maybe you read the above question and immediately a country (or several) comes to mind. Maybe these are places you have always desired to explore. Write them down. These are places that should be top of your list to research!

But what if a place didn’t come to mind right away? Well, you can begin by visualizing yourself in a country or culture that aligns with your teaching dreams. You can close your eyes or just picture it. Where do you see yourself? Delve into places that spark your interest and resonate with your teaching ambitions. Consider language, culture, climate, and lifestyle preferences. Envision the impact of immersing yourself in a new environment on your teaching experiences and personal growth.

Write down all your thoughts on each country you are interested in. These can be positive things or hesitations you have. Getting it out on paper will help you choose your dream destination.


2. Personal Growth: Which skills and qualities do I aim to nurture through teaching abroad?

We have all had to make lists at various points in our lives of “strengths and weaknesses.” But here I want you to envision the transformative journey of personal growth that teaching abroad can foster. Reflect on the specific skills and qualities you wish to develop, such as soft skills like adaptability, cross-cultural communication, resilience, or empathy. You could also work on hard skills such as your teacher talking time, lesson layouts or advanced grammar knowledge. Embrace the prospect of stepping out of your comfort zone and seizing opportunities for self-discovery. New to hard and soft skills? Check out this link!

Try to write down 3 soft skills and 3 hard skills you would like to focus on. You might not know how you will work on these qualities yet but try to jot down some ideas. By initiating this roadmap, you will have a clear picture of where you want to grow.


3. Overcoming Challenges: How can I turn potential obstacles into stepping stones for growth? 

TEFL teacher journalling their next adventure

Foreseeing the challenges that might arise in a new teaching environment can help you be prepared. Ponder on potential language barriers, cultural nuances, or adapting to unfamiliar teaching methodologies.

Have I run a classroom before? Do I know how to manage my classroom rules, time and etiquette? Writing out these challenges is not a way to scare yourself or add anxiety to an already big adventure. By journaling about these potential situations ahead of time, you can explore strategies to view these challenges as avenues for personal and professional development.

Try writing out 2-3 possible challenges you may face and several ways you could overcome them.




4. Cultural Integration: What steps can I take to immerse myself in the local community and enhance my teaching journey?

Envision yourself as an integral part of the local community. Brainstorm ways to deeply immerse yourself in the culture, connect with locals, and gain insight into traditions, customs, and values. Consider how incorporating cultural elements into your teaching can create a more engaging and inclusive learning atmosphere for your students. Making sure you know the customs and cultural dos and don’ts of any country you visit will make the overall experience much more pleasant.

If you are having trouble coming up with ideas, try thinking of how you would immerse yourself in your local community. Could any of those ways translate over?

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5. Impactful Teaching: How do I envision empowering students’ lives through English language education?

Reflect on the profound impact you aspire to create through teaching English abroad. Visualize the transformation in your students’ lives as they gain language proficiency and confidence. Ask yourself what sort of positive impacts have teachers made on me. Are there attributes from those teachers I want to bring into my classrooms? Contemplate the broader influence of empowering individuals with the ability to communicate globally, understanding the privilege of being a catalyst for their growth.

This last prompt you can do as a mind map, lists or bubbles. Focus on what kind of impact you want to or could have on your student’s lives. Now, what kind of teaching qualities will you need to be that ideal teacher?


TEFL teacher impacting students globally


These journal prompts serve as a compass, guiding aspiring TEFL teachers towards a purposeful journey abroad. Embrace the thrill of the unknown and seize opportunities for personal and professional growth. You will embark on an adventure that will not only shape your career but also broaden your horizons in remarkable ways.

Now, armed with your journal and a heart brimming with enthusiasm, let’s set sail into the wondrous unknown. Embrace the beauty of planning your TEFL adventure through the art of journaling. Get ready to leave a trail of inspiration across the globe, one classroom at a time! 🌍✨


Ready for more? You might like these links:
Why TEFL is Important: 6 Reasons for a World of Opportunities
After TEFL: 4 Exciting Ways to Make Money
Level 5 TEFL Course, Should I Study One? 

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