New post from missionary Erin Mackenzie

New post from missionary Erin Mackenzie

Back in the Student Chair

Posted: 24 Oct 2020 04:40 PM PDT

Courtney, Kelsey, Jess, and I ended a morning hike by sitting here for a bit today – wondering if it’d work to record the sound of the rushing water, observing how quickly the clouds were moving, and wishing we knew more about geology.  

Note that
1. a few months ago (June? July?), I hiked to this same spot with Courtney and Tirzah. At the time, we could walk all the way to the rock face in the background on dry ground; and
2. no, Courtney and I didn’t plan on twinning!
If you saw my Facebook post from Wednesday, you know I’ll be plopping down elsewhere soon: back in the student chair. The screenshot of my registration confirmation for International TEFL & TESOL Training‘s 170-hour TEFL Certificate (Specialization in Teaching Online) with tutor certainly bears a bit more explanation. 
Finding myself increasingly involved in not only teaching ESL but in recruiting, placing, training, and hosting volunteers (currently online only) who support other missionaries using English as a bridge into the church, I was encouraged to look into getting some training. The whole “Specialization in Teaching Online” thing made me keep going back to ITTT amid a sea of similar options. The bulk of the course is 20 units, totaling 120 hours, with names such as
  • Teachers and Learners
  • Present Tenses
  • Lesson Planning; and 
  • Teaching Receptive Skills
Each unit consists of a reading (Unit 1’s is 12 pages…the others are greyed out for now so I can’t see how they compare) and a test; some have video components as well. The pace at which I move through the units is completely up to me, although the content expires six months from registration. Then, I already got an email with the subject line “TEO course login,” reminding me about the bonus 50 hours of “teaching English online”; I’ll have an additional six months to work through that portion, but the email warned me not to log in until I’m ready for the clock to start ticking. 
I’ll have at least one study buddy! Courtney registered, too, and we’ll likely be joined by two members of the Puerto Rico team. Our plan is to set up weekly debrief sessions. 
I’m excited to dig in since what I learn will…I hope…be immediately applicable. I have no idea what to expect. It might become something we recommend to others in the region, or it might be a dud that leaves the door open for another option my research turned up, at the complete opposite end of the spectrum, that continues to intrigue me. In either case, it goes without saying that I’ll have plenty more to share on this in the weeks to come. 
Until next time, blessings!
P.S. I wish you could smell my pine-scented candles. I’m forcing myself to savor them or I’ll be buying La Sirena out of all remaining stock between now and Christmas!