Things I'd Wish I KnownKnowing where I was going to be and what I would be doing during the six months of taking the course is at the top of things I wish I'd known. When I purchased the course in January, my future was a blank. And then so was my bank account. I figured I may as well invest in the course while I had the money and loads of free time. My goal was to complete the course by the end of March. I didn't think it would take me six months to complete the course, let alone seven months! But life can be funny. Not even a month after starting the ITTT course I was selected to participate in the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC), a 10-month team-based traveling volunteer community service program for 18-24 year-olds in the united states
. AmeriCorps NCCC teams help nonprofits in Environmental Stewardship, Energy Conservation, Disaster Relief, Urban & Rural Development, and Infrastructure Improvement in communities throughout specific regions of the country depending on which campus corps members are placed in.
I began on February 15th, placed in the campus that serves the Midwest region. And by the time my (new) deadline comes around on August 13th, I will have completed two and a half 6-8 week projects in three states in seven months and have three months and one full project to go. It sounds like a mouthful because it is, and that was the short version. The past seven months have proven to be quite a crucible, testing both my patience and perseverance not only with all-encompassing NCCC, but also with this ITTT TEFL course. After beginning NCCC, I no longer had my own computer or easy internet access. That meant using campus computers if they were available, borrowing laptops and rushing through the units to get them in and not hog the laptops, attempting to accomplish anything at the public library which only allowed 45 minutes of internet at a time, etc. If I knew that I'd be on the crunchiest of time crunches since deadlines at university classes perhaps many of the decisions I made would have been different. There were several times when I could've worked on the course but the physical and emotional demands of NCCC left me too drained. Life threw me another curve when a straight line wind with gusts up to 130 miles an hour hit Vinton, the Iowa town my campus is based in, just two days before the July 13th deadline. For about a day it felt as if all that I'd gone through to complete the course meant nothing just like that because of bad weather. I am grateful to my tutor for extending my deadline.
I wish I had done more research on what the course would teach. I knew I was terrible at grammar but that I'd be pulling my hair when reading through some of the units and trying to complete their respective worksheets didn't cross my mind before starting the course. I also wish I had known just how many lesson plans I would have to complete throughout the course. They were intimidating and the bane of my existence, especially after I kept getting them sent back to me by my tutor, Peter.
I had no previous experience with online courses
so I didn't really know what to expect. I couldn't have asked for a better first experience despite the difficulties I faced. I'll be taking the business english
course after this and I hope goes as smoothly as my TEFL course in terms of submitting and receiving course work, and receiving feedback.