Interview With A Soon-To-Be TEFLer

Derek is a 38-year-old Canadian who works “behind the scenes” in the film industry. I asked him a few questions about his motivation and plans to work in EFL in Chile; I frequently edit and rearrange interviews but for many points it’s hard to say it any better than Derek already has.

As for his motivation, Derek says “the thing I like doing most in the world is going to different places in it,” and while “I don’t have skills that are easily transferable to another country…I sure speak English. I have been a teacher before (canoeing, Judo, doing training at work)… It seems the natural way to further my goals.”

And his current job? “There was a time in my life when all I wanted to do was work in the film industry. Now, the medium is so all consuming in our society that I feel like I am doing a disservice to people by helping to perpetuate it.”

There are plenty of places where a person with a career under their belt and a little bit of investment know-how could move to for a year or two, or even retire to, and still live extremely cheaply. So why teach?

“You can live anywhere in the world, if you have the money and have no need to work to survive there, but I don’t think you’ll ever be a component of that place. You’re still just a tourist. Just a long term one. You’re still looking at that place like a window shopper. You can see all the stuff inside, but you can’t touch it.”

Derek points out that, in a sense, teaching English is a means: “If I was an exceptional bottle-flipping bartender, I might have pursued that instead. But I don’t plan to half ass the job. It will get my full attention. I like the idea that I can extend some of what I know of the world and give it someone else. I can be the guy who answers questions, and not just the guy who asks them. I like that I can, by virtue of my presence, offer a little of what it’s like to be an English speaking Canuck to whoever I teach.”

Read on for Part 2 of Interview With A Soon-To-Be TEFLer.