EFL Teacher Milestones

Some may wish to skip this post…


Having just read this article from the Guardian, titled “Is 35 really the best age to be?” posted on Twitter by fellow EFL teacher and blogger @pterolaur . After a twittersation about the topic, we decided a new list was needed for EFL teachers. I highly recommend @pterolaur’s beautiful and insightful post. Here is my take on the topic. EFL teachers live a fairly transient life. By the time we are 35, we can’t be expected to own homes. Being married with children is not so common for us (but not unthinkable). Lifestyles are different. I have been in Korea for more than nine years now and I am not 35. But I think there are some reasonable accomplishments “lifers” can make by that age.


By 35 I will:


1. Have earned a Master’s Degree. In something. Probably obtained online.


2. Have been able to choose where I work, not just taken what’s leftover.


3. Have enjoyed meaningful relationships with special people. And kept in touch with some of them across the continents.


4. Have continued my professional development and encouraged other teachers in their professional development. Moved complaints about work from the pub at 3am to the reflective table.


5. Have developed a lifelong love for teaching and learning. And stopped visualizing what I’d like to do to the administration. And avoided becoming administration.


6. Have learned the language of the country I am living in. To a respectable level that is not so embarrassing. Like intermediate.


7. Have published a well-read blog full of things I care about. That I update every week. And reply to comments. (Don’t laugh. There might be comments some day!)


8. Have saved enough money to take a few months of vacation. Or retire in Cuba. Eventually.


9. Have traveled the world. Or at least the countries surrounding the one I live in.


10. Have contributed to the learning and self-confidence of my students. Which will hopefully extend further into their lives.


What do you think? What would you add?


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