I attended an information session for Global TESOL on a Monday evening in late March, equipped with a lot of questions. As I stated before, Melanie was accepting enough that I should at least find out more information before we ignored the opportunity.
When I asked the question about my family again (since I had not spoken to Jim at the convention), I noticed that everybody in the session swivelled to look at me. Either they too had wondered if the chance to take a family along was a possibility, or they just thought I was crazy to even think of it. Jim asked then if my wife would be interested in taking the course too. (Immediate upsell bells went off of course...though he seemed to sense this). He then explained something that made total sense. It is normally the employers responsibility to pay for your accomadations, so for them to get more than one person into the same place is actually a cost savings. Sure they'd need to acquire a larger place for a family, but the cost would still be less than 2x an apartment, right? Also, this would assist us with the possible (yet almost guaranteed) issue of homesickness. If you have your family with you, you have a better chance of dealing with it.
The session went fantastic, and I only had to ask one more of my questions....the answers to the rest were pretty much either presented upfront or asked by somebody else there.
They are not promising the world. I'd be worried if they did. They however, have provided the information that everything is NEGOTIABLE. You want something really bad...you just ask. They will help you get through it.
So, I went home with all this buzzing in my head, and was honestly quite excited about it when I got home. I spoke to Melanie about it, and though she was immediately hesitant about the idea of travelling to places like China (she's more of a Costa Rica kind of girl) allowed me to continue talking.
We read through everything...did some research online. Found no mention of scams by the school or through the TESOL organization in general.
So...I registered to take the class this month...and here's the kicker. So has Melanie. She is not really convinced herself about teaching, though I think she's selling herself short there. I'm sure many of the friends who confide in her would consider her a great teacher. And she sure is an authoritarian (guaranteed I'll get a slap for that..see?).
So, I guess the big question is...why would we do this? Where does the idea come around to pack up my family and go to a strange place?
Several factors enter into this. For me, it started with our trip to Germany three years ago. It was the first time I had ever thought about living somewhere else than Canada. Then Hawaii happened. Not only did Hawaii provide me with new perspective to how I lived my life (guess I should write about that...though I've spoken about it at Toastmasters a lot..promise a new blog on that within a week), but I was dead serious when I said I would stay there indefinately if I could. My spirit of adventure soars when I'm abroad or taking long road trips. But I couldn't do it without Melanie and the boys, so it's always been my hope that it would be endorsed.
Another big factor is that we are fortunate to not be crazy in debt. In fact, other than for our mortgage...we have no real debt at all. Our house is designed to be a rental unit, so between our current tenant downstairs and leasing out the upper half, we would maintain our current financial condition. That is such a liberating feeling.
Well, before I start packing, I need to complete step one...the course, so don't start sending us bon voyage notes yet. It starts in a couple weeks, and I am truly looking forward to it. Melanie is taking 1/2 of it online due to work obligations, so we will be going over the coursework together.
I'll likely expand upon some of my thoughts over the next while. I need to get working on my next speech, which has a direct tie-in....I'll let you know what that is soon.