Tasci Gibson - Language Awareness Trainer
Tasci grew up in Ohio, but her wanderlust began clawing at her from an early age. She has always had a love for languages, culture, and travel. Tasci graduated from Ohio University with an M.A. in applied linguistics, with the aim of traveling the world and teaching English. She has been happily living and teaching in Prague since 2003.
You grew up in a small town in Ohio. How did you end up living and teaching in the Czech Republic?
I’ve always had a fascination with language. I studied linguistics at Ohio University, and my goal was to teach English abroad. When graduation was looming and I had started to send out job applications, I received an offer in Prague. All of my classmates encouraged me to take the offer because “Prague is the most beautiful city in the world.”; they weren’t wrong!
How did you find out about Live TEFL Prague?
I’ve known Martin Hejhal for many years and we’d worked together in the past. A position opened up last year and he contacted me. I was impressed immediately with the classroom, the curriculum, and the other instructors.
What drew you to join the team full time?
I love teaching my students. It’s great to watch someone get to know a new language, and through that experience they get to know a new side of themselves. This is what I want to give to the TEFL trainees, that love of teaching, which is why I choose to be the Language Awareness Instructor.
You’ve been teaching English for over a decade. What is your best piece of advice for aspiring ESL teachers?
Have confidence in yourself. Nobody learns how to teach in one week or one month, or even in one year. Teaching is a continual learning experience for the teacher also. That being said, you have to walk into the classroom with confidence that you’ve trained, you’ve prepared, and you are the best resource your students will encounter that day. It makes learning fun for your students, and teaching more fun for you.
Any tips for teachers considering the Czech Republic specifically?
Do your research. Learn about the visa process and make a budget of how much money you’ll need to survive till your first pay. It’ll save you a lot of stress if you are prepared. Also, do some research about the Czech Republic. People love when you show interest in their culture, history, and geography; it can open doors to new and lovely experiences.
How has the TEFL industry grown most significantly since you started teaching?
When I moved to Prague in 2003, it had a reputation of being a “backpacking teacher city.” Backpackers would come for a few months and would use teaching as a way to stay afloat while they hung out. They didn’t always have qualifications. However, now the majority of ESL teachers are qualified and trained individuals that are committed to a longer term stay in the country.
What do you think the key component of successful TEFL training is?
You have to pace yourself. Imagine you are running a marathon. You have to do some preparation beforehand, you have to find a good pace so you don’t burnout, and you have to keep running even when you feel exhausted. Keep your eyes on the finish line; we are cheering for you! It is an intense course, but it is also intensely rewarding.
Why is Live TEFL Prague a uniquely valuable place to earn TEFL certification?
We aren’t only TEFL instructors, we are also language teachers. We have our own students. We are able to provide real life advice based on our current experiences. We also offer a small classroom setting, so that trainees can get one-on-one instruction with each instructor.
What do you love most about working for Live TEFL Prague?
I love meeting new people and hearing new stories. Seeing our trainees go through the program and become confident teachers is a joy.