Parents doing the TEFL course with their children. What's the experience like?

Updated: 3 days ago

On our April virtual course, we had Rita doing the course with her daughter, Daleen. Emma did the course with her daughter, two sons and daughter-in-law!

Both families had planned to do the onsite course in April in Siem Reap, Cambodia, before Covid-19 wreaked havoc and threw them a curveball. Both families were determined to not let the pandemic pull a handbrake on their plans. They participated in our virtual course and will come over to Siem Reap for practicums at local NGOs, as well as job placement assistance, once travel bans are lifted.

We have had students from all ages and backgrounds doing our course – both onsite and virtual. We’ve had 18-year-olds straight from school as well as mature students not yet ready to retire but wanting to jump off the hamster wheel and do something more meaningful than their rat race job. We like to call these our ‘golden gap year’ students. You are never too old to learn something new or experience a new adventure!

We chatted to moms Rita and Emma to find out what it was like participating in the course with their kids. Moms, thank to for chatting to us, you are an inspiration indeed!

What made you decide to do the course with your daughter/children?

Daleen and I always talked about travelling together, and when she said she wanted to teach in Cambodia I thought to myself, ‘why not, I love teaching and it is something that we can do together.’Rita

I challenged myself to do this course but then at the same time to be a support system to my children. To me enough is never enough, so to add another certificate to my name is wonderful. To see my children in action is a blessing. – Emma

I know you were anticipating an in-class course, but ended up doing our virtual course due to the situation. How did you find the virtual course? Is it what you were expecting?

When we heard that we were doing a virtual course, I did not know what to expect! But it was a great experience from the comfort of my home. Our trainers made it feel like we were in a real classroom.Rita

This virtual course is everything and more than what I expected it to be. The support from the Destination TEFL team is really already at a high level, and professionally managed considering the challenge on both sides. It was a great experience overall, and I am extremely glad we could do it.Emma

You are moving over to Cambodia later to work, for the great adventure you have planned, and I’m sure you are excited for the skies to open so you can come over. But for someone who isn’t planning on teaching abroad, would you still recommend the virtual course in order to be able to teach online from home?

If you want to teach online I would definitely recommend the virtual course. The virtual course gives you an in-depth experience of how it will be when you teach online. The games you can play with your students to test their knowledge is amazing!Rita

Yes indeed, we can’t wait to move to Cambodia. I will surely recommend the virtual course to everyone who would like to teach, whether online or in class in Cambodia, or elsewhere. We all look at the course as an investment. It’s as if you add wings to your life’s journey. It’s up to us to fly. The virtual course gave us the tools to explore, travel and to teach. There is so much more to gain out of this experience of the virtual course. Just be the difference in the lives of those who need it. Each and every person is unique, and I believe all of us is here to do our part in the lives of othersEmma

What do you think you gained from doing the course with your child? Did you bond more, or was it a challenge working with your daughter/children? Did you bump heads or support each other?

Doing this virtual course with Daleen was truly a great experience for both of us! It really brought us closer. We laughed together, we learned together, and worked together. I felt relaxed with her there with me. We supported each other, maybe a bit more support from her.Rita

I gained a whole lot more than I expected to. Not only that, but speaking English and teaching English to Asians are completely different. I’ve learned to sit still, something that was basically impossible for me to do! I’ve learned to take a step back and watch my children perform, grow and shine. We definitely bonded more because of the support we gave each other, obviously a challenge for me because I had to work harder. All of us studied until late at night, which usually ended up in laughter and jokes.Emma

How do you think that your experience as a ‘mature student’ differed from that of your daughter/children?

I am not on top of all the new technology, but Daleen is and quickly jumped in if I needed help. It has been a while since I was in a classroom setting, so I had to focus a bit harder, but Daleen was comfortable from the beginning. – Rita

Being in the ‘class’ with my children, and I know they were looking at me in a different way. In a child’s mind they think parents know everything and now mom is in the same class. Children, I think, would not expect it to be like that. I am happy to say in our situation it is different, luckily we often socialise together. Being part of the gang is nothing new. It was rather a case of what did the other students think about the mom and her children being in the same class. But I really did not feel any awkwardness. You just have to realise your kids are grownups now and respect that. ‘Mature students’ with their children in the same class can be fun if you both enjoy what you’re doing. It worked perfectly for us to be together and I will do it again if we have to.Emma

Is there anything else you’d like to tell parents who are considering doing either the virtual course or the full package coming over to Asia with their children?

They say you are never too old to learn and I am proof of that and by doing it with my daughter made it so much easier.Rita

Firstly I will recommend parents with children do the virtual course together. It gives both parents and children the experience of working together, team building and great confidence. This is something you could not do with your children while they are still at school. Yet after school, parents get the opportunity to see their children perform and build a bond like never before. Children get to meet the parent outside the parent role, a chance to see each other in a different way, build respect and understanding. If possible for any parent to do this course with their children, I will most definitely advise you to take this opportunity and to do this.Emma

If you have found Rita and Emma’s stories an inspiration, pop us an email at or a WhatsApp on +27712531841 for more info on both our virtual and onsite courses.

Not sure what the difference is between an online course and a virtual course? Find out here:

Watch a video of our virtual course in action here:

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