06 Jun Learner Spotlight: Karim Agahi
This month we feature Karim Agahi, a travel enthusiast who chose to quit his desk job for a while to start a new career as an English language teacher. We talked about his passion for teaching, why he chose to enroll in a TESOL program and how it will give him the opportunity to travel and teach around the world.
Hi, Karim! Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Hi! I’m from Iran and I’ve been living in the UAE for 14 years now; minus the 2 years in between which I spent in Iran. I co-direct a family business and I have done some freelancing project management in the construction industry as well. I love travelling and exploring different places, having meaningful conversations with like-minded people wherever they are found. I also enjoy reading books.
How many languages do you speak?
I speak five languages: Farsi, Arabic, Urdu, my local language (Achomi) and English.
That’s impressive! So, what inspired you to apply for a TESOL program?
One of my favorite quotes is from Herman Melville’s Moby Dick which says: “I am tormented with an everlasting itch for things remote, I love to sail forbidden seas”. The tedium of being based in one place and preoccupied with the banalities of everyday life combined with the unquenchable thirst for exploration drove me to find a new way to travel while earning income at the same time. That meant attaining a new skill. Since I do have a desire to teach and shape minds, I decided to apply and get my teaching certificate and start exploring the world while teaching.
“Since I do have a desire to teach and shape minds, I decided to apply and get my teaching certificate and start exploring the world while teaching.”
Interesting! Tell us about your experience of taking the TESOL program at Eton Institute and why you chose us.
The experience has been nothing but positive and reassuring. There is always that element of fear when one starts a new path but the overall atmosphere of the class and the instructor (Jean) has been very helpful in turning that fear into excitement. It all started when I finally decided to do the TESOL certificate program, I searched online and came across Eton Institute – I picked up the phone and called right away; I must say that the staff were very helpful and accommodating.
What do you find challenging about the program?
The challenging aspect goes back to my own lack of experience in teaching. There are many methods of teaching based on various factors which can be learned from experience. However, the instructor does a great job of explaining everything.
What part of the program are you enjoying the most?
My natural tendency to get bored easily meant I usually skipped classes back in college days, but the 3-hour classes are so interesting that I concentrate on the lesson thoroughly and time flies. I’m also looking forward to the practice sessions in which the theories I’ve learned will be put to practical use. On a different note, I’ve bumped into an old friend from college days whom I hadn’t seen for 11 years at the institute!
” I’m also looking forward to the practice sessions in which the theories I’ve learned will be put to practical use.”
What kind of impact do you think the TESOL certification will have on your professional career?
This is the beginning of a new path for me. I think this certificate is the key to opening up vast possibilities in the years to come. It gives me the chance to teach. If I am as passionate about it as I think, I can pursue it academically.
What plans do you have after getting TESOL certified? What are your goals?
As partly mentioned earlier; I have this unquenchable thirst for experiencing new things and living in new places. So my plans will include relocating to a new part of the world and teaching there for a while.
Do you see yourself as a teacher? Where do you see yourself teaching English?
I do see myself as a teacher. I plan to teach in one of my 3 favorite cities, namely Shanghai, Seoul and Tokyo.
What advice would you give to future teacher trainees?
I’d say that remorse is better than regret. We tend to regret the chances we didn’t take and the old question that will infest our minds;”what if?” will be the greatest mystery. Simply put, “follow your passion and teach others to do so as well because that’s what life is all about” is the best advice I can give.
Are you ready for an exciting teaching career? Get started by enrolling in a TESOL or CELTA program.