If you want to make a difference in the lives of others, you have to begin by improving yourself. TEFLPros founders Jos and Whitney take this sentiment to heart. While their paths were different, they both came to the TEFL industry as a result of a major life-change…and it paid off. Jos’ Story: Hi, I’m Jos! Chances are, some of you reading this are a lot like me. When I was 27, after working for five years in corporate, enterprise level sales for a fantastic company in downtown Chicago, I decided I wanted a career change and registered for a TEFL course. Everyone told me I was crazy when I quit my glamorous, high paying job, but it was the best decision of my life. I graduated with a triple major in International Studies, History and Anthropology and a minor in French. While my sales job taught me a lot about business, I always had a passion for academics, culture and exploration. It was scary at first; moving abroad and becoming an English teacher was not something people did. As I (nervously) suspected, it was absolutely the right path for me and has been so much more rewarding than I ever imagined. I spent some time teaching in Cameroon, Luxembourg and at an ESL community center in Chicago, but I have been teaching in Thailand for the past four years and loving every minute of it. After several years of teaching in Thailand, it became clear to me that there was a disconnect between what new teachers learn in their TEFL courses and what actually happens in the classroom. Whitney and I formed TEFLPros in order to give new teachers the real tools that they will need to begin a successful TEFL career. I love my job, plain and simple. As a teacher and trainer, my work life balance is amazing, I can travel and I learn something new every single day. I’ve been to over 40 countries, taught thousands of students, and tried some really weird foods. I’m passionate about teaching and helping new teachers feel comfortable beginning their TEFL career with all the knowledge that they need to be comfortable, skilled and successful. Whitney’s Story: Hi there! My name’s Whitney and I’m one of the co-founders of TEFLPros. My journey began over 10 years ago when I was a student at UNC. I had always dreamed of traveling the world and a study abroad program in France during my Junior year was the catalyst that set that dream into motion. Fast forward to now and I’ve lived in Europe and Asia for the past decade. My transition from being a study abroad student to being an adult working abroad came in the form of a TEFL training course and later a teacher trainer course. Some common trends became clear to me after years of teaching English to non-native speakers and training new teachers. Many new teachers at my school didn’t have the basic foundation needed to be successful in the classroom. Now, I truly understand how difficult it is to be a new teacher – there is a lot of learning that has to take place “on the job”. However, time and time again, I would see that our school’s mentoring program was left to pick up the slack when it came to core concepts and strategies. And that is where my research began. I started gathering ideas, techniques and strategies that worked well for me. I also looked into other programs, in particular online TEFL courses, to see where these gaps in knowledge were coming from. In 2015, after partnering with my colleague Jos, the concept for TEFLPros began to take form. We have worked long and hard to develop material that is both practical and meaningful for the classroom. It is our hope that when you complete our course you will have a toolbox full of ideas, strategies and skills that will make your transition into TEFL teaching and living abroad a breeze!