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Why Jazer Papas, An English Major, Took ATI's TESOL Program

If you took up a degree in English or education, it might seem redundant to pursue another course in the same field. But not all programs are built the same way—and the Advanced TESOL Program at American TESOL Institute Philippines is designed to bring you value, no matter your starting point or educational background.

That’s what Teacher Jazer Papas, an AB English graduate from a state university in Davao, found out when he took up the Advanced TESOL NOW program just this January 2021. For him, the program was not only an insightful experience that further enhanced his skills, but it also equipped him with the credentials to be a more competitive candidate in the workforce.

A winding road

Becoming a teacher had always been his dream, and yet the journey has been far from straightforward. In fact, Teacher Jazer first enrolled in a Technology and Livelihood Education program. However, because he had to make time for work to fund his education, he shifted to the AB English program, with classes being held in the evening.

At the time, he was not really confident in his own abilities, despite being very determined to pursue teaching. Teacher Jazer shared that he always felt nervous and embarrassed during reporting activities, and yet the AB English degree proved to open new opportunities for him.

He earned his professional license in 2012, but left the teaching profession for five years, feeling quite lost, demotivated, and with little belief in his own capabilities. But he found his way back to the educational sector, now teaching at a public secondary school.

For Teacher Jazer, what really matters is to help students who deal with similar problems like him—feeling like they’re not good enough—and fully believe in their potential to thrive in whatever future career they pursue.

“I feel there are students of mine who want to reach their goals but are hesitant to take the leap because they do not trust their capabilities,” he explained. “I want to become an instrument to build their confidence in fulfilling their dreams.”

And Teacher Jazer is more motivated than ever before, with the vision to eventually go abroad to pursue better opportunities.  “I want to have a global mindset and am challenging myself to reach the ultimate fulfillment of my dreams, notwithstanding any rejections or hardships I may face,” he expressed.

To get one step closer to reaching that dream, Teacher Jazer decided to take up ATI’s Advanced TESOL program, which allowed him to pursue his professional development while continuing to teach amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Adding value to one’s arsenal

“Even after finishing my degree and gaining considerable experiences, I felt like my communicative skills needed further improvement,” shared Teacher Jazer. “Taking the TESOL course improved my teaching knowledge and skills.”

Throughout the program, he was able to unlearn and relearn relevant principles about English grammar and communication. It also developed his capabilities in delivering lessons confidently and comprehensively.

Since his last stint in formal education was nearly a decade ago, Teacher Jazer found new ideas and updated his teaching methods through ATI’s modules.  According to him, even the topics that were previously covered by his degree program were things that he had to relearn—seeing them in a different light.

“This certification will bolster my chances to secure a teaching position abroad and even helped me stay on track and motivated in my status as a teacher amidst this unusual time of our lives due to the pandemic,” he shared.

Moreover, completing the program has given him greater confidence and credibility for his future applications to teach abroad and pursue graduate studies. Especially as the world is in a constant state of change, this continued development and lifelong learning was important for Teacher Jazer to become a better teacher, who embodies the saying “to teach is to touch lives forever.”

“Teaching is like being an actor. You might have to perform different roles and characters everyday, showing different faces to your students. It is a gift that only few will have,” he concluded. “Every moment with a teacher leaves an impact on the children, who will carry those values for the rest of their lives.”

Want to gain greater confidence in your capabilities like Teacher Jazer? Explore ATI’s Advanced TESOL Program to develop yourself professionally and personally to boost your career prospects.