Just for a year, before I get a “real” job…

Welcome to Retro-Thursdays, our version of “Where are They Now?”

Throwing up the peace sign is a must.

Jayson Gilbert signed up for our TESOL Certificate class in 2004.  A recent college grad, he thought he might just do something interesting for a year or so before finding a “real job.”  Something fun, with a little travel…

We interviewed Jayson in 2007 (check out the original interview below) when he returned from the Peace Corps in Bolivia and was preparing for a new job in Japan.  We recently connected with him again, and here’s his update:

A year after returning from Japan I accepted a job assignment to work as an English Teacher Trainer with Peace Corps Response. I lived in a small city outside of Cartagena for 9 months working with a group of English teachers in a high school.

After Colombia I came back to the states and worked as an interpreter in a hospital, then taught a summer ESL program at Mercersburg Academy in PA before starting my current position as a Spanish Teacher at Saint Stephen’s & St. Agnes School in Alexandria, VA.

This past summer I had the opportunity to learn Portuguese at Middlebury College as a participant in their 7-week language immersion programs.

Proficient in 4+ languages, a home on 3 continents, and friends around the world?

Yes, please!

Jayson, I think you’ve found your real job.

Meet TESOL Grad Jayson Gilbert…

Interview from JUNE 2007

When Jayson Gilbert (TESOL class Spring 2004) arrived in Bolivia with the Peace Corps to work among urban Guarani, he didn’t quite get what he expected. What he did get was a ceiling fan. Running water. Electricity. And a seemingly infinite number of people in his city of 30,000 who wanted to learn English. He found himself working in several different venues, first independently in his spare time and later as an official Peace Corps assignment. During the two years he was there, his students — and his best advertising — were children, young people and adults, many of whom encouraged friends and family members to take his classes.

While he was a bit surprised at the accommodations, he was well-prepared for the work and the community itself. Thorough research into the program and country are critical for teachers looking for overseas placement. Pre-travel certification in the U.S. is a good idea as well, since some overseas agencies provide certification only for their own programs.

His next tour is with the JET program, working with school children of as-yet-undisclosed ages in a soon-to-be-assigned location somewhere in Japan. Although he can’t know exactly what to expect this time either, he knows quite a lot about the JET program (and a growing amount of Japanese). And even more importantly, he knows that an open mind, curiosity, adaptability and his enthusiasm for exploring a new culture will serve him well.

About The Author


Director of Unusual Circumstances: Teacher, trainer, coach, consultant. Find out more about me at: About Us