C. James Cote' - Teacher at Large

C. James Cote’ – Teacher at Large


My name is Claude.

Among many other things, I AM a TEFL certified English teacher, tutor, and English language consultant…  (or at least that’s what I do when I’m not fighting crime, solving mysteries, and travelling to and from other dimensions in between – and sometimes during –  my classes.)

I’m originally from a place called Door County, in the state of Wisconsin.  A forty-mile-long stretch of land surrounded by Lake Michigan and the bay of Green Bay (which was named after a famous American football team from a town of the same name…  mere coincidence I’m sure.)

This place, Door County, is a two-highway county with a string of fishing villages up and down the eastern and western coasts, separated by a thin mass of land that has a rather severe infestation of art galleries and gift shops.

Around the year 2005, a large number of students from all over Eastern and Central Europe and the former USSR began coming to Door County to work for the summers and I started meeting many different people from a lot of different places around the world.

I absolutely love travelling, and I had already been to every state in America except Alaska, but at that time, I hadn’t yet been to Europe.  So after realizing that I had a lot more in common with the people from Europe than the people that I grew up with, I decided that I needed to broaden my horizons.  So I worked hard, saved money, and got on a plane to Eastern Europe.

That’s when I caught the bug…  The “Oh-my-God, I-have-to-get-the-hell-out-of (Insert Name of Wherever You Live) and-move-to-Europe!!!” Bug.

In the beginning, I spent my time in the same routine:  working for six months, and then going to Europe for two weeks, then working for six months again, and then blah blah blah…

…Not gonna cut it!  Finally a friend told me about TEFL.

I took a one-month certification course at a language school in Prague, CZ and received my license to teach.  This was (at that time) my ticket to staying in Europe for more than 90 days without a visa.  Which, I believe, is the primary reason for most people to get their TEFL Certification…  It sounds cool to say, “I lived in Prague and taught English for (6 months, a year, whatever….)

But I have also noticed, after 5 & 1/2 many years of teaching abroad, that most teachers “drop out” or give up once they realize that it is actually a “REAL” job with real responsibilities, and that even though they have been speaking English all of their lives, that does NOT mean that they can actually teach it.

This all-too-frequent occurrence does two things:

1.  (On the “negative” side) It gives (American) English teachers a bad reputation for being irresponsible and “flaky”.  (And rightly so.)


2.  (On the “positive” side) It means that there is a huge demand for English teachers just about ANYWHERE in the world!!!

…Thus the relevance for resurrecting this blog.

When I first started this blog, I was new to blogging and even newer to teaching, so I gave up one (for a while) and almost gave up the other.  The only difference between myself and all the rest of the so-called “teachers” that got in over their heads, is that I didn’t have any kind of home to “go back” to.  So I had to make it work…

Strangely enough, along the way, I found a passion…  Not for teaching English so much, but for the opportunity to communicate with a vast array of different people and help them to achieve their goals, however big or small.  But more importantly to have the opportunity to expand my horizons by seeing life from a different perspective.  This is what TEFL is for me…


Now, after 5 & 1/2 many years “under my belt”, I know that there are some valuable things that I can share, which I think will be helpful to others who may be thinking about, or just starting out on their journey into the world of Teaching English As A Foreign Language.  And after having gotten over the idea that I was going to be some kind of fantastic “English-Teacher-Blogger-Guru-Whatever”, and also having gotten a little more settled into my role as an English Teacher/Instructor/Tutor/and now Consultant – I thought it was a good time to resurrect this blog.

This is a blog about: teaching English, having fun, learning new things, expanding your horizons, and seeing more of the world than what the people you grew up with think is acceptable according to their limited views of reality.  (my personal story admittedly injected into that statement.)

I hope that the information here will be beneficial to you – either in your search to find a way to travel the world and work-away-from-home, or in your experiences as a teacher, learner, and a “giving” member of the human race… (because if you are a TRUE teacher…  the that is exactly what you are.)

Be Excellent…
(And be Excellent to each other…  for everyone you meet is a reflection of you…)



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