You’ve completed your TEFL course with your shiny TEFL certificate in hand, but now the doubts are starting to form. How to be a good TEFL teacher? Am I capable enough? Can I actually do this? These are some of the top worries we hear from our graduates. Starting your new career as a TEFL teacher, whether that’s Teaching English Online or travelling around the world to Teach English Abroad, can seem quite daunting, but trust us, it doesn’t need to be.
You’ll be starting out on a brand new journey that’s likely to be unlike anything you’ve experienced before. You’ll use skills you will have picked up throughout your life, and you’ll carry them forward with you into your future education and professional endeavors. We have put together some of the top skills you’ll need to make you a fantastic TEFL teacher.
1. Be enthusiastic about what you’re doing.
It’s important to reflect on why you started your TEFL journey – to inspire and change the lives of others. The language you’re lucky enough to speak is an international tongue that unites and connects people; and by teaching English in overseas communities, you’re giving this gift to the students you teach! Speaking English opens up a huge new world of opportunity for your learners, so hold your head up high and throw yourself into planning some really engaging lesson plans with the help from our TEFL Resource Packs. If you’re having fun whilst you’re teaching, your students will be far more engaged.
2. Remember to be patient.
One of our most important pieces of advice to being a good TEFL teacher is to be patient with your students. When you’re starting out in a new school, in a new community, in a brand new country, there are bound to be a number of culture points to get used to, so don’t work yourself up into a tizz the second your hot water doesn’t seem to work. Similarly, your students may need further support and a little more of your time to explain concepts and learning that you may take for granted; remember the language and lifestyle differences may form a barrier, but over time you can dismantle this with really rewarding results.
3. Use your creativity!
You don’t need to be Picasso to use your creative flair in the TEFL classroom, so don’t be shy to crack out the felt tip pens! Even if you’re Teaching English Online, there are tons of options such as breakout rooms and interactive screen-sharing. Visual aids such as photographs, pictures and flash cards make the learning process much smoother for learners of all ages, and creative time in the classroom can also be used as a way for the students to get creative and share information about them. Trust us, when you’re repeating your point again and again the hand-made aids will seem like lifesavers!
4. Open your eyes.
TEFL allows you the opportunity to get under the skin of some of the world’s most unique cultures; those that are markedly different to ours here in the West. While the culture shock can seem overwhelming at first, we believe the beauty of life comes from experiencing brand new things, so get stuck in! Make friends with your fellow teachers, share lunch with your students, explore the local area and learn some more about the context your students are learning in. You’ll be exploring some amazing cultures so make sure to soak it all in, and really enjoy your years as a TEFL teacher. So to answer your question of how to be a good TEFL teacher? Relax, explore and enjoy yourself, after all happiness radiates! If you’re not sure yet where you want to Teach English Abroad, then check out our World TEFL Guide, that is full to the brim with information on TEFLing all around the world!
5. Don’t lose your sense of fun!
Teaching young people will always be a good laugh, but delivering lessons to older learners can be really fun too. The fact is, sometimes your lesson plans might not work, sometimes your class might feel unruly, sometimes lesson plans may get changed around at the last minute… this is normal, and doesn’t mean that you have failed or that you are not a good TEFL teacher. Just take a deep breath, crack a smile and have a laugh about it! Whilst teaching is a serious business, sharing this amazing learning experience with your students should be fun.
If you’re after a new adventure or a change in career then becoming a TEFL teacher could be for you! Check out our range of TEFL Courses here.