So you want to be a TEFL teacher, but what’s the point in trying out this new career if you’re going to be about as useful as an underwater hairdryer? Students always remember a good teacher, but the bad ones stick in their memory as well, so you might be asking yourself ‘Will I make a great TEFL teacher? So we’ve put together a list of the qualities that make a really great teacher, check ‘em out:
Teaching can be stressful at times and good teachers are able to stay calm at all times. Whether you’re teaching hyperactive kids, boisterous teenagers or eager adults, you’ve got to keep control of the class. As we’ve mentioned, your enthusiasm will help to keep the class engaged, but their interest will always wane at some point, which is why you need to be patient and keep going!
If you’re a big grump who sits around with a face like thunder, you might want to consider lightening up a bit. You don’t have to be your students’ best friend, but learning English for the first time can be tough, so they need to feel comfortable coming up to you with questions. The more relaxed your students are, the easier it is to teach them!
Open-Mindedness and Flexibility
In the world of TEFL, things don’t always go as you planned them, particularly when you’re teaching young learners. Timetables could be changed, lessons could be cancelled and sometimes you don’t get the reaction you’d hoped for from your students, so you need to be willing and able to adapt. This can come from good preparation and organisation skills: if you have a variety of lesson plans and activities already prepared you will be ready for almost any eventuality. But mostly it comes from your willingness to embrace the new culture and career that you’ve become a part of.
A Good Listener
Not all students want to learn how to write English, but everyone learning a new language wants to know how to speak it. For you to be a really terrific teacher, you’ll need to keep your ears open and ready to correct any mistakes that your students make. Don’t worry if you think you could be a better listener, a good TEFL course will help you to develop these skills.
Motivation and Enthusiasm
It’s not a crime to lack a bit of get-up-and-go on a Monday morning, but can you motivate yourself to get the most out of your students throughout a working week? You’ll usually be on your own in the classroom, so you’ve got to be able to stay motivated. Remember to show your love of the language and your enthusiasm for the progress that your students are making, however small.
Take A Back Seat
Lastly, remember that teaching isn’t about you, it’s about your students. Be prepared to catch your breath, take your lecturing hat off and let them have a go. And remember, you’re lucky to be doing such a fulfilling job, so take a step back and enjoy it.
What qualities do you think makes a great teacher?