TEFL: 5 things NOT to do on your first day

Tripping over your laces and falling flat on your face is probably NOT the way you want to start off your TEFL career. So here’s our advice for what not to do on your first day teaching English abroad – don’t say we don’t treat you!

1. Don’t be late!

Alarm clock

If you rush in 20 minutes late to your first TEFL class, you’ll be on the back foot from the start. (Plus, your school might not be over the moon about it!)

We suggest you: Do a trial run of your route the day before so you know exactly how long it will take you to get there. Then leave half an hour early, just in case!

2. Don’t try to wing it

No TEFL lesson plan

Going into your first TEFL class without a clear, well-structured lesson plan is just asking for trouble.

We suggest you: Use a template plan from your TEFL course. Write down each activity you’ll be doing, how long you’ll spend on it and the materials you’ll use. This means you’ll have something to glance at if your mind goes blank at a crucial moment! (We all know the feeling!)

3. Don’t forget to introduce yourself

Introducing yourself

If you don’t start by introducing yourself, your students may be a little confused about how to address you and it might put them off.

We suggest you: Start by telling the class your name, why you are there and what you will be teaching them. Even better, throw in a quick, pre-prepared warmer and your students will feel comfortable around you in no time. Happy faces all round!

4. Don’t use long, boring presentations

Image of child who is bored of TEFL presentation

Long presentations can be dull at the best of times – but one in a language you hardly understand? Hmm. Might make it pretty impossible to keep your students’ attention.

We suggest you: Break the lesson up into short, fun TEFL activities. Kids tend to have a shorter attention span than adults so this way, you’ll keep the energy levels high and the learning fun.

5. Don’t panic!

Don't panic!

Guess what? Panicking doesn’t help and if you style it out, your students probably won’t even notice that anything has gone wrong.

We suggest you: Plan as much as you can! It really is the best way to keep those nerves at bay. Arrive early and set your materials out ready. Prepare a couple of back up activities just in case. Smile and greet your students as they arrive. Then just follow your lesson plan – and you really will be fine. Trust us, we’re TEFL doctors.

Good luck!

Don’t forget: you’ve completed your TEFL course which means that you already have a good grasp of teaching English. Your first day may be nerve-wrecking but you’ll feel a lot better once you’ve done your first lesson. Stay calm, be confident and trust your lesson plan and you’re all set to go!

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