10 Tips to Help You Enjoy Your TEFL Course
People have different reasons for taking a TEFL course, but everyone that embarks on the journey surely wants to succeed. It can be a challenging experience, but should also be enjoyable. Here are some tips to help you avoid getting too stressed during the time you spend on the course. Although they’re mainly geared towards on-site courses, many of the points apply to working online too.
1. Don’t appear to be too serious
You will find that teaching English can be fun, and most teachers that students respond to well have a sunny disposition. Try to develop that attitude whilst you’re doing the course. It doesn’t mean you can’t be studious, but avoid being dour. Even if you don’t feel on top of the world, you will improve your own mood by acting in a positive way.
2. Accept mistakes – we’re not robots
Remember that you’re doing a course to learn something new. Don’t expect to do everything perfectly straight away. Babies learn to walk by falling down and trying again, we learn to drive by kangarooing along the road initially, and we learn musical instruments by playing notes that are painful on the ears. Try not to get frustrated when you find something difficult, just treat it as part of the learning process and enjoy it.
3. Follow your trainer’s advice
Keep in mind that the people training you want you to succeed, and get more satisfaction from their job more when people do. Even if you’ve been teaching for some time it may be that you’ve become ‘stuck in your ways’ or simply haven’t taught English as a foreign language before, which requires its own skill sets. Have fun trying out new ideas and procedures. You’ve paid for their service and advice after all. You may decide the suggestions are not for you, but will certainly benefit from finding out. There’s nothing to lose and plenty to gain.
4. Give yourself free time, but not too much!
If you’ve travelled to do your in-class TEFL course it’s important to get a balance of study and fun. Too much of one will spoil the overall enjoyment. No doubt it’s fairly obvious why too much partying will impact on your course, but we can also get stale or blocked if we only study. Sometimes we get stuck on something and switching off from it for a while allows our brains to reset. Discover what’s around the local area and share your experiences with other people on the course. You may even get a chance to practice some of your new found skills.
5. Dedicate the time
Following on from the previous suggestion, remember it’s very important to dedicate an appropriate amount of time to every task or project you’ve been set so that you can get maximum benefit from it. Aim to enjoy doing the task at hand thoroughly rather than thinking that it’s being done to bring benefits later on. Put enough time aside and avoid any last minute rushing to meet deadlines. Focus on the task in hand without thinking too much about what’s expected next. This may not apply to everything you do once you start working, but is a good strategy when doing a challenging course.
6. Be positive and enthusiastic
Your TEFL course can be a bit of a roller-coaster ride of highs and lows. The highs are always easy to enjoy, but the lows no quite so. Aim to maintain a can-do manner even when you’re finding it tough going, whether with grammar, phonology or teaching skills. Perseverance will pay off in the end, and you’ll be proud of your accomplishments.
7. Show interest in others – help each other- everyone benefits that way
We all feel good when we can see that we’ve made a positive difference to those around us. Use your positive and enthusiastic manner to help support and motivate others on the course who you see are struggling. You’ll find it’s a two way process - symbiotic is the word – a good one for you to teach too!
8. Recognize improvements
Sometimes we have to look back to look forwards. Think about the very short time ago before you started the course and consider all the things you’ve learnt since then. Our courses are certainly packed with great information, so you should take pleasure from the progress that you’ve made at whatever stage you’re at, knowing that there’s more to come.
9. Give yourself rewards
You will undoubtedly find some parts of the course challenging, or not to your liking. When this happens, tell yourself that you’re going to do something particularly nice after it’s finished. Indulge yourself.
10. Don’t bottle it up!
If you feel unsure about something or you disagree with something, let your trainer know and then consider their response and reasoning carefully. Don’t let small issues spoil your enjoyment of the course.
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If you follow these tips, you should get the most out of your course whilst having a rewarding and enjoyable experience in the process.
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