How to Become a Great Teacher With an ITTT TEFL Course
The TESOL/TEFL course from ITTT has taught me many things that will elevate my teaching. The best things that I learned from this course can be summarized in three statements. First, it is very important to be flexible in all aspects of your teaching. Second, it is crucial to be confident and adapt your teaching as each class progresses. Third, it is vital to develop a rapport and relationship with your students. While there are many different areas of my teaching that were improved by this course, I believe that these three things are the best and most important.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Stephanie B. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
One of the most common things taught throughout each unit relates to flexibility. A teacher who insists on sticking to a rigid lesson plan, or a verbatim lesson plan, will doom themselves to failure. Not all students are the same, and not all material will be best taught the exact way that you have planned it. If you start an activity with the class intending to go one direction but the class takes it in another direction, it is okay to let the class lead the discussion so long as it is productive and is encouraging learning. Sometimes it can be hard for teachers to relinquish control to the students in discussions or activities, but being inflexible can be detrimental to learning. It is very important to be flexible and learn to adapt your lessons as a teacher.
A teacher should be confident in their abilities to adapt to each class and lesson as is needed. In the example above where a discussion goes a different direction than was planned, a teacher should not worry about their competency and be unable to teach with the unexpected discussion. A lack of confidence or a lack of skills will seriously hinder a lesson’s progression because the teacher will not want to deviate from their lesson plan. However, if a teacher is confident in their teaching, an unplanned departure from the plan will not halt the class but will encourage more organic learning and a better relationship with the class.
Something that I believe is often overlooked by teachers is the quality of their relationship with the students. A teacher does not need to be best friends with every single student in the class, but it is crucial that the students feel comfortable and that they are in a safe environment to learn. Learning a foreign language is difficult, and if a student feels that they might be embarrassed or mocked they will participate less during lessons. A teacher should always be sure to greet the students, introduce themselves, and learn the students’ names as a jumping-off point to develop a relationship with the class. Teachers should also be careful of their overall attitude and demeanor in the classroom and smile often and use a happy and encouraging tone of voice.
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In conclusion, while there are many important and great things to be learned from this course, I believe that the most important ones revolve around a teacher’s flexibility, adaptability and confidence, and relationship with the class. It is impossible to progress from an adequate teacher to a great teacher if you do not possess these skills. The TESOL/TEFL course from ITTT has taught me all of these things and more.
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