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Personal Experience: Teaching English to Kindergartners in Turkey

Personal Experience: Teaching English to Kindergartners in Turkey | ITTT | TEFL Blog

My personal teaching experience is the reason why I love teaching and hopefully after this essay, you would understand why. Let me begin by giving you a short description of myself. I was born in South Africa, I had a normal childhood and I did not enjoy my schooling career. I am currently living in Turkey teaching English to kindergartens.

This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Cihan C. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.

First Steps

When I arrived in Turkey I realized that English was a need and a want by many people of all ages. Knowing this I chose to work as a welder because I did not have enough confidence to use my English as a tool to make a living. After some time I met a guy who begged to teach him and he's Engineer friends English. So we arrange a classroom and a few chairs and tables. I sat up late looking for ideas, activities, and methods on how to teach English.

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Lack of Confidence

The day I had my class I felt prepared but at the back of my mind all I could think about was my stutter, will they laugh at me will they undermine me. As soon as the lesson began I felt like this is me, all eyes on me eager to know what's next. That lesson I did not stutter once which made me feel like a new person, the students learned something and had fun at the same time. When I got home I thought about this, Imagine if I had fun while learning at school how much better the experience would have been for me.

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Self-development and Challengies

I then left my job and walked into every Language course in my area, looking for a job, chasing this new passion of mine. Knowing that I was not qualified one school gave me a chance and I started teaching there. I will never forget one very shy student. We would go outside and do the speaking activities 1 on 1 because I knew he needed practice and to gain some self-confidence. Two months had passed and I asked the shy student "Do you want to go outside" and he replied "No I am fine" he stood up and spoke in front of everyone and everyone applied for him at the end. It was like a flower blossoming and it moved me. Every class has a shy kid but they are my favorite to work with. Teaching at a Kindergarten is often undermined but they do not know how difficult and rewarding it is to teach little monsters. Every day they teach me something as well and when their parents message me to tell me that their child started speaking English at home my heart melts because I know how difficult it was for that child in the beginning. Teaching is much more than just standing in front of the classroom and with every lesson I learned that I have to do something different, from my hair to my shoes, the manner I speak to my students. Teaching has made me a better person in so many ways. While working through this course I used every bit of information I could in my lessons and my lessons just got better and better. My students are learning faster, there is a structure and definitely, a good teacher has good students.

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From a workshop worker to a respected teacher is one of my greatest personal achievements. I love every part of teaching. Preparing activities that I know my students will enjoy, When they mumble their first broken sentences to having a conversation about what they did on the weekend, seeing that shy kid blossom or seeing them smile when I walk into the classroom. This is not a job if you want an extraordinary life or fancy cars but it is a job where you can go home proud of yourself knowing that you made a difference in someone's day.

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