Several Things You Should Do as a TEFL Teacher
The role of the teacher, without a doubt, is the most important factor when you begin your teaching profession. For it is here--where you start and then continue to educate students your entire life. Everything a teacher does is what leads to the success and failure of the students.
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For a teacher to achieve success, they must want it internally. Some teachers enter the field because they want summers off. I know it sounds absurd but it's true. The teacher must be dedicated to their profession and show that every day when they walk into the classroom. The old phrase, "what you see is what you get" applies perfectly. If the teacher's appearance and demeanor are poor--chances are so will their teaching efforts.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Steve S. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
Creating a Right Atmpsphere
Upon getting a class or classroom, the teacher needs to set it up correctly. Having a dull and boring room, it just that. Kids like to see colorful and intriguing things. I taught middle school the majority of my career so my room was always filled with historical documents and things I liked. I had sports posters, Kennedy analogies and all sorts of memorabilia that would intrigue both girls and boys alike.
After creating the room it's time to teach. As I always said, "It's time to roll up your sleeves and get dirty." Starting with meeting your kids and attempting to memorize their names, is where the real art of education begins.
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Setting up Learning Goals
The objective for the teacher, first and foremost, is to have the students learn. Writing that down on paper is one thing, carrying it out is another. To start, a good teacher must plan--and plan well. You can't show up every day and hope you find something to do. I use to plan my entire unit and then carry it out. To be successful you must plan to fit the allotted time on a daily basis but also on a unit basis. Sometimes you find a new activity and throw it in so you must leave yourself with some extra space if need be. Planning includes objectives you might want to incorporate but also the standards we all face in the educational world today. State standards are required and an administrator will expect to see them.
Providing With Appropriate Activites
After planning comes the part of teaching. Are you capable of acting out on the objectives the school or governing body set down? It is here where you're evaluated--not only by the administrator but also by the students. If the students find you dull and boring they'll let you know. Middle school students aren't afraid to speak their mind and they usually tell you without hesitation. I can't count the number of times I heard, "this is boring." Remember, a teacher's job is to teach--not entertain. Entertaining a class is important to create interest and have them seek out learning but it's not the overall objective.
Once you get your class, you become a parent--a parent away from their home. I work at a low-income school and some of these kids sleep in their cars. Do you really think learning about Teddy Roosevelt is the most important thing in their day? Obviously not but being that second parent and welcoming them to my room is what counts. I might be their only source of interaction until they come back the next day. I might be the only source of praise they receive for an entire week. Keeping that in mind we must remember what our main objective is.
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While teaching, the students need to feel comfortable and intrigued so it's up to the teacher to create that environment. Having a room that is fun and keeps the kids wanting to come back is so important. If you can spark an interest in their learning, you've won half of the battle. In doing so you must create or implement activities that are useful and conducive to learning. Working in pairs, doing drills or working with them one-on-one is so important to student growth. The students need to see that the instructor really cares to coincide with their ability to chat with them alone. Many students fear to talk about the material they don't understand but if they are capable of meeting with the teacher individually they can receive that attention. An instructor must be willing to provide this time.
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