The Benefits of Volunteer English Teaching
"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others." Mahatma Gandhi. There is a growing demand for volunteers to teach English in poverty-stricken regions. At first glance, volunteer teaching may appear to be a waste of your precious time and a futile effort that you should direct towards a more profitable action. However, the benefits that you can reap from such an experience are invaluable. You can make a huge difference in the lives of underprivileged people through volunteer teaching, but the difference that it will make to all the aspects of your life surpasses it. As it will broaden your skills and experience, allow you to grow as a person, and give you a sense of achievement to name a few.
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This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Salma O.
Volunteer teaching is a proven way to escalate your career prospects. Today's job market is highly competitive, and volunteering will definitely bolster your resume and make it stand out. Not only will it give you hands-on practical experience but it will also show employers how dedicated you are and that you are willing to take initiatives. Moreover, it can significantly expand your social network and introduce you to professional organizations that will benefit your career. If you decide to volunteer abroad, you will work side by side with people from all walks of life, whom you will get to know well. It will make your connection with them more intimate. Eventually, these connections will open doors for you and promote your career development.
Soft skills are currently highly valued by employers. While you can acquire hard skills through education, acquiring soft skills proves to be more challenging, as they can only be harnessed through practical experiences. And volunteering is one of the most efficient ways to harness these skills. For example, when you teach underprivileged students in a school that lacks teaching materials, you will probably have to think of alternative teaching methods, create your own teaching resources and solve unexpected problems that you may encounter. The situation will help you to establish good relationships and join forces with your colleagues to provide a better learning environment for the students using the limited available resources. Along the way, you will become more adaptable, flexible, and creative. You will also develop a remarkable ability to solve problems and work effectively as a member of a team.
If you are an inexperienced teacher and you are intimidated by starting a career in this field, volunteer teaching will help you overcome this feeling and boost your confidence. In addition, you will be able to put the teaching techniques and strategies that you have learned into practice. It will also give you an insight into your strengths and weaknesses as a teacher. Taking this into account will help you develop a suitable teaching approach, maximize your potential, and work on yourself. For example, I was anxious and unconfident when I volunteered to teach English in a local charitable organization in my hometown. But as soon as I started to engage in teaching and formed a bond with my students, all of my worries disappeared. I still made many mistakes, but I was able to learn from them and improve myself. And now I feel confident enough to pursue a career in teaching.
Since education has the power to make someone's personal life and career thrive, volunteer teaching is the best way to make an exponential impact on people's lives. You were fortunate enough to receive a decent education in your country, and you can show your gratitude by helping those who are deprived of their fundamental rights including education. There are many people in developing countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America who have natural aptitudes for languages but they lack funds and resources. By sharing your knowledge with them, you will be providing them with an opportunity for a brighter, more promising future. At the same time, it will give you a sense of satisfaction and self-worth, and you will grow wiser, more tolerant and humble.
In conclusion, volunteer teaching is undoubtedly an eye-opening experience that will positively contribute to both your personal and career development. Furthermore, it will change your perspective and make you a better person.
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