The Story of Becoming an ESL Teacher
Teaching is one of the most difficult jobs in the world. You have to deal with different personalities inside the classroom and somehow, you need to work things out for the class to have an atmosphere that is conducive to learning. You have to prepare yourself both mentally and emotionally to be an effective teacher. It is not a cakewalk and you need to have the drive and work ethics to succeed in this profession.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Fitz B. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
Growing up, I never really thought of teaching as a career. I took up a degree related to the healthcare industry back when I was in university. However, after I graduated I had an opportunity to work at an ESL company that caters to Japanese learners. I applied for an interview, did a demo lesson, and luckily, I was accepted. It was a new experience for me. I was excited but at the same time, I felt insecure and afraid. I did not graduate with a degree that was related to education. I was afraid of letting my students down and not giving them the lesson quality that they deserve and most importantly, I was afraid of letting myself down and not measuring up to the standard I set for myself.
Also Read: 7 Effective Speaking Activities for a Mixed-Abilities Classroom
First Teaching Job
The first few weeks at work were extremely stressful. I was constantly thinking if I did a good job, if the students like me, if they enjoyed the lesson, or if they learned anything. There were times when I felt so useless and anxious because I thought I was not being an effective teacher. Luckily, I had my colleagues and students who have helped me be more confident in myself. I have a few co-workers and they were very kind and patient with me. They always take their time in helping me prepare for my lessons. I truly value the advice that they have given me.
The students I had were very kind and understanding. They were probably the main reason why I have grown to love this profession. Once you established a connection with them everything seems easy and fun. I enjoyed going to class and even the cultural and language barrier did not stop us from having fun in class. I felt a genuine emotion to see them succeed in whatever endeavors they have in the future.
Also Read: What is Challenging in English Pronunciation for Japanese Native Speakers?
Working on Teaching Skills
After a year since I started teaching, I felt the need to improve my skills to provide a better learning experience for my current and future students. Hence, I decided to enroll in an online class to get my TOFEL certification as well as certificates for teaching young learners and English business to students. Juggling my day job and my online class was extremely difficult. I had to exercise restraint and self-control to finish my course on time and prepare my lessons for my students. Luckily, I was able to do both and I learned a lot of things when it comes to teaching and handling students.
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When I started teaching I did not think that I would last this long. I have grown to love this profession so much. I have become a very passionate teacher and I hope to be able to work in this industry for a long time.
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