What I learned About a Teacher’s Attitude During My TEFL Certification Course
During my Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certification, I learned several valuable lessons. While knowing the English language and how to relay that to those who are learning the language is important, the most important lesson I learned is how a teacher’s attitude directly affects student interaction and class rapport.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Annie H.
A simple smile goes a long way
Being open and warm as well as using a smile has an extremely beneficial effect on a classroom. When students view the teacher as someone who is judgment-free and wanting to help, it elicits positive interaction and performance. Although this seems to be common sense, I’ve had several teachers (including language teachers) in the past who have been cold and judgmental, creating a poor working/learning environment for students within the class. Attitude is everything when it comes to teaching and positive energy has proven to be infectious in the classroom.
How the course teaching videos helped my understanding
Most notably, while watching the videos in which a teacher portrayed poor attitude and direction in one and then portrayed a positive attitude and direction in another, my thought-process on the kind of teacher I want to be shifted drastically. Although I want to know the material and portray it as well as I can, I know that this cannot be done without a positive attitude and a smile. Seeing the students interact in the second video was heartwarming and foreshadowed the way I want my classroom to look. The students acted as though they were friendly with each other and portrayed respect to the teacher. The students were having fun and enjoyed learning the material, which was a direct result of the teacher’s positive attitude.
Always maintain a positive attitude
My prior and most recent teaching experience is oriented around teaching self-defense classes to adult law enforcement officials. One of the most important parts of teaching these officers is to portray a positive and fun attitude. This elicits respect and makes the officers want to be there instead of feeling as though they are forced to be there. An individual who knows the material is just an individual who knows the material. People can know their subject inside out, whether it is self-defense or English; however, that does not necessarily mean they are good at teaching it. A good teacher has a way of making the material fun. A positive attitude is the core of what makes a good teacher and it shows in all aspects of teaching. Seeing an emphasis on this during my TEFL certification was a wonderful thing to see.
Applying these lessons in my future teaching career
Looking forward, I want to take this valuable lesson and apply it to my future English classes. Each day, I want to possess a positive attitude that portrays the lesson material as fun and exciting to learn. With every job, it’s easy to become jaded and lose excitement; however, I hope to look back to this certification and the lessons I learned and remember why I decided to become an English teacher in the first place. I want to provide exciting and fun new material to English students everywhere. Because of this, the most important lesson learned during my TEFL certification is how a teacher’s attitude directly affects the attitude of students.
Also read: 10 Tips to Help You Enjoy Your TEFL Course
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