What is the best thing I've learned from my TESOL course and how it reinforced my will to become a teacher
As far as I can remember, I always wanted to become a teacher in a foreign country. The most thrilling part about it was to convey knowledge to others and extend my own cultural awareness.
When I heard about TEFL online courses after graduating from university, I immediately thought it would be the best option for me in order to achieve my greatest dream. After the completion of this course, I will move to Tokyo with the strong will to teach English to all different types of students, regardless of their age or current English level. Now that I am almost done with my TEFL online course, this post will take a look at my improvements and achievements so far. I will particularly focus on what I feel is the best thing I learned from this TESOL course.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Anaïs M.
“Teachers abroad need to be mindful of cultural differences in the classroom.”
Truth be told, and taking my lifelong respect towards teachers into account, I never came to realize the great deal of responsibility this role carries, neither did I realize the astonishingly numerous amount of factors that ought to be considered when teaching in a foreign country. The first point I became aware of is that teachers abroad need to be extremely mindful of cultural differences in the classroom and how these can impact teaching and learning outcomes, both inside and outside the classroom. Without this awareness, we risk creating a cultural gap that can hinder positive relationships with students and their families.
As a matter of fact, this TESOL course put the emphasis on what I thought is the major component of a successful teaching career; establishing a healthy and respect-based relationship between the teacher and the students. Regarding the case of a teacher working abroad, this TEFL course showed me that the key point was to create a culturally responsive environment while adding a pinch of entertainment to a light-hearted atmosphere.
“You cannot create a culturally responsive classroom if you don’t take the time to get to know your students.”
As a teacher, you cannot create a culturally responsive classroom if you don’t take the time to get to know your students as individuals. Establishing set times to sit down with a student can give them a chance to speak about themselves in a more personal setting. Some students may not feel comfortable talking about their life outside of school with the whole class listening. That is the reason why we ought to show a genuine interest in each student's understanding of content and their general well-being.
Creating a culturally responsive classroom is all about creating an environment in which students of all cultures feel comfortable and ready to learn.
However, teaching itself is much more than a formal teacher-student approach, it actually requires a certain degree of sensitivity and delicacy in the handling of the classroom. This TESOL course opened my eyes to the fact that there is a tremendously deep discrepancy between how people generally perceive the act of teaching and what it actually implies. On another note, it overall helped me to improve my self-awareness and confidence by reinforcing my will to pursue the path I had always dreamed about.
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