Lessons Distance TEFL

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This is how our TEFL graduates feel they have gained from their course, and how they plan to put into action what they learned:

C.B. - Korea said:
Things I wish i had knownI postponed this class for a year because I was intimidated by its length and the work required. I gave up the first time after Unit Two. The second time through, I waited until the month of my 6 month limit, because I have come to rely on the power of a deadline to get me working at an even pace. What a bad habit! Once I had passed Units Three and Four, I began to trust the rhythm of the course. The chunks are bite-sized, not overwhelming, but not filler either. If I had known there was such an emphasis on grammar, I might have been less intimidated because I like grammar and have always been good at explaining it to other people. I approached the grammar units with a lot of confidence, thinking that I would not learn anything new, but I did learn a significant amount about the use of tenses and how to convey their proper use. I also did not know that there would be a consistent focus on lesson planning. This is not a strong area for me because I tend to do things by feeling rather than by intelligent analysis. And I am a huge procrastinator (see above paragraph!). It was helpful for me to design lesson after lesson. It took away some of the intimidation for me. The most important thing I learned from this course, I believe, was to appreciate the difference between study, engagement, and activation. I had never heard that type of breakdown before. It will really help my lesson planning. One of the things I hoped to gain from the course was increased confidence. I tend to be sway between being overly authoritative and being too free-form in the class room. I can?t help feeling that my maturity as a person and as a teacher are connected and both lacking in some way. A teacher has to be vulnerable and open, but I tend to be aloof in the classroom. After one year I still don?t know my students? names. Shameful! I really hoped that somehow I would have come away from this course with more of a feeling of personal growth and preparedness, beyond the technical awareness I?ve gained. As we?ve learned, it is in the activation stage that deep learning takes place. I will have to wait until I put these lessons to use. In this regard, I?ve come away with a fuller appreciation that teaching is not a skill that can be taught through book learning alone. The boost in confidence I was looking for will follow practice, knowing that I now use the same tools used by the good teachers of the world whose performance is a work in progress. I find myself longing for a course that will make me a better PERSON! I am happy to learn through this course that mature people make mature teachers. They are fully human in the classroom, knowing how to encourage, how to believe, how to adjust to the needs of others. I will be taking the next course in English for young learners and I do expect to become more aware of the unique needs of children and how I can meet them. All told, this has been enjoyable and effective and I would recommend it to others. Because it was a positive experience, I am beginning to consider teaching as a lifetime career, rather than a convenient stopping place. I see that English Language teaching in particular is still a growing field and in time, I might just have something to contribute to its growth.