For those who want to make money while traveling, teaching English abroad is very appealing. In most cases, you don’t need to have professional teaching experience to be hired at a public or private school abroad.
But if you’ew teaching just so you can live in another country, that doesn’t mean you can wing it. Teaching is work, hence why it’s a job. You may find that it’s something you’re really passionate about, or maybe it’s not really a long term career for you (and that’s okay too).
Here are some tips for new English teachers:
Your patience is going to be tested over and over and over again. Learning a new language is challenging, especially English where the same word can have totally different meanings. Vocabulary and grammar that are first nature to you are going to be hard for your students to grasp, so try not to get frustrated.
Not only that, but you’re going to have to learn how to handle an unruly class, and how to respond to a disrespectful comment. Chaos is part of the territory.
There will definitely be days when you don’t want to teach, but your students shouldn’t know that. Like many jobs, you need to leave your negative energy at the door and have a positive attitude while working. If you act like you don’t want to be there, your students will pick up on it and feel the same.
Remember that teaching is hard work. There’s a reason why people go to college for it! Knowing English is just the first part, but being able to break down the language and explain it clearly is harder than it seems.
That’s why it is always good to have a TESOL/TEFL certification. Not only will you be able to brush up on your English skills, but you will be taught how to teach them to someone else.
There are plenty of resources available that can help you create a curriculum for your students. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, look online for games and guides to give you ideas. Pay attention to your student’s interests and incorporate them into lessons to make teaching personal and interactive.
When you imagine teaching abroad, do you imagine your students running to greet you as soon as you arrive? Giving you gifts and fighting for your attention? Selfies with smiling children? Well, you’re going to need to dial back your teaching fantasy before you get disappointed.
Depending on the school you’re placed in, your students might be used to having foreign teachers. They will probably have questions about where you’re from, but don’t expect to be adored right away. You need to build trust and relationships with your students, which will take time. Just your presence isn’t enough, the same as it would be teaching in your home country.
You’re not here to make friends, you’re here to win. Just kidding, but seriously, don’t try to be the ‘cool teacher.’ It’s great that you love your students, but you are their teacher, not a friend or family member. As a teacher, you need to make sure you’re acting professionally, which sometimes makes you the bad guy. There will be a point when you have to stop your students from talking or give someone a low grade.
For a lot of international teachers, the job begins as a means of traveling. However, by the time their contracts are up, many teachers choose to stay and teach longer because of how much they love their school and students.