Chalkboard is i-to-i's TEFL community.
It is currently still in testing phase which could mean you find the odd bug!
Q: What is i-to-i Chalkboard? A: It's the online community of TEFL specialists
|binzer1 1 post||
This is my first ever post here, although I have been an interested lurker for a while now.
I am on the verge of taking the plunge and enrolling in one of the TEFL courese here. To say I have anxiety and doubts would be an understatement. In fact, I have deliberated over this for going on 4 years now.
I'm 43 years old and not educated to degree standard(which I know isn't necessarily a complete drawback). I am a native speaker, being a born and bred Londoner.
Not been close to a classroom since my schooldays. Most importantly I am not a naturally outgoing and gregarious person, and have never really been a a situtaion where I needed to engage in public speaking. Yes I know this makes it sound like I am putting obstacles in my way.
So I guess I am looking for a mixture of honest information from others, feedback from those who have been there and done it, and encouragement if you really feel that it's possible for almost anyone to overcome their anxiety and go for it.
Having scrolled through the posts here, I have noticed too that many students are finding difficulties on the various checkpoints and even failing their third attempts, of course, that doesn't help my confidence levels either. How challenging are the courses ? What are the main problems people encounter ?
It is something I would really like to do, it sounds a wonderful life teaching to people that want to be teached, in a new environment and experiencing all the different aspects of that.
As for my eventual chosen destination: it would be China, it holds massive appeal for me and I do have a Chinese girlfriend and a very basic level of Mandarin.
I await some replies and I will take it from there.
|mahalath 125 posts||
Hey! I think that it can be hard if you aren't naturally outgoing, but I definitely wasn't. The thing about TEFL is that it really builds your confidence, as long as you let it! I know that standing up in a classroom isn't for everyone though. You should probably try and do a little public speaking before you go, just to make sure you can! If you can though, TEFL is a great way to build your skills. However, you will generally have to entertain your students to some extent, as well as teach them. I think that without a degree you'll be in private language schools, where people are paying for extra lessons. That means that if you are boring, your students will quit. It takes effort and investment. You don't have to be loud and crazy (in fact, that can sometimes be a hinderance) but you do have to be confident and fun.
|colsonb2011 11 posts||
I have great days teaching, and some days I want to pack up and go home and leave it behind. If you're unsure I would suggest the internship rather than a 1 year contract. My classes are 50 students, I had about 30 seconds before I was told this and there I was a rookie standing in front of grade 1 kids. The first two weeks were horrible, but I slowly improved and viewed it as a challenge to muster the courage.
The course itself is a challenge and requires some serious work. I'm not a fan of public speaking either, and I'm not the most social butterfly. I manage though and keep on going. I'm told by the other foreign teachers you will know after a year if you want to keep doing this or not. Teaching kids in China is more infotainment, like being a game show host for English. I would hardly call what I do real teaching right now.
The adults want to be taught, the kids are usually forced into the class. So most of your time is spent making the kids happy, and trying your best to incorporate learning.
That's my 2 cents.
|Maxspida 1 post||
I havnt started teaching at all yet, still doing the course. I think it is natural to be aprehensive about trying something so new, and a good idea to ask these questions.
Have you tried the tester session online? it gives you a tiny insight into what there is to do. The course is hard, yes for sure, but nothing that taking your time, really reading the information and a lot of careful research and planning cant get you through. There is quite a big chunk of work to do for the assessments/ check points but without all of this I dont think you would be prepared for the amount of work and planning and knowledge it takes to teach english as a foreign language.
Maybe you could try volunteering or observing a class at your local college to see if it is for you?
Also try the 20 hour classroom based tefl course. I did the i-to-i one in Birmingham over a full weekend a few weeks back and it was brilliant. But if you didnt like it you would know its not for you. Lots of public speaking, real out of your comfort zone type stuff but a great learning experience with people off all ages and from all backgrounds.
Hope this helps