1. Talking Too Much
It's not all about you...sorry.
Imagine turning up for your very first driving lesson, but instead of ushering you into the driving seat, your instructor seats you in the passenger seat and spends the next hour or so describing how to drive a car. It’s not really going to teach you how to drive, is it?
That’s exactly how your students will feel if you spend too much time at the front of class droning on – you can already speak English – it’s about getting your students to practise theirs! So make sure they’re in the driving seat, and you’re on the passenger side guiding them and making sure they don’t bump into too many obstacles!
2. Not Doing a TEFL Course
You speak English fine, so why do you need to learn how to teach it? In fact, you don’t necessarily need to do a TEFL course – you can find jobs without one. However, just a few words of warning from someone who has tried to teach English (rather badly) without first doing a TEFL course – you’re going to feel rather sheepish stood in front of a class for the first time, with no idea where to start; you’ll not have much clue about how to teach grammar; and (rather crucially) you may find it difficult to get your hands on the best jobs without one. So, all in all, not doing a TEFL course will probably be a bit of a false economy. Get more information here: http://www.tefl-chalkboard.com/travel-guides/151-Do-I-Need-a-TEFL-TESOL-Certificate-to-Teach-Abroad-
3. Being Too Nice
No one wants to be that nasty teacher that terrorises their students, but go too far the other way and you’ll cause just as many problems for yourself. No matter what age of students you’re teaching, you need to be firm and keep control – if you’re trying to please your students too much, you risk letting your classes run out of control and then no one will learn anything! Get more advice about keeping control of your TEFL class here: http://www.tefl-chalkboard.com/emmafoers/posts/819-keeping-control-of-your-tefl-class
4. Having Expectations That Are Too High
Always take the hype with a little pinch of salt – yes, teaching abroad is an amazing, life-changing chance to experience another culture. However, you will also be in a foreign country, away from friends and family, doing a job that you may never have done before, which means it may take you a little while to settle in. That’s not to say it won’t be great, but it’s always worth going in with low expectations to avoid a massive dose of disappointment and culture shock.
5. Taking the First Job That Comes Along
A good-looking TEFL job offer has just landed in your inbox, but before you rush off and sign on the dotted line, stop and take a look at the job conditions – those crucial things like working hours, holidays, training and sick pay – they’ll make or break your experience of teaching abroad. If you’re not happy with what you see, negotiate with you employer, and if they won’t move on things, go elsewhere – they need you much more than you need them. Get more information here: http://www.tefl-chalkboard.com/travel-guides/201-6-Things-to-Check-Before-Accepting-Your-TEFL-Job
What do you think? What mistakes did you make as a brand new teacher?