The Art of Teaching English
Just like writing and art, teaching English comes naturally to some whereas others have to be taught.
Before I did the OxbridgeTEFL course and became a teacher I can safely say that I had no idea whether I would want to take up teaching as a profession, neither did I know if I would like it. At the time, I did it as a means to getting a job if I failed to procure a position in doing something I already knew how to do. However, in the process of gaining my certificate (which involved taking on real students in real classes) I knew there and then that teaching English is what I wanted to do.
So, what makes a good teacher?
I think the first and foremost item at the top of the list is that you have to actually ENJOY it because, if you don’t enjoy it then that’s going to come across to your students and they, in turn, won’t feel comfortable with you teaching them.
The second item is about listening, questioning and being responsive to your students’ needs. Without these things you will not know what they need to learn and that will make your task fruitless.
Third item is to be flexible. If you are too rigid in what and how you will teach, you may not grab the attention of your students causing them to become bored and unyielding.
Thereafter, comes teaching style, care, humour and support in no particular order. Having said all this, I have only been teaching English for a year so I don’t claim to be an expert by a long shot as these things come with time and practice. What I do know is that I enjoy what I do and hope that my students enjoy it too. And, if teaching is something you have thought about doing but you’re not sure if you’d be good at it, why not take the plunge and go for it. After all, what do you have to lose?
As I stated at the beginning, I hadn’t planned on taking up teaching full time, neither had I planned on liking it as much as I do but, I’m so very glad I went down this route because for once in my life, I am doing a job that I enjoy, that gives me satisfaction and enables me to travel the world should I get bored of Barcelona and wish to relocate to another country.
As Shakespeare once said, “The world is your oyster” and, it certainly is when you know how to teach English!