But I’m Not a REAL Teacher

Secret Fears of TEFL Teachers #1

Even teachers who have taught overseas for years sometimes have this issue in the back of their mind. But probably 98% of us that have been teaching overseas for more than just a year or two started out just like you. No real experience teaching English. Most of us with no teaching experience at all.

Some people feel like they are masquerading as a teacher.

What to do about it

Before you begin looking for a teaching job, get yourself familiar with what it is all about. About HOW to teach. Get some training so you have at least a basic idea about what to do on the job. About how to provide good service to your students. About how to help them improve and enjoy learning.

It really is about teaching, even thought teaching EFL is a bit different from other kinds of teaching in that classroom participation is critical for the success of students.

Even if you already have a teaching job, spend some time improving your skills. The internet is loaded with ways for you to improve yourself. From forums of teachers looking for new ideas and advising each other to online programs to teach you new skills. Ebooks, videos, podcasts, just about everything and anything.

Move on Up

If you intend to stay in the profession for more than a couple years or if you are truly hooked as many of us are and intend to stay overseas for a LONG time tasting of different cultures and countries – get yourself graduate degree in TESOL or applied linguistics (essentially the same).

There are some great distance programs offered, especially from Australia, that have good reputations and reasonable costs. A good graduate degree will help qualify you for university positions almost anywhere in the world and add a bit of polish to your skills.

TED’s Tips™ #1: Improve your skills to improve your self confidence and self concept as a teacher.