Here’s how . . .
While many people from Western countries place more emphasis on “street skills” than formal education, most of the developing world knows that a good education is the way out of poverty. As a result education is often much more valued than in Western countries.
A teacher who does not value education is biting the very hand that feeds them. Why do you think students are filling classes wanting to learn English?!
Respect your Host Country’s Culture and Values
Students and host country teachers will often ask you what you think of their country and culture. Say only positive things. What would you think of a foreigner visiting your home country who ran off a long list of things they didn’t like? Not much I am sure.
While we all know that our own country – which ever country that is – has flaws and problems, no one really likes to hear it from a foreigner.
Have a TRUE Interest in the Success of your Students
Students, employers and even other teachers just KNOW if you are interested in the success of your students. There are people who are just play acting being teachers and then there are people who are really teachers. Real teachers want their students to succeed and do what is needed in the classroom to help them do so.
Students pretty much intuit your interest in their success and your desire for their growth is infectious. From your energy, they get excited about what might be possible in their lives if they make a bit of effort in your class.
KNOW How to Teach and Follow the Method
There is a method to the madness that is EFL teaching and students progress at a much better rate and learn much more if that method (or a good variation of it) is followed.
There is a good reason why every TEFL training course spends so much time on teaching you methodology and lesson planning and that is because “flying by the seat of the pants” teaching just doesn’t work. Just “chatting with the students” pretty much teaches them nothing.
If you don’t have some training before you head abroad, you are likely doing your students a great disservice. Learn how to do what you need to do to help your students succeed. It’s not rocket science.
TED’s Tips™ #1: Being a great teacher requires only that you be sincere about your task and respectful of your students, their country and culture. Do it right.