TEFL teaching is a challenging profession. While you may think that there is not much to teaching, it is actually a difficult profession. Regular teachers every day are faced with the task of making sure that their students are learning. They would have to plan lessons, observe students, write exams, and give grades. This is even made difficult since they are working with many different students every day. Now, TEFL teachers have the same responsibilities as regular teachers but what makes their work even more difficult is the fact that they would have to leave their homes and all the things they have grown accustomed to and adjust to a new environment.
TEFL teachers would be living with different people with different cultures and mindsets. The best way to survive all of this is to adapt and adjust, adjust and adapt. Making friends and building good relationships with students can make things much easier.
Here are some helpful tips from experienced TEFL teachers.
- Dress appropriately. If you wish to be respected, then you should wear the right clothing. While it is okay in the US for teachers to wear jeans and sneakers, the same cannot be said at certain parts of the world. For example, in Korea, black is the color of authority and if ever you are to be sent there, it should be the first color that you should be wearing. Wear what teachers would wear. Dress properly and formally.
- Behave appropriately. Appropriateness is a must in the teaching profession. If you want your students to listen to you, you must deliver yourself in a respectable and dignified way.
- Silent Students. Don’t worry if your students are silent at first. Remember, while in the US and other western countries students often like to speak and participate, in other cultures especially in Asia, students are trained to listen and memorize.
- Careful Topics. You should be careful when choosing topics because some topics are considered taboo or offensive in other countries.
- “Do You Understand?” A pro TEFL teacher would never ask such a question because he/she knows that students will always respond with yes even without truly understanding the lesson.