With the world on lock-down, now is the perfect time to dust off old hobbies, reconnect with friends from the past, and try your hand at something new. Many people are taking this time to finally tick some bucket list boxes or take steps towards their eventual life goals.
What better time to begin your TEFL course and start thinking about a change in career? Here are a few things to consider as you go into your TEFL—and for those who have looked into it and feel a little overwhelmed or unsure how to start, this is for you!
Learn At Your Own Pace, But Don’t Take Too Long
There are a lot of benefits to doing an online course. Much like that first term at University compared to the end of A-Levels, doing any course online at home can feel enjoyable to start. No more long contact hours and enforced attendance. No homework and strict deadlines. You can take your TEFL at your own pace, break it into modules, and tackle say, one a day, or one a week if that’s what you prefer!
However, like anything if you expect to retain the knowledge you need to pass the final exam you will need to take clear notes and not leave it too long from start to finish. When I first attempted my TEFL I took a ‘Christmas break’; I’d worked hard I thought, and deserved a bit of time off. Three weeks later when I found the drive to go back to it I more or less had to start again. So remember, learn in your own time, but push through to the end. It’s worth it!
Learn How You Like, When You Like, Where You Like
We all know about the various types of learning available nowadays, and how some people prefer different methods. Some are visual learners, others kinetic, and some audio. TEFL courses today are set up so that no matter your preferred medium; podcasts, power points or meaty in-depth articles, there are many different ways to extract the information you need. Listen to a podcast on teaching methods while cooking dinner, flick through slides on your phone sitting in the garden enjoying the weather, it is entirely up to you. So if you are worrying about a dense course with reams of paper to get through think again. It is now set up to be more accessible than ever so get started today!
Don’t Fear Grammar!!!
I know it was the hardest section for me to approach. ‘Teaching Grammar’. A separate eBook. My heart sank. ‘But I never really learned grammar myself!’, you say, ‘I just know what sounds right!’
So says most every teacher I have ever met. Learning and teaching grammar is not a case of working your panicky way through the large grammar section of the textbook and remembering it verbatim. You are not going to be quizzed extensively on the past perfect tense or asked to categorise every word you teach as a part of speech. What you need is a general grounding, mostly to remind you of the basics you learned so very long ago, and give you better terminology.
As you will learn in your course, when teaching students, you don’t teach them grammar, you teach the other aspects and in doing so demonstrate the correct grammar for each situation. If grammar is still a real concern for you, your Blue Marble mentor will be happy to help and can give you all you need to know in a short email or Skype session; but remember, it is definitely not something to fear.
Getting Qualified Is Easier Than You Think
As you go through your TEFL course, and even just looking at the contents page of your course, it is easy to get intimidated. There are links to follow and a great deal of information to take in. But fear not! Most TEFL programs end with a multiple-choice quiz. Just take notes as you go along, and you will be fine. Most of your learning will come later when you actually start teaching (it’s a very on-the-job job)!
Don’t Feel Ready To Jump Into The Classroom? Don’t Worry (Nobody Ever Does)
Another worry I had was not feeling ready, having finished my course, to start teaching straight away. I put off applying for a job for a couple of weeks, delaying starting earning, because I was worried. Don’t be! No school who hires you will thrust you straight into the classroom without any training beforehand. Further, if you sign up through Blue Marble the mentorship program includes a mock class practice in the run up to your interview so you can feel fully prepared, and your mentor will answer any questions you might have! So, what are you waiting for?
Are You Interested in Becoming a Teacher?
If you like the sound of being a teacher and wish to explore the new “work from anywhere” lifestyle career that is booming right now, then you should check out our Blue Marble Teachers Course. This will gie you absolutely everything you need to launch a new and exciting career as an online English teacher!