Welcome to my new blog. Here I will share my experiences of being a new teacher. I hope to write about things like what went well and what didn’t go quite as planned in class, new things I am trying with my students, and resources that I find the most useful.
I started teaching English as a foreign language in September 2011 in a city called Arequipa which is in the south of Peru. I did a 120 hour online TEFL course plus a 20 hour weekend course, both of which didn’t really prepare me for the classroom or teaching English. I was lucky to have already worked in education for 2 years as a learning assistant helping students with learning difficulties, so I wasn’t too nervous about standing up in front of a class.
Going straight into teaching like this is a real sink or swim situation. I felt like I didn’t know the first thing about grammar and for the first few months I spent as much time planning my lessons as I did teaching them.
The first 3 months were the hardest but after that everything just seemed to stick. I really began to start loving my job. I was even giving ideas to other experienced teachers of things that worked well for me.
In April 2012 I started a CELTA course in Ecuador. I saw it as the next step in my professional development, and if you really want to be taken seriously by an employer as an English teacher it is necessary to get a TEFL qualification which includes classroom teaching and observation. I put a lot of effort into the course and came out with a pass A grade. It was the hardest I had ever worked on a course.
I think receiving a higher grade really shows your ability and commitment as a teacher. Many TEFL jobs will ask for a CELTA plus at least 2 years teaching experience but I was offered work by schools with just under a years experience. I can only assume that this was partly due to my high grade and also to my past experiences.
I am currently teaching in Manchester, England. After teaching in Peru at a school with not much in the way of resources, I have started to embrace as much as I possibly can. I have a Twitter account which I use for my own learning and I have found many new, exciting things. I have started creating Wikis with my classes, using interactive whiteboards and more recently started using Schoology, an online learning platform, with a group of students.
Lastly I have found WordPress! I had my own website, using Google sites, but this started to look dated, and with little time to attend to it I decided to start this blog instead.
I will blog again soon.
Thanks for reading!