My new blog

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!




Filed under Teaching English

6 responses to “My new blog

  1. Hi Tom,
    Thanks for your follow of my blog- and good to see this one starting. Can i recommend #eltchat on twitter if you don’t already know about it? Every Wed at 12pm and 9pm UK time, there is fast and furious discussion of all sorts of ELT related matters- see Hope to see you there.

    • Hi Rachael,
      Thanks for for being the first to comment on my new blog! Thanks also for the information about #eltchat I have heard of this and I will definitely try it out this Wednesday on your recommendation.

  2. I wish you good luck in the field of ESL. I have been in it for over 35 years, and in a number of countries. I am only one week old on Twitter, however, and am still trying to see what effect that will have on anything? everything?
    I have mentored many people over the years, so truly wish you a wonderful time in this field. You may enjoy some of the dialog role-play I have focused on, on my website Dialogs/ogues – as you please – are great for the classroom. Check it out and keep in touch.

    • Thanks for your kind words Lucille. There are some great speaking ideas on your site. I often get students to do a running dictation activity with tongue twisters as a warmer in class. It’s good for getting students out of their seats. I’ll definitely be using some of the ideas from your blog!
      Take care.

  3. Hello from a fellow fledgling ELT!
    I agree with you, I think blogging is a fantastic way to reflect, develop and grow as a new ELT…and in the process help others do the same!
    Looking forward to reading more! 🙂

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