Saturday, October 29, 2011

TEFL Teacher Lessons Learned: Vol. 1

…some learned the hard way, some learned vicariously, some pleasant surprises. To be continued!

#1: The actual teaching bit is like a cakewalk compared to the preparation; the real magic (and headache) happens during lesson planning.

#2: From David: For your morning classes, bring breakfast to eat while you wait for your students to show up 15 minutes late. 

#3: From David: Keep the lesson in your bag that only two students showed for to use again when those two students are absent.

#4: Though you may be prepared to be a “profe de ingles,” make sure you’re ready to handle the logistics too - in Spanish. If you know Spanish, skip to the next tip. If you’re like me and you rely on mime and gesture, read on.  Some phrases to know that will make your first week run more smoothly…
  •  I’m looking for _________ … (insert name of your “jefe” here - your boss, the big cheese, whoever is paying for your classes. :))
  • How do you get to ________.... 
  • ….on the XXth floor….
  • I will be here every Monday & Wednesday/Tuesday & Thursday/etc…
  • Where is the copy machine? I need to make copies etc.
  • Hi, I’m an English teacher
  • I need XYZ please…. Chairs, white board, table, etc.
#5: Check the forecast before you set off on your day - every day. Yeah….

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