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This is how our TEFL graduates feel they have gained from their course, and how they plan to put into action what they learned:
I began this course after my first year of teaching ESL. I did not have an english
or education related degree, nor did I ever plan on teaching! It was during my travels in North Africa when I took a volunteer english
teaching position that I decided I wanted to teach ESL. Once I started traveling in Asia, I decided Korea would be the best place to teach. My first year I taught at a private kindergarten. Like I said, I had very little teaching experience before this. I was thrown into a classroom of 7 year olds on Day 1with little guidance. I felt like my first year was such a learning experience for me as I figured out how to be a good teacher and what that meant. I tried a lot of different books, teaching methods, activities, and games and I learned by trial and error what works for me and what doesn’t. There was no one telling me what I should do, and I think having to figure out how to do everything by myself made me a better teacher.
This course has been yet another huge learning experience for me as I start my second teaching contract in Korea. I learned so many things that I already knew from experience—I just didn’t know what it was called. I also think I really benefitted from the units on the teacher’s role and the different teaching methods. Because of my last job, I often feel like I am on my own and I have to do everything and control everything in the class. Now I am downplaying teacher talking time as much as possible, and getting the students to talk to each other more. I also have discovered so many teacher resources that I didn’t know about last year that have been invaluable when I am making materials (especially supplemental) for my classes.
Overall it has been a good learning experience. I have changed and adjusted some of my teaching methods and the way I plan my lesson plans. And I have learned what my strengths are and the things I have been doing right, which is exciting! I want to keep learning and discovering new ways to be a better teacher, and this course taught me a lot.