The TEFL Life: A TEFL blog

a story about bad grammar and non-existent punctuation and my TEFL adventures

clowning around: teacher roles

So you think you’re a teacher, do you? Well, think again. The one thing about TEFL teaching is that it seems to be different to mainstream teaching – the same teaching rules don’t seem to apply.

Firstly, there’s the question that is always asked when people find out what you do: What subject do you teach? *sigh*

[almost as grating as the question asked when you call yourself a linguist: Oh wow, so how many languages can you speak? *walks away shaking head*]

Then there are the students, who assume your class is a free-for-all and there are no rules in English class.

But most of all, being a TEFL teacher requires a fair number of skills on top of language knowledge. A TEFL teacher, besides being a teacher, will need to be at some time or other:

a dictionary – with on-the-spot word knowledge,

a cheerleader – to support and encourage,

a traffic officer – to direct conversations and silences and help prevent collisions or pile-ups,

a counsellor – to deal with excuses and extenuating circumstances

and a clown – to have a laugh because, let’s be honest, the TEFL classroom is not the same as any other.

Both a blessing and a curse, the rules of TEFL are different.


One comment on “clowning around: teacher roles

  1. Pingback: teaching adults | this is it

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This entry was posted on February 23, 2015 by in General TEFL and tagged , , .
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