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