Being able to teach students English opens up so many doors for my experience as an educator. I believe that I can improve through experience and establishing proper teaching techniques. My TEFL experience in Puerto Vallarta has taught me many things helpful towards becoming a successful English teacher. I will use these skills to assist students learn proficient English.
Since before the enrollment of the TEFL course I knew this immersion was important for me. Teaching English to a foreign language student is what I intend to do very soon, so this opportunity was the greatest way to get me started with my adventure. The pre-course preparation material that was emailed to me really facilitated class. I quickly found out how much I needed to catch up with my English grammar points, tenses, and terms by the first day of class. I had to relearn certain things I was aware of but had not practiced in a long time. I used a number of skills I had throughout my past involvements. My patience was good towards the students learning, and I think I had students feel a bit less nervous once I spoke their L1 to them. I had several situations where I was constantly interrupted during class by a student who was anxious to learn. I asked the student to ask questions that pertained to the certain assignment we were working on. If the interruption was related to the class work I would take a quick second to assist the student then go right back to where I left off. This strategy helped in the classroom environment I was working in because I only had a few students, but if I were to be in a class with a bigger class set I would have them understand the importance of staying on topic and connecting questions to simplify their learning. I had a student on another occasion tell me how nervous she was for learning a new language. To help her get over the nerves I explained how much I enjoy teaching and helping students learn. This made her smile and feel calm during my class. I felt confident during my teaching practices and I learned how students can tell if a teacher is ready to teach a lesson or not by how well a teacher plans their lesson. I spent enough time planning and implementing assignments for students’ progress. I would also plan for certain problems students could run into during my lesson. You can prepare to a certain extent, but one can never see the future. This is why planning for my lesson helped me throughout my teaching practices.
Once I talked to my TEFL Trainer and received feedback from students I found out some of the development needs I must strengthen. They included arriving to class at least ten minutes before class starts. This will encourage students to arrive on time and set the standard to what is asked from them. Listening to the audio before class to make sure it was not scratched is something I learned through one class practice. I took it upon myself to read aloud the listening activity that day. I role played the scene off the teacher book and assured that the student understood before moving forward. After my second or third teaching practice I learned that I had to bring down my vocabulary to students who had blank faces when I asked them a question. I have to bring down the level of English I use depending of the students I am teaching. This way students fully comprehend the lesson being taught during class. I think that if I were to have these students a week more I would learn their certain learning techniques. In the future I am going to develop knowledge and skills beyond this course by asking students about their background. I feel like this is a great way to find out students interests and individual learning styles. I can also find out what resources they have at home and how I can ease their homework.
My approach to students in this classroom setting is more one on one and can be very helpful for students who need that extra feedback. I will not have this same setting if I go teach at a public school. I understand that I must incorporate different procedures with a larger class. Some ways to have students interact and practice their language is by having them role play and converse during class.
These methodologies will affluence my experience and will help me fulfill my teaching career. After all, I came to this TEFL course to teach, travel, and adventure. This experience is my ticket towards success and I am grateful I had this opportunity to learn.