Many years ago, in a land far far away…I worked in the travel business and was asked to do a couple of conversation lessons in a busy language school near London’s Oxford Circus. Having naively accepted to be thrown in at the deep end without any experience or qualifications, made me realise that I needed to learn something about TEFL if I wanted to change career and continue working in this exciting field.
Now, more than two decades along the line, my qualifications now include a degree in Humanities with English language, various TEFL certificates and a TRINITY Diploma. I have also worked as a Cambridge speaking examiner and have even run my own language school on the beautiful Italian island of Sardinia.
I try to juggle my time between teacher training, TEFL teaching wherever it takes me, normally Italy, ESOL teaching and summer school in Scotland, hill walking (Munro bagging included), fruit growing, cooking and, obviously…eating. There really isn’t enough time!
The best thing about teacher training is being able to pass on practical advice to trainee teachers as well as give them confidence to make things go smoothly in those first lessons. One of my most important tips for the classroom is BE PREPARED. Plan your lessons, always! Even after many years of teaching, I still feel lost if I don’t have a plan. My second tip is BE ENTHUSIASTIC. This might appear very “new age” but I believe that if you can energise your students this energy will flow back to you and the circle continues. I guess my personal logo might be “inspire and be inspired” ( I know- it sounds very Coca Cola ad-ish).