You’ve completed your TEFL course with flying colours and after a few weeks, you’ve managed to land the TEFL job of your dreams in your country of choice. Things are going great and all that hard work has paid off. Your smile is permanent and you’re on top of the world, and rightfully so. You’ve completed the first step to starting the next adventure in your ever-evolving life and career. You’ve finished the first week and your manager sits in on your last class. You felt it went perfectly, but he or she approaches and informs you.
“Monday, 8:00 am until 2:30 pm, we have training.”
Oh no. What did I do wrong?
Teacher training is something that every TEFL teacher has to go through, but when you are first introduced to the idea, it can be a little bit nerving, to say the least. The first instinct of most teachers is a gut-wrenching worry that they have done something wrong. During the weekend, many have time to dwell on it and can become irritated at the notion. “My class went perfectly. Why do I need teacher training?”
The truth is, teacher training is one of the most important things a company can do for its employees. At first, the training can seem pointless, like a waste of time and even insulting, but to be the best teachers we can be we need to have on-going training and continue to learn and build off of one another. Teaching isn’t a profession where everything is written in stone and finalized. It is an ever-growing means to which we educate those in need of education and it is vitally important to stay current and utilize the most up-to-date information and practices in our classrooms.
From our trainers and our fellow teachers, we gain new ideas, methods, and general practices that can make our time in the classroom better for not only our students but for us teachers as well. If you are an experienced teacher with five years under your belt and felt like there is nothing new you can learn, then you’d be wrong. More importantly, just think of how much wisdom you could enlighten a fresh beginning TEFL teacher with. It’s a two-way training really. You are doing the teaching as much as you are doing the learning.
Now, teacher training is easier than ever with the aid of technology. We have DVD players playing videos through projectors, Smartboards that animate our lessons and make them interactive, Tablets that document everything, etc. It’s a very interactive world now, which is incredible, and staying up to date on the technology alone is enough reason to have regularly teacher training. Then you have the various methods are varying teachers, all sharing those ideas, and it’s a wonderful thing. I’ve learned more from other teachers in terms of methodology than any course or website could ever teach me.
It all comes down to experience, and we all gain experience differently and from different perspectives. Getting together and sharing those experiences are what truly encourages us, teachers, to be the best teachers we can be. So is on-going teacher training important? Absolutely! I’d be wary of working for a company that didn’t offer regularly held teacher training.