Motivation is key when someone embarks on any new journey. Without this key characteristic, people wouldn’t be able to finish any projects that entailed a lot of hard work and dedication. A TEFL course requires this skill because it is something that takes time and commitment. There will be times when you feel overwhelmed during your course, and that’s perfectly natural. We all tend to feel that way at certain points throughout the course. However, there are certain tricks and tips that I have for you which will help you get through these times and power through to the end.
First, let’s take a look at the definition of the word ‘motivation’ (from Google dictionary):
Motivation: (noun) – the general desire or willingness of someone to do something.
Repeat that a few times in your head or say it out loud to yourself a few times. I find that by doing so, it ignites me with a certain motivation. It reminds me why I started something and why I’m going to finish. This brings me to my first tip, or trick, for you to utilize when you find yourself in a little bit of a rut during your TEFL course…
I am a firm believer that meditation helps the process of just about anything. I have been practicing the technique of meditation for 5 years now and its power is truly undeniable. There is a stigma surrounding the word Meditation and what it is. For a lot of Westerners, the thought of meditation seems impossible, tedious or even scary. People think they need to be in a certain room, with particular lighting and clothing on. Many believe “they simply can’t meditate”. However, I’m here to break it to you that none of these preconceptions are true! You can meditate anywhere, for however long you have/want to, wearing anything!
All it requires is for you to sit down, close your eyes and breathe. If different thoughts come up, that’s okay. Acknowledge those thoughts, just try not to dwell on them. The longer you sit, the clearer your mind will become. And, the more often you do this, the easier and more peaceful it will become, too.
When I feel stuck, I stop what I’m doing, sit on the ground, close my eyes and meditate. After 5, 10, 15 minutes, when I resume the task at hand, it seems easier, more fluid. Often times, I’ll meditate in the middle of writing some of these blog posts! It rejuvenates me and I think it will do the same for you 🙂 Give it a try if you’re feeling a little stuck during one of your TEFL course tasks or if the studying just isn’t sticking.
The next trick in my book for getting unstuck and re-motivated is to….exercise!
I totally remember being in my TEFL course and feeling stuck at certain points. I began feeling lethargic and unmotivated to continue the tedious grammar work, the never-ending Lexis tasks and learning how to correctly explain possessive pronouns. Oh, it brings back memories just writing this, so, I know just how hard it is to get through sometimes. I remember asking myself “why did I sign up for this?” as I sat for hours doing the work. Keyword there: “sat“.
Sitting for extended periods of time can make your mind go dull. Literally. It has been proven that moving the body will help your blood flow, which then increases activity in the brain. Therefore, it is safe to say that any type of movement will be beneficial to you when you feel a little unmotivated. Take a break from the work and get up. Go for a run, a walk, a bike ride. Do a few yoga poses or jumping jacks. Anything that gets you up will help. Do it for at least 15 minutes if you can. You’ll come back to your TEFL studying and you’ll feel rejuvenated. You’ll feel motivated to take on all the possessive pronouns in the English language!
Have a Support System
Another huge aspect of my success in my TEFL certification is course was due to having some sort of support system. Even if you’re doing an online course, it’s still possible to have people who can help motivate you. Any friends or family will be willing to help you through any ruts that you might endure on your journey.
If you know any other TEFL teachers, you can always reach out to them for some support, too. They’ve been down this road, so they know better than anyone else what you are going through. As I mentioned earlier, all of us go through points during our course when we think we aren’t going to finish, so you’re not alone. Reach out to anyone who may be a good person for a little motivational talk. Sometimes communicating with others is exactly what we need to get to the next step.
Do Something Totally Different from TEFL
Whenever I begin to feel a little agitated with something I’m doing, I find it to be a great idea to simply take a break and do something else. If you’re on hour 3 of TEFL studying and homework and begin to feel utterly un-motivated, do something else! Change the topic completely. What you decide to do is totally up for you. If you think being social would help, then call up a friend or 2 and go get a cup of coffee or a beer. Go bowling. If you don’t really feel like doing something social, then color in an adult coloring book, read a book or write in your journal.
By switching TEFL off in your mind, you’re giving yourself a well-deserved break. I’ll be the first to say that a TEFL certification course is hard work. No doubt. So, don’t wear yourself out hour after hour. By doing something different, you’re able to stimulate your brain. That way, when you do decide to come back to your TEFL work, you’ll feel rested and ready to take on the next lesson.
So, these are the tools I have used in order to get back on track with whatever I am doing. I find that by utilizing these at different points throughout your TEFL course, you’ll be able to stay motivated through the end. Remember: You signed up for this for a reason – you want a to be a TEFL teacher! Don’t let the long hours of work and study bring you down! I have faith in you and you should have faith in yourself!
As always, please feel free to leave any comments. You are welcome to use me as a motivation if you ever need some advice on getting through your course!