Postbox letter from Mike
Experienced teachers who actually try are worth their weight in gold. You can only learn so much from a book and then you really need to just get your hands dirty.
Postbox letter from Philip
My teacher friend has seen teachers hit a student and another teacher call a young child 'crazy' because they didn't understand the question and asked for help
Postbox letter from Liam
This agency I worked for thought that not only could they employ anyone without doing their due diligence, but that the good teachers already at the school would do their job for them also.
There's nowhere like an ESL staffroom when it comes to a crazy and diverse range of characters
People become ESL teachers for all kinds of reasons. Nowhere else will you find such a mélange of backgrounds, attitudes and beliefs, which is what makes the ESL staffroom like no other you’ll ever work in.
Postbox letter from Peter
One thing that I find very annoying is listening to teachers who no matter what is expected of them, keep failing to use their common sense and preparing things in advance.
On your first day as a teacher, winging it is not an option.
The best way to be confident is to be prepared. Have a broad idea of how your first few lessons are going to go. If you can get hold of a lesson plan or course book beforehand, then wonderful. If not, at least have a ‘getting to know you’ type of lesson up your sleeve.
Sometimes showing the students tough love doesn't work.
My teaching colleague was just a bully who could only intimidate the younger students. ‘Find something unique that the kids are interested in, then you will be halfway there’ was some of the best advice I ever got.
How not to prepare for your very first class
I’ve read about how some of you love this work whilst others almost sneer at the very suggestion that we teach for the love of it. This is just a short recollection of how I really failed to prepare for what was one of the most challenging jobs of my life.
I know. I'll go and teach English in Thailand.
Do a TEFL course, sell my bungalow, get a teaching job and move to Thailand. What could be difficult about that?
What to do when students misbehave
This article is for teachers like me who don't have formal training to do what they do, but who nevertheless want to do the best that they can to enrich and improve their own lives as well as those of their students.