Why should a trained teacher do a TEFL course?
Many more people are completing TEFL courses now who are already teaching in national curriculum schools throughout the UK. Someone asked me the other day why this is happening and as I explained, I realised many other people might also like to know some of the reasons behind it.
Although teaching children can be very rewarding, it can also be tiring and frustrating for some; especially in mandatory subjects where students are not keen to pass exams or succeed in the subject. A TEFL qualification can help you move to teaching adults, using the skills already gained from experiences of teaching. Adults choose to learn English; they are keen to learn and are dedicated learners. Most need it for academic purposes or in the hope of gaining better employment.
Teaching English as a foreign language also gives the opportunity to teach people from different background. It may be a refreshing change for teachers because they are teaching in a class of students from many different cultures and it allows the teacher to learn about the different cultures and meet new, interesting people as well.
Having spoken with many teachers in recent years, we all know the system is changing. Many more things have to be crammed into each lesson, making teaching your chosen subject more and more difficult. This is not an issue in language schools around the world, although improving self-discipline and team work are great to have within core lesson plans.
Another complaint within national curriculum schools in the UK is paperwork. Teachers are expected to complete more and more of it every year and sometimes it seems that the focus on paperwork, rankings and exam results takes top priority over the coursework, lesson content. Some of the main reasons people choose to go into teaching are forgotten. Now, I won’t say that these things aren’t taken into consideration in TEFL teaching jobs, but many people have chosen to change their career path and are pleased they have, as it allows them more freedom in their work, less paperwork and more focus on the students, their goals and making sure the content of each lesson is right for the class, not just ticking the required boxes.
More and more schools have an EAP (English for Academic Purposes) department. So if you are wanting to continue your regular teaching job but would like a new challenge, want to help students in the school whose English is not their first language then the TEFL qualification will allow you to be part of helping them gain better English skills, to help with their regular curriculum and exams.
For many different reasons people are interested in travelling around the world or relocating. If this is you, or your family and you are a teacher then what better way to gain entry into the education system in another country than with a TEFL. English is the most popular language to learn as a second language for non-English speaking countries. This is a huge market to appeal to. Being a teacher in a national curriculum school and the experience gained from it will be very helpful for any application in a school abroad. However TEFL teaching is still very different to teaching other subjects and even to teaching English as a first language. The TEFL qualification will boost employability and help you settle into the education system in another country. Teachers already have the skills and experience of teaching, which means they are almost definitely suited to the course and career which is very convenient. Also they can use what they have learnt teaching children to help them teach English as a foreign language.
These are some of the things I talked about with the person who asked me the question and they were quickly satisfied as to how it would be advantageous. Whether to improve yourself, to teach adults rather than children, lose some of the paperwork or to help you relocate a TEFL qualification can be invaluable for any already qualified teacher.