Thinking out loud again.
This time I am thinking about selling to a different person. In a previous post the one that had that Seth Godin quote as the title I talked about selling to a person mostly who hasn’t taught abroad yet.
I think this person has a different set of problems. This person is mostly focused on transitioning or moving abroad. Maybe that’s why so many TEFL course providers show all these places of exotic beaches and temples, etc.
Maybe this person is in a bit of an escape or vacation mindset. They know nothing about teaching – usually. They are also scared and anxious and maybe why that’s why they fall for the course that says it’s accredited, internationally recognized, reputable, has a guaranteed job, etc.
Maybe all of those things give them a peace of mind.
You don’t say those things or offer them. And despite the fact that they don’t matter and most experienced teachers know that those things don’t matter the new teacher is scared and ignorant.
I was reading on Seth’s blog about babysitters. And he was saying that what babysitters sell is a peace of mind. The parents don’t really care about her skills, really it’s about a POM.
So maybe it’s the same with new teachers who haven’t made it.
For those teachers it’s about transitioning. They are scared and they want security and promises.
Now let’s talk about the teacher who is already there.
They are not all the same.
A fewer percent of them are looking for certification. Fewer of them are considering taking a course, but I know some of them have problems.
I can only talk about the problems I had:
- Students that ignore you
- Students that don’t pay attention
- Bored students
- Difficult students
- Students that speak when you speak
- Students that speak Chinese, Korea, etc. in class
- Chaos in the classroom
- Students who won’t talk
- Large classes
- Students who don’t want to be there
Are you happy with teaching? Do you like teaching? Do you think you can improve?
I know you can improve.
Because I did.
Before I started teaching I said I am not a teacher. And then I tried to ease into it. But even though I was only teaching 15 hours or so in my first year it was difficult.
Then came year two and then year 3 and then things gradually improved. Teaching was always challenging, well not all of my classes, just some of them and then there were the problems outside the classroom like:
Living in a foreign country.
Trying to figure out what I was going to do with my life or where I was going to go.
Those were problems too.
I didn’t know what was next. I didn’t know what I should do. I didn’t know how to make the most of my time.
Then there was the job. There were always people that I had conflicts with. Always? Not always, but there were co-teachers that I didn’t like and there was a manager I didn’t like and then I had this bad experience with a recruiter and even one boss who tried pocketing my tax money.
All of those people added to my stress.
So can I be a role model for them? Not really, since my experience was so not perfect. Knowing what I know now though would help a lot inside the classroom and outside the classroom.
Teaching. I got better with time and effort. You definitely have to make an effort if you want to change. I can’t change it for them. It’s not a silver bullet, but I can offer them a lot of guidance and I can relate.
I can offer them the best materials too.
I can help them save time.
I wasn’t a natural teacher. But teaching is a skill. It’s like anything that is a skill. Some people are going to have more talent or be more natural at it, but you can improve. But again you have to put in the effort.
Honestly, I was a bit lazy and reluctant to put the effort in. But if I was to do it again I would have put the effort in early on so that the teaching would have been better.
Back when I started teaching in 2004 there weren’t any good websites for learning and I would spend a lot of time searching, reading and looking for something that would make my classes better.
But what I learned is that it wasn’t one thing.
I needed to learn many things. Honestly I started to learn a lot more about teaching when I started working on this website. The process of making videos to demonstrate teaching techniques helped me.
Reading instructional stuff on the web was REALLY BORING and the quality was really poor too. So that’s why I started to make videos of activities and techniques that I had learned.
It was because that I learned that watching other teachers (usually the experienced ones) was the easiest way to learn how to teach.
I know how to improve your situation.
I can relate.
I can help you inside the classroom and outside because they are related. This course starts with the first and focuses more on that. If you improve your teaching you will improve you overall state of mind abroad.
You will have a better experience.
I can’t promise that you will love it, but I know you can improve your situation. I know you can change. You just have to want to change.
Are you committed to making a change?