I have to be careful with this blog. Not only will colleagues and bosses read it, but potentially my current and future students. Bearing that in mind, everything I write about should be taken with a handful of salt. So here goes, some bitter truth about life as an ESL teacher.
|If only that monk had been about here to take a better picture: Ankor Wat
|Whether you’re working in Europe or Asia, working hours can be unsociable at times. This is especially true if you’re teaching kids and teenagers or business classes. Having worked from 3pm until 10pm for the last seven years over here in Seville, I’m used to it now. I actually don’t mind that much because I have the mornings free to write and go to the gym, but I hate missing Champion League games. Some teachers I know despise teaching so late, especially during the warm spring evenings when you could be sitting out having an ice cold beer by the river.
If you’re entering the jolly world of TEFL, then be warned: students can be your best pals and your worst nightmares. In my ten years teaching, most of my students have been fun, hard working, and polite. Well, maybe not most, but quite a few. During the school year you normally get a few irritable teenagers whose parents just want them out the house for three-hours a week, or pedantic adults who have a low tolerance of ambiguity and want to know why for everything; “Because it just is,” will never suffice.
I’ve been guilty of not planning interesting enough classes, or not reading up about a particular grammar point and getting caught on the spot. Sometimes, those problematic students can become angels if you make the effort. But there are a few who are beyond your control.
Continue reading on the i-to-i TEFL blog… for my thoughts on Bloody Visa Runs, Job Insecurity, Low Pay, and Having to be a Foreigner…