I am learning how to teach.
Last year, I started off my journey as a TEFL teacher unable to fathom the difference between present continuous and present simple. And I certainly couldn’t teach it. I trembled in front of thirty students daily, awkward and spaz-tastic. I was widely unsure of myself, and my students and teachers could smell my distress.
This year classes began differently. When I spoke, my students showed less fear in speaking English and more respect towards me. I assumed the first class was an anomaly, until the second, and third continued in the same manner. Enjoying the transformation, I assessed my teaching method. What had changed?
Through the trial and error of last year, my teaching persona is different. I am more comfortable in front of a class and therefore take my time. My counterparts are not allowed to rush me (try as they might), as hurrying through an explanation or activity is as good as not doing it. I am confident and therefore not swayed when certain students are rude (purposefully or not). It’s also a great help that I, you know, learned grammar. Last year, hours upon hours were spent learning the ins and outs of the English language, and how it correlates to Mongolian. And to top it all off, even though my Mongolian language ability has drastically increased, I use less of it in class. I am more confident in the immersion method and have more faith in my students’ ability to think critically.
So I guess that’s that. Teaching isn’t scary anymore. In fact, with the right kids, it’s kind of fun. But please, for the love of god Elissa and Dad, no “I told you so’s”.