What is your plan for after you complete your CELTA or other TEFL course? Perhaps, you want to move abroad and just teach for a few years? Maybe you intend to train others on how to become English teachers in the future? Perhaps you would really like to become a Director of Studies? Whatever your goal, it is important that you continue working on your teacher development after your TEFL course.
Before Taking a New Teaching Job
Before you accept a teaching position, find out from your potential employer what continuing professional development opportunities are offered at the school or what the school does to ensure staff development. Asking about ways to continue your teacher development will not only make you sound keen to your potential employer but will also help you to assess if the school will be able to provide you with the support you need.
Guided Teacher Development on the Job
In an ideal situation, the school where you teach would have a support network in place for new teachers. You would be an assigned a mentor, someone to whom you can address questions and who would introduce you to the school and explain how things are done. You would have your lessons observed, would be given constructive feedback and you would have an opportunity to observe the lessons of senior teachers. The school would also run workshops or other training events for staff. However, if that is not the case, do not panic. There are things you can do on your own.
Self-development on the Job
One of the best ways to improve your teaching is to reflect on your lessons. Take stock at the end of each lesson, or at the end of the day. Think about what went well and not so well during your lessons. What would you do again and what would you do differently next time? Keeping a journal with notes about your lessons will help you to figure out your strengths and things you need to work on. It will also help you to remember good practices which you can reuse in lessons. From time to time you could also ask your students for feedback on your teaching.
Keep up to date with developments in the teaching world and don’t be scared to introduce new methods and ideas to your teaching. The internet is a great source of information, with many blogs, podcasts and websites dedicated to English teaching. For example, this Cambridge English website is aimed at English teachers keen on using digital resources in teaching. If you do not have time for regular online research, you can sign-up for some mailing lists and get pre-selected, relevant information emailed directly to you. If you use social media, you can follow like-minded people interested in English teaching for inspiration. These days there are also specialist online teacher development courses and MOOCs available, which you can take to improve your teaching knowledge and practise.
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About the Author
Aleks Kaye completed a blended CELTA course, while working full-time in Student Support at a university in the UK. She is currently spending a ski season at Silver Star in Canada with her husband David and blogging about it at daleksabroad.travel.blog