Teach English in Tanfang Zhen - Weifang Shi

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This essay might as well be entitled “Things I Wish I’d Known Before Becoming an English Teacher.” If I had known I was going to become an English teacher in another country at the beginning of my collegiate career, I would have probably taken more English courses. Thankfully, however, this course has provided me with many of the lessons necessary in order to help me truly thrive during my time as a teacher. Before beginning this course, there were several fears that I had regarding teaching English in another country. I am incredibly grateful that I did not allow those fears to keep me from pursuing this dream, though, because, after taking this course, I feel more confident than ever that this is what I am supposed to do with my life. Throughout this essay, I will highlight several things that I wish I had known before starting this course that would have put any of my fears to rest. The first thing that I wish I had known before starting this course is what actually makes a good teacher. Before taking this course, I thought that a teacher had to be someone who had trained their entire life to specifically become a teacher. My fear was that my students would realize that I was not actually a teacher, but someone just trying to be one. This course really showed me that a teacher is actually anyone who genuinely loves teaching and motivating learners. It was also really helpful to learn that a good teacher is someone who is kind and patient while also being lively and entertaining because that is definitely my teaching style. I am beyond excited to get to know all of my students—their strengths, their weaknesses, and all of the incredible things that make them who they are as learners. The second thing that I wish I had known before starting this course is that there are already well established methods for teaching English in other countries. One of my biggest fears before taking this course was that I was going to be placed in a classroom without any knowledge about how to organize a lesson. Thankfully, this course introduced me to the ESA approach, or the Engage, Study, and Activate approach. Basically, this approach separates lessons into three different parts, which can be placed in whatever order I think is best for my students. The Engage part of the lesson is when I first introduce a new topic to my students, helping to get them talking about it in English. The Study part of the lesson is meant to help my students focus more on the language itself that is being taught by utilizing drilling exercises or worksheets. Finally, the Activate part of the lesson, which is my personal favorite part, is when my students can really start to use the language they know in activities that encourage lots of dialogue and communication between my students. The third, and final, thing that I wish I had known before taking this course is that I will not be placed in a classroom without any resources or tools to help me in my teaching. This course showed me that there are many resources and tools that can be utilized to aid in the teaching process. It is very likely that many of these resources will be available to me in whatever school I am placed in as well, especially since I will be teaching in either a public or private school in South Korea. I can utilize course books in my classroom, but I want to make sure that I do not rely on course books alone. After taking this course, I have been introduced to many different types of teaching materials, ranging from authentic materials to even created materials. Before I leave for South Korea, I will definitely be stocking up on lots of authentic materials to use in my classroom. All of these things that I learned about because of this course have truly taken away any fear that I had about teaching English in another country. I wish I had known about all of them before taking this course, but I am very grateful that I know about them now.