I decided to write about this subject for two reasons. The first reason is that I wasn't sure if this course was worth the time and money before I started. And the second reason is how I feel about the course after I completed it.
The most obvious reason for completing a tefl course
is because you might have to. This is required for teaching in a public school in South Korea since I don't have a B.Ed. Without this course I would be forced to try my luck in a private school. Also if apply
ing to a private school this course would have provided me with a higher salary and end up paying for itself.
To me, the most important reason is my future students. Without this course I would really have no idea what I was doing in the classroom. I would have YouTube videos, web blogs, and trial and error as my guides. I would likely reach some level of competency but I would have wasted the students time, lowered their opinion on foreign teacher
s, and lost their respect in the process. Now I have a good idea about what is expected of me, what the students will expect, and how to conduct myself in the classroom. I lack experience but at least now I have a plan, and will appear competent. The students won't have to suffer through my on the job training as much.
Another very important reason is stress. Without a decent understanding of the teaching process I would be incredibly stressed out before my first day of work. From what I have learned in this course the first day is vital to creating a good first impression so removing a certain amount of stress will help relax me so I can focus on being more positive and happy. I also have the comfort of knowing I can go back through the material at any time and refresh my memory or gain insight and ideas.
Lesson planning is something I now realize is time well spent and easily pays off when the teacher
is well prepared and has a plan entering the classroom. Most of the units in this course involved a lesson plan so it was good practice getting used to the idea of putting time into this area, as well as thinking about how to teach the material to the students. As the course progressed I found myself thinking of ways to apply
the material to lesson plans as I was going through them, and trying to think up ideas to make something fun or interesting for the students. Having a scientific formula for creating and laying out a lesson plan helps to break down the learning process for the students. The students will likely be conditioned to see this as effective teaching, even if they don't realize the structure involved.
Overall I am very satisfied with my decision to complete a tefl course
and I think it was easily worth the money. I found the course addressed most of my specific worries and concerns and I feel I have gained much confidence in my ability succeed. I realize that this course can't provide the valuable experience gained from actual classroom time, but I feel much better knowing that I won't be walking into the classroom blind, and that my students will receive a better education and experience.