So you decide to become a teacher, you finish school, you go to university, graduate and then you are ready to go. Right? I don’t think so. Once you get into the class, there is a brand new world in front of you. And although you have studied to become a teacher, there are a lot of things that you don’t actually know. That’s where Continuing Professional Development comes in. Because you have to learn how to deal with the loud kid, you have to learn how to do research, you have to learn how to make your lessons more interesting and you have to keep learning. You have to be updated.
This last year has been very tough. I became a freelance again; I started trying out new things like teaching online, teaching Business English, teaching very young learners. Things that I had done in the past, things I was new at. And I got really really tired! What kept me going? It was my old students. I have read this quote somewhere: “Teachers who put relationships first, don’t just have students for one year. They have students who view them as “their teacher” for life” – Jastin Tarte
Today, I will share with you an incident in class (upper-intermediate level), some years ago. We were reading a text about the movie "The Wizard of Oz" which was in the course book. Of course my students got really curious and asked what happens in the end and all these questions that a kid might have when they see a picture of a film!
Your interests have changed of course and technology is an everyday routine. How about the children and the young people who are growing up in a globalised world and can’t live without technology?
As teachers we have to think about that and change the way we teach. Language, maths, reading and writing are important, but children have to learn more in order to be able to cope with the challenges of the real world. Skills like critical thinking, digital literacy, collaboration, tolerance, understanding are necessary nowadays.
Learning a language is a must in our time and I believe that English is the foreign language that should be learned first, since it has become a Lingua Franca. You can’t travel, you can’t work, you can’t even entertain yourself, if you don’t speak English.
Since it is an international language, there are a lot of people who actually speak English fluently. Some of them even decide to study the language and become teachers, although they are not Native Speakers.
And here comes the debate: Native or Non-native? Who is the better teacher?