Do you have what it takes to be a really bad TEFL teacher? Time and time again TEFL teachers are referred to as backpacker layabouts with no dedication, and every school can relay a tale of a certain TEFLer who left them in the lurch and now wary of every other foreign teacher who comes along. Follow this advice and you will most definitely succeed at being yet another mediocre TEFL teacher giving the rest a bad name.
- Firstly, start from the viewpoint that anyone can do the job. Don’t worry about considering your English skills or if you are suited to working with children – anyone can be a TEFL teacher. In fact, don’t even bother with any sort of certification, so many schools will be simply falling over themselves in desperation for you, there will be plenty of job offers and you will have your pick of the establishments across the length and breadth of your country of choice. The world, and its children, are your oyster.
- On the subject of your country of choice, you should most definitely make your decision based on the number of beaches, the level of debauchery to be found in the nightlife and how easy it will be to hide away from the problems you have at home. Don’t consider the culture, the food or the way of life that you will be invading – you won’t be throwing yourself in to deep anyway.
- But then again, you probably won’t be sticking around in one place too long anyway. That’s what this TEFL malarkey is all about anyway, floating from country to country doing half-term stints at any school that will take you with no consideration of actually immersing yourself into the way of life or making any meaningful relationships. Always have your eye on the next destination, the next place that you can use to impress the next travelers that you meet.
- Of course, don’t make friends with the locals. You should only mix with other ex-pats and feed off their bitterness for the job, the country and the people. Better still if you become that grumpy old man as quickly as possible, to blend in with the others and be better equipped to join in on the conversations about how this country needs to change x, y and z to make things better for you – the coveted and most highly-revered foreigner gracing your presence on this inferior country.
- When it comes to inside the classroom (where you will of course spend the bare minimum required amount of time), make sure you are uninspiring, and use the least amount of enthusiasm and energy possible. Don’t take the time to get to know your students. Dish out pointless worksheets that you will never look at, let alone mark. Then again you could just sit at the front of the class and wait for the hour to be over – everyone in the room is more than aware that this is just a means to a paycheck at the end of the month, why waste anyone’s time any further by actually attempting to impart any knowledge?
- Don’t bother planning for your lessons, certainly not beyond a cursory glace at the next page in the workbook and most definitely not in the comfort of your own home. Who needs a range of learning tools and stimuli anyway? There are a few old flashcards in the bottom of that teacher’s desk – the one that never came back from the last long weekend – that you could probably use if you had to.
- Finally, when it’s your turn to disappear, don’t worry about informing your employer or the students. Don’t concern yourself with grading those tests or planning for the first few weeks of your absence. Just fly off, ready to grace your presence on the next unsuspecting country on your list.
So, do you think you’ve got what it takes?