TEFL Theory vs TEFL Practice
In theory there’s no difference, in practice there is.
We know how to teach a great lesson, and we all know our TEFL theory, so why don’t we make every class great?
Why do I see a lot of mediocre TEFL practice if I walk into a school on a busy weekend?
Some are OK, but most classes are teachers just trying to survive. It’s not pretty.
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It’s not a lack of knowledge. Everyone has done a TEFL qualification and participates in professional development.
It’s not a lack of motivation. Teachers don’t say, ‘screw it, I’m going to deliberately teach a crap class to Class X tomorrow’ just because I can.
It’s not a lack of ability. If a teacher is scheduled for an observation, suddenly, they can pull their thumb out and deliver a good (if not great) class.
So What’s Happening?
Simply put, it’s a lack of time.
Enough time is essential for:
More than anything, though, there has to be enough time for creativity. A mind under constant pressure isn’t a creative mind. It’s a mind that looks for shortcuts and a mind that doesn’t take risks with new material. A mind like that isn’t motivated.
If you give a teacher enough time to engage in professional development and then enough time to explore those ideas in their lessons, you’ll get a motivated, creative teacher who takes risks and delivers high-quality lessons.
Sure, teachers have to learn how to be productive with their time. However, there is a limit to how efficient and streamlined we can be with our time. The rest has to be an institutional decision to build that time into our schedule.
See you again in two weeks.
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