TEFL Certification: how can I help people?
At first glance, the answer is simple. A TEFL certification allows a teacher to increase students´ level in English. However, after a bit of thought, I realized it went a lot deeper than that, not only from the student’s perspective but also from the teacher’s.
Having a TEFL certification helps people to understand how the English language works, be it grammatically or orally, and gives teachers the basic tools to help their pupils. It allows for teachers to be creative and use their experiences and develop methods and use various resources to help students learn and progress.
Applying TEFL certification techniques helps students grow and develop
One of my first students came to work on her speaking skills. I used videos, funny stories and fun language activities to get the student talking. I made sure these activities were centered around the information I got from the first lesson we had concerning her likes, dislikes etc. Before long the pupil was laughing and the original fear of speaking in English had disappeared. Although the course soon ended, I later learnt that she had been promoted, in part due to her improved ability to communicate in English, but also due to her increased self-confidence in having overcome her fear of speaking in English. Mission accomplished!
Yet, there is another perspective that is often overlooked: that of other teachers. By having a TEFL certification, you join a group of fellow professionals who provide support and advice to each other. The consequence is a tight bond between teachers that can be compared to that of a family. Whether its advice on how to handle sometimes unruly students, to finding resources on teaching mixed conditionals, to just unwinding at the weekend over a beer and sharing experiences and solving problems, teachers are there for each other! As I was helped by many teachers when I started out, I’ve lost count of the number of teachers I have happily given advice, help and resources to. So, not only do teachers help their students, teachers also help each other, as colleagues and also as friends.