Sunday, 28 July 2013

Pros and Cons of Getting Free Housing

From www.bromsgrove.gov.uk
It's common in some countries, such as those in Asia and the Middle East, to get free housing if you're a teacher. There are advantages and disadvantages to getting free housing. You might be also interested in reading the pros and cons of getting a housing allowance.

Pros
  • You don’t have to look for housing
  • Ex-teachers leave stuff behind
  • Your salary will be lower so you should pay less taxes
  • The school takes care of stuff for you so you don't have to deal with the landlord.

Cons
  • Your boss may have access to your house.
  • You can't choose your own housing or where it's located.
  • There's less separation between your work and your personal life.
  • You have to rely on your boss to fix any problems.

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Thursday, 25 July 2013

Theories about Learning Styles

I wrote about different learning styles back in 2010 and have recently expanded on this topic. If you're interested in reading more about learning styles, there are a number of good books out there that can shed some light on the subject. Here are some articles about learning styles.

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Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Job Site: Hong Kong's NET Scheme


Hong Kong's Native English Teachers Scheme is great for teachers who want to work in HK. If you're a licensed teacher, you'll get paid more than if you're not. They can work with elementary or secondary school children. There are lots of hoops to jump through and you'll probably have fly out to interview in the US, UK, or Canada, but the pay is good, you'll sign a two year contract, and it looks great on your CV.

Got an idea for a job site?
Email me with your job site, name, and website (if you have one) and I'll post it ASAP

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Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Teaching Tips for Summer School. Make Learning Fun!

The following post is from a guest blogger.

From ccgcatrionagraciet.blogspot.com
As being able to speak English becomes increasingly more important in the globalised world, parents are eager for their children to master the international language of business from a young age, giving them the best chance of academic success and a prosperous career. As a result, more parents are now sending their children to summer language schools in English speaking countries during their teens. On the surface, sending a child on an English summer school programme in London, New York or Melbourne may seem like what can only be a positive experience. However, if you are heading to teach EFL this summer, it is worth being mindful of the following; your students are young, away from home during the summer months, not necessary there through choice and are most likely without their parents for the first time. Therefore, it is important to bring fun into the classroom so that your summer campers will have an enjoyable and worthwhile experience.

Tip 1: Choose suitable topics 
The children will typically be aged between 11 and 17 years old and therefore (although some may be budding economists) are unlikely to be interested in European politics or the global economic crisis. Therefore, when selecting materials for reading exercises and oral discussion topics, look for themes that are likely to interest and excite your pupils. After all, engaged students are more likely to want to speak out and participate. Popular music, sport, celebrities, current cinema or the newest crazes, provide a few suggestions...

Tip 2: Play educational games 
Children like to play games and use their imagination. They will be used to sitting still and looking at a white board whilst their teacher talks so make the classroom a more relaxed and enjoyable environment with a summer atmosphere. Playing games will let the children relax and have a good time and this is when they are most likely to practice their English skills. Games such as Pictionary, Hang man and Charades make children practice their vocabulary whilst having fun.

Tip 3: Use technology 
These Generation Yers/Digital Natives are extremely tech savvy and technology has a normal place in each of their everyday lives. Therefore they don´t expect and won´t enjoy coming into a technology-free classroom. Try to take average to the technology and resources available to you in order to engage with your students and make their learning more interactive and entertaining. There are endless resources and ideas available on the Internet; incorporate You Tube videos into activities or use audio clips to improve their listening skills. There is a world of materials out there.

Tip 4: Set group projects 
Most young students are likely to be quite self conscious in class and will be reluctant to make mistakes. This can result in a very quiet classroom, which is the worst environment for language learning. Depending on their competency level, one way get your students talking is to split them up into small groups. Try to mix the nationalities to avoid pairing up students who share a native language. Firstly, encourage the children to speak about themselves and what they like doing as this will help break the ice and encourage them to make friends. Afterwards, set a mini group project such as creating a role play or get them to produce a comic strip. This will encourage every member of the group to participate and speak more naturally amongst themselves without the pressure of speaking alone, out loud, in front of an entire class.

Top Tip: It’s not all about teaching 
These children are going to be spending a lengthy stay, up to three months, in a foreign country. Although most will be staying with experienced host families or being supervised in residential homes, you will be one of the adults which they see most regularly. Being away from their parents, in unfamiliar surroundings means that many children will try to seek comfort from a constant presence and that will be you! You won´t only be the person who teaches them about the Simple Past Tense, you are an authority figure who needs to ensure that the children are enjoying their experience, feel comfortable in the classroom, are aware that they have someone to talk to and, most importantly, are having fun.

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Monday, 22 July 2013

The Learning Pyramid

From lifewisdominstitute.org
Similar to Bloom's Taxonomy, Dale's Cone and learning styles, the Learning Pyramid shows how different teaching methods can impact what knowledge we retain. It is heavily disputed by many.
You'll have to draw your own conclusions and see what works for you and your students. You might also be interested in . . .

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Saturday, 20 July 2013

Quick Tip: Common Courtesy Dictates that You Erase the Board

From pkcourtesy.blogspot.com
I realise that some teachers, or professors, think they're better than others. They think that somethings are beneath them. There's nothing quite like walking into a classroom and being faced with the board totally covered in writing from the previous class. If teachers can't be bothered to erase the board then they should assign a student to erase it.

I think that if the teacher made the mess, they should clean it up. Not erasing the board after you use it is similar to not flushing the toilet after you use it. Just do it. It's common courtesy and not beneath you.

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Thursday, 18 July 2013

Quick Tip: Questions To Ask About Teacher Housing

From seekroommates.com
Some schools help with housing. They might give you free housing, a housing allowance, or simply help you find housing. You might also want to read the pros and cons of getting a housing allowance and the pros and cons of getting free housing. Here are some questions you should ask.
  • Is there housing or a housing allowance?
  • Is there helping find a flat? How much is the rent / utilities typically? Is it necessary to put down key money? How much is it usually?
  • If housing is provided what's included? How many bedrooms? Is there a balcony / parking / AC / internet?
  • Is the water and electricity in your housing reliable? Does it get turned off often?
  • Will you put new wallpapering up and new flooring down?
  • How far is the housing from the school?
  • Is it shared housing?
  • Is it close to stores, bus stops, etc?

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Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Cancelling a Teaching Contract After You've Signed But Before You've Started Working

This is a sticky topic and you'd better have a good reason for getting out of a contract after you've signed. If there's a real family emergency, that's one thing, but if you want to get out of a contract and take a better job that's another. If you give enough notice it might be easier on the school than if you try to get out of a contract last minute.

Many schools have you sign letter of intents and then offer you a contract later. If you've signed the contract there are usually two situations: you're in country or you're not.Here are what some people have said at ISR about getting out of contracts. Most people say that it's ok to back out of a contract.Some people say that if you used a recruiter or went to a job fair you will have to pay for the school to find a replacement and might be blacklisted.

In Country
  • If you're in country and plan on accepting another job in country, make sure there are no legal issues involved. Some employers might threaten to take you to court. Find out if they can do this. You're better off trying to talk to your employer and get out of the contract without problems.
  • If you're in country and planning on accepting a job in another country, you should have less problems.
  • If they've started getting you a visa or have already gotten you a visa, call immigration and ask what to do. Some countries require a letter of release or permission from the employer to leave the country.

Not In Country
  • If you're not in country, there's probably little they can do. You might have issues in the future getting a visa from that country though. Contact the consulate or embassy for more information.

Blacklists
  • Some people say they exist, others deny it. To be sure, administrators talk to each other, so be careful about pitting schools against one another in hopes of getting a better job. You wouldn't like if a school suddenly backed out of a contract, so try not to do that to a school.

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Monday, 15 July 2013

Hot Topic: Teachers Just Can’t Get a Break

From attentiondealshoppers.com
In many countries around the world, lunch hour is serious business. Some Latin American and European countries literally shut down for a couple hours so people can eat, take a nap, or just relax. Other countries don’t go to such extremes, but most do reserve a time for employees to have a break and eat lunch.

Case in point, try calling any immigration, credit card companies, or any government-run office during lunch time in Korea. You won’t get an answer. They’re all out to lunch. Schools have a lunch break as well when the secretaries and DOS go out to lunch.

Teachers, on the other hand, usually aren’t so lucky. When talking with other university teachers I found out that the majority aren’t given a lunch break at all. Yes, I realise that they don’t teach all day. However, many do teach from 9am-3pm with no more than 15 minutes between classes. Why is it that the students get a break, the management gets a break, secretaries get a break, but teachers don’t?

This may cause teachers to feel undervalued and overworked. It may also cause them to finish classes early and start others late so that they can actually sit down and have lunch rather than scarfing down a sandwich on the way to class.

This needs to change. It’s one of the many crummy ways schools try to cut costs like not heating classrooms or not turning on lights in hallways. Schools need to invest more in teachers. Happy teachers means happy students which means happy admin and management. Working teachers to the bone so that they become burnt out and have to be replaced with teachers willing to work more hours for less isn’t the answer.

If management feels that teachers don’t deserve a break, then they should try going without and working from 9am-3pm with no more than 15 minutes to eat. They couldn’t and wouldn’t and neither should we.

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Sunday, 14 July 2013

Job Site: American Overseas Schools


Not a job site per se, but rather a list of American schools overseas. The US Department of State has a list of all the American Overseas Schools. No matter where in the world you want to teach, you can find basic information about the school as well as contact info. Be sure to check out their site if you're a licensed teacher and want to work abroad.


Got an idea for a job site?
Email me with your job site, name, and website (if you have one) and I'll post it ASAP

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Thursday, 11 July 2013

Dale's Cone of Experience

 From http://www2.education.ualberta.ca
Learning styles teach us that everyone learns differently. Dale's Cone of Experience shows us how to help our students use what is taught in the classroom. For example, people usually remember 10% of what they read but 90% of what they do.

After reading you're able to perform basic tasks such as defining, listing, describing, and explaining. However, after doing something you can analyze, design, create, and evaluate.This might be one reason why role plays are so popular in TEFL classes.

It's really interesting to see how people learn differently and what people are able to do after learning something. Bloom's Taxonomy and the Learning Pyramid also have to do with this.

Education Canada has info about how we can use Dale's Cone in second language classes. Not everyone agrees with this. Brain Friendly Trainer wrote about how Dale's Cone has been debunked. The best thing to do is do the research yourself and try different activities with your students.

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Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Non-licensed Teachers Can Work at International Schools

This has been taken from a post I wrote in 2008 called International Schools. You can find more information about international schools in that post, such as . . .
  1. The best countries to teach in
  2. Teaching licenses and awards via distance learning
  3. Licensure for American citizens and residents 
  4. International school job fairs
  5. Recruiting agencies
  6. Recruitment calendar
  7. Applying directly to schools
  8. What to do after accepting a job
No Teaching License?
You can still get hired at an international school. Some schools, such as Christian schools or those in less popular countries will accept teachers with no license. Even if you want to work in a popular country you could get a job, depending on your background and experience. Schools need people with real life experience and know-how.

ISR wrote a post about this back in November 2009 called, International Teaching Without Credentials. It just goes to show that it is possible to work at an international school if you don't have that little piece of paper. People are very opinionated about this topic, but it looks like many teachers as well as principals believe that non-certified teachers can be good teachers. Some saying that simply having a license makes you a teachers, others state that teachers are born not made.

Against Teachers Without Formal Qualifications
  • syed hammeed says that teaching without credentials doesn't fit the profession.
  • Louis says quality of teaching doesn't matter; only licenses do.
  • Pete Janda hires teachers and says it's better to hire teachers with licenses because they know how to teach various levels, write a lesson plan, and know the current education trends.
  • Idaflorence says she can tell an unqualified teacher from far away. 
  • mrb says that saying that anyone off the streets can teach is an insult to the teaching profession.
  • Richard Evans says that most uncertified teachers are at a disadvantage because they don't know how to manage a classroom or write lesson plans.
  • NIcola Scales says that she wouldn't go to a dentist, doctor, or lawyer without certifications so why should teachers be different?
  • Sandra says that teaching credentials are necessary and that schools accept non-certified teachers so that they can pay them less. She says certified teachers spend time and money on their credentials and uncertified teachers shouldn't get their jobs.
  • gaia says that they have had nothing but trouble with uncertified teachers. Schools can help people become certified as well.
Those On The Fence
  • Mercury started as a non-certified teacher, but decided to go back and get his license.  
  • Amy says that good schools will not hire uncertified teachers but that there are also certified teachers who can't teach.

In Favour Of Teachers Without Formal Qualifications 
  • cbp was quick to disagree with Louis  who said quality of teaching doesn't matter; only licenses do.
  • Chris Davis says that although he has an MEd and has homeschooled his three kids, been the principal of a school, and lecturer, he doesn't have a teaching license. 
  • teach 2010 says that there are many credentialed teachers who can't actually teach.
  • Hellei has been teaching in international schools since 2000 and doesn't have a license. While it's hard to get a job, she shows that it's not impossible. 
  • DB says that a piece of paper doesn't mean you can teach. There are many licensed teachers who are unqualified. 
  • Between cultures says that she was raised abroad, but is a non-Japanese speaking Japanese citizen and because of that can't get a Japanese teaching license and can't get a US one because she's not American. 
  • Agunshka says that some teachers can be good without a cert and that it's hard for overseas teachers to keep their qualifications current. In addition, some certified teachers get to the top not because they're good teachers but because they're good at politics. 
  • Jill has over 25 years experience and has successfully taught at international schools without being a licensed teacher. 
  • Lostone says that you should judge people on what they can bring to a school not by which paper they have. 
  • D says that licensed proved nothing other than the fact that you can jump through the necessary hoops to get one. 
  • grm says that you have to promote quality education, not bits of paper.
  • Soumaya is a school principal and has hired certified and non-certified teachers.
  • Indigo Blue says that having real life experience has helped her teach and her students are happy to learn useful info. 
  • Chris states that although he isn't certified, there's a ton of useless info that students are learning in school and that is being taught by certified teachers. 
  • Molson went back to school to become a licensed teacher and said he knew about 90% of the info they taught them and was a waste of time. 
  • Duras says that he say people switch their majors to teaching because it was the easier thing to do. He also saw qualified teachers stop teaching becuase it was too hard, they had too little vacation, were bored, etc. He also says there are too many programmes out there trying to get teachers. 
  • Anonymous says that being a good teacher is innate.
  • Anonymous makes a good point by saying he would hire a person who has 10 years teaching experience with no certificate before a first year certified teacher. If a non certified teacher has managed to work hard for ten years, get hired by schools, make a difference in the classroom, and build a portfolio then why not? There are many exceptions to the rule, life is not one way.

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Tuesday, 9 July 2013

A Teacher By Any Other Name

From publicpolicypast.blogspot.com
Titles can be a bit of a nightmare. Even though people have the same job and do the same work, if one of them has a better title, they may get a higher salary as well as more perks and benefits. In other cultures, titles play an important part of life and people may alter the way they treat and respect you due to it. Here are some common titles used when referring to a teacher.

I'm sure people will disagree with some of the placements of the titles (especially with adjunct, assistant, and associate professor) however, this is my opinion as I believe any type of professor is higher up the ladder than an instructor, for example.

The Peons: Graduate Teaching Assistant,  Graduate Student Instructor, Miss, Ms., Mr., Teacher, Senior Teaching Assistant, Teaching Assistant, Teaching Fellow, Tutor, Your Name

The Bourgeois: Adjunct Instructor, Director of Studies, Docent, Head Teacher, Lecturer, Reader, Senior Lecturer, Sessional Lecturer

The Gentry: Adjunct Professor, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Auxiliary Professor, Non-tenured Professor, Visiting Professor

The Nobles: College Professor, Dean, Department Chair, Distinguished Professor, Professor Emeritus, Resident Professor, Tenured Professor

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Monday, 8 July 2013

Quick Tip: Using Active Teaching in the Classroom

From mathsimulationtechnology.wordpress.com
No longer are teachers seen as know-it-alls. The enhanced lecture and the pause procedure show that students can teach each other just as well, if not better, than teachers can.

Of course nowadays the move it shifting towards active teaching, which takes Dale's Cone into consideration. There are times when passive teaching does have its place, but try to use active teaching in your class as well.


Passive teaching assumes students . . .
  • know very little
  • empty vessels
  • listen
  • rote memory is used

Passive teaching assumes teachers . . .
  • know-it-all
  • are vessels of knowledge
  • lecture
  • expect students to memorise

Active teaching assumes students . . .
  • have a lot to offer
  • practice
  • find out rules through trial and error
  • work in groups, alone, or with partners
  • can teach other students

Active teaching assumes teachers . . .
  • guide
  • assist
  • facilitate
  • know that students can help each other

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Sunday, 7 July 2013

Poll Results June 2013: Are teachers paid fairly?

June's poll was "Are teachers paid fairly?" Here are the results. If you're looking to supplement your teaching salary, here are some great ideas.
  • Yes: 0% with 0 votes
  • No: 100% with 8 votes
Pretty unanimous! It's clear we're being taken advantage of. Be sure to vote in next month's poll: Do you use L1 to teach L2?

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Saturday, 6 July 2013

Hot Topic: Why I Don't Learn My Students' Names

From businesspundit.com
I know that some people say that learning your students names is necessary to create rapport and build relationships, however, I've stopped learning my students names for these reasons.
  1. I'm lazy by nature.
  2. It keeps my grading objective because I can't use favouritism.
  3. Most of my students don't even know my name.
  4. I have relatively little time each week and I have a lot of students.
  5. Titles such as professor or teacher are used more than names.
  6. I'm getting older and my memory isn't what it used to be.

What do you do? Do you learn your students' names?

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Friday, 5 July 2013

Quick Tip: Have Aims and Learning Objectives

From kasperpiro.com
Whenever I've been observed I usually get criticised for not having any aims or learning objectives for my students. This is kind of correct. While I do think about what I want my students to learn I don't list them on the board or tell them to my students. And I really should.

Learning aims are basically the purpose of teaching the lesson. You want to let students know why you're teaching a certain topic and what you're trying to achieve. An example of this would be "the aim of this course is to help students feel more comfortable speaking English." Or the aim of this class is to teach students about the difference between past simple and past continuous". Pretty simple, but lets students know the main idea of the lesson.

Learning objectives/outcomes are measureable. Robert F. Mager, an American educational psychologist says that they should include 3 parts. (Taken from Robert Gordon University). You might also be interested in reading about Bloom's taxotomy which talks about different levels of learning objectives. There are a number of different verbs you can use when expressing learning outcomes and you can find a list here.
  1. Say what the student can do by the end of the lesson.
  2. States the conditions under which the behaviour should be demonstrated
  3. Have a minimum standard of performance. 

For example, the student should be able to remember two rules of using the past simple (rule 1) in a written exam (rule 2) and get 80% (rule 3).

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Thursday, 4 July 2013

Why I Let Students Call Me Sir Even Though I'm a Woman

From eves-rib.blogspot.com
Let's start this by getting something straight: I am a woman, always have been a woman, and always will be a woman. I haven't had a sex change and have no desire to be a man.

Now, moving on. . .
At one of my first teaching jobs almost all my students called me, "Miss". Except it was a Spanish speaking country, so sounded more like, "Mees". At first I didn't like it.

The word "Miss" takes me back to an era when men wore top hats and women wore petticoats. "Miss" and "Master" simply aren't used that much. Besides, the word, "Miss" should be for young (under 18) women or unmarried women. While I was single, I was over 18. And besides that, all female teachers were called that, no matter their age, civil status, or where they taught (school, university, etc).

But, if you can't beat them then join them, so I did. I figured it was a way for my students to show respect, so "Miss" I became.

Fast forward a couple years . . .
I don't tell my students what to call me, but they pretty much call me one of four titles:
  • Teacher
  • Professor
  • Sir
  • My first name
I moved back to Asia and was teaching at a university when one of my students called me, "Sir". The student who called me sir spoke English very well and had good etiquette. I hesitated and was about to say that men are called sir and women are called ma'am, when I thought better of it and decided I'd rather be a sir than a ma'am. Ma'am reminds me of old ladies who you have to help across the street.

In addition . . .
  1. I teach at a university I'm not really a teacher (grades K-12)
  2. I wouldn't be considered a professor back home (no PhD)
  3. Some students aren't comfortable using my first name due to respect and hierarchy
  4. My last name is long and hard to pronounce
In this case, if a student wants to call me, "Sir" I'll let it slide. 

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Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Becoming a TEFL Examiner

Becoming an examiner for international exams is a great way to boost your CV and earn some extra money, just make sure your employer doesn't mind. Below you can find how to become a Cambridge examiner and IELTS.

Cambridge Examiner 
I tried applying directly to the school in charge of exams and was always told that there were no openings. You could try applying directly to the schools at the Cambridge website, but then I got nominated. After you pass training you can do the real exams and mock exams. I did mock exams here in Peru and made about 450 usd for 22 hours of work.

IELTS Examiner
Being an IELTS examiner is a part-time job working for the British Council. They don't get a visa for you. You can apply via the British Council in the country where you're working. You can probably make about 40 usd an hour for the orals and about 60 usd an hour for the written exams, depending on how fast you can grade them. You will need to have the following in order to apply.
  • An undergraduate degree or a qualification which can be demonstrated to be equivalent to an undergraduate degree.
  • A recognised qualification in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
  • At least 3 years’ full time (or the equivalent part time) relevant TESOL teaching experience (post certificate level qualification).
  • Recruitment information packs for applicants can be downloaded from The British Council.
Once you become an examiner, you can do exams anywhere provided you fill in a transfer form. The new centre will then have you sign an invitation to examine. Ask your current test centre for more details.

IELTS in China
China is a big market and they currently have 4 centres there: Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, and Chongqing. They have also been known to examine in other capital cities if the need arises. They're always hiring and often advertise on Dave's ESL Cafe.

While your income might not be stable, it's a nice source of extra income. One week you might get 10 written exams to grade, but the next you could get 60. Some people have reported getting about 3000rmb for a day and a half. 


Since many employers in China pay 4000 to 10,000rmb a month, 3000rmb for a weekend is pretty good money. Some people have been able to make an extra 10,000 to 15,000 a month. You may need permission from your current employer in order to work for someone else. Check your contract just in case.

Due to the fact that giving exams is tiring and you will probably be asked on do exams twice a month, although in Beijing some people have done exams three times a month. Exams are usually on the weekends, but they can also be held during the week. If you are required to travel the British Council will help pay for your transport, hotel, and give you some money for food. Many people enjoy giving exams as it provides a different environment than teaching, pays well, and boosts their CV.


Edit: It seems the British Council will be phasing out part-time weekend examining

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Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Hot Topic: How Heavily Should Grades Be Based on Exams?

From collegetocareers.com
When I was in school I hated tests. I simply didn't test well. As a result, my ACT and SAT scores were lower than my brothers, but my grades were much higher. Many schools weigh exams, tests, and quizzes pretty highly.

As a teacher I can understand this. It's less work for the teacher if they don't have to constantly grade homework, participation, etc. It also makes sure the students understand the concepts they've studied and can use them.

Of course there are problems as well. Making a test that's reliable and valid is difficult. And you also have to think about objectivity and subjectivity. Not to mention that some students simply don't test well.

How heavily a class is based on exams depends on a lot of factors, such as the class, the teacher, and the admin. It's hard to find a balance that pleases everyone.

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Monday, 1 July 2013

10 Myths About TEFL Teachers

Here are the top 10 myths I've heard about TEFL teachers over the years.
  1. We're backpackers. Many people think TEFL teachers aren't serious about their jobs and bounce from job to job. While some teachers are like that, many others make a career out of TEFLing.
  2. Teaching is easy. Lesson planning, looking for supplementary material, making and grading quizzes, tests, and exams, grading papers and essays, creating rubrics and PPTs all take time. I've spent more weekends and weeknights than I'd care to count grading. 
  3. We all learn the local language. People forget that TEFL teachers get their jobs because they speak English. They also spend most of their time in and outside of work speaking English. Some people put forth the effort and learn the language, although it's hard to become fully immersed in the language as a TEFL teacher.
  4. TEFL teaching is really glamorous. Sometimes it is, but often it becomes just a job like any other.
  5. Employers will welcome you with open arms when you go back home. People think that it's easy to transition out of TEFLing since you'll learn the language in a year and have a lot to offer companies back home. The reality is reverse culture shock and the fact that many (but luckily not all) employers look down at TEFL teachers. 
  6. We're immersed in the culture. Some people do, but it's very easy to live in your English speaking bubble with other foreigners. Culture shock and the language are big barriers to becoming immersed in the culture.
  7. We make lots of friends with the locals. Culture and language can make making friends hard. In addition, some people will just want to be your friend so that they can get free English lessons.
  8. We travel all over the place. Yes, some of us are able to travel. However, many TEFL positions pay about as much as MacDonald's does. You can survive, but just barely. Sure you can often live decently since the cost of living is lower than back home, but saving for travelling or finding ways to travel cheaply is another thing all together. In addition, TEFL teachers might only get a couple weeks of vacation a year and they often like to go home to visit family and friends.
  9. Life overseas is dangerous! In some places it can be dangerous, but generally I feel safer overseas than at home (the US) and I've lived in Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Many people think that the Middle East or Africa is extremely dangerous. While they can be right, the countries that are in political turmoil don't usually have a need for TEFL teachers. If political strife breaks out, such as it did in Libya, the embassy will almost always help you get out.
  10. Life overseas is cheap. Somethings are and somethings are: it tends to even out. Eating out and transportation can be cheap. Gas is about double what it costs back home. Groceries are expensive. Housing, taxes, and schooling for your kids can also put a big dent in your income

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