Some people argue that teaching is terrible and like any profession, it depends on the circumstances. Sure, some are pulling their hair out with unruly teens, overworked, underpaid, disrespected etc etc but stay with me here, I've been teaching for over 12 years and have never loved it more than I do now.
Some are thinking "loco", but in actual fact, it's never been a more exciting time to be a teacher. Let me tell you why:
A big motivator for me personally. My family is dispersed across the globe, from South America, through Europe to Australia. How can I possibly teach people in any one place? So when I pack my suitcase, my first consideration are my teaching devices; the trusty laptop and super smartphone.
Teaching on the go is thrilling. I've taught while in Venezuela, Spain, Italy, France, UK, Thailand, Qatar, Indonesia and it continues. While in Thailand, I would enjoy the pool and the beaches in the morning, shower off, lunch, teach for 3-4 hours and get ready to explore again in the evening. Now this may not be ideal for everyone, especially if you're on a short romantic getaway for example, but if you're travelling for extended periods of time, you may need to sacrifice a small part of your day to work!
Teaching with a view of a Thai beach
This isn't only true for online teaching. There are so many language institutions in every country now, it's almost silly that you don't take advantage of this amazing opportunity that you have to see the world. Apply to schools and see what their minimum term requirements are. You could go for 6 months or do summer camps as I have done in the past. They usually last from 1-3 months teaching children or adults, are a LOT OF FUN, and do not lock you in for the long-term.
2. The world becomes a small place
I started in the classroom, passed my training courses and gained experience teaching groups of 16 + students. This was certainly a valuable experience because I interacted with big classes and enjoyed collaborating and learning from my colleagues but thanks to the magic of the internet, teaching knows no boundaries.
Today, I teach exclusively online. I connect with students in Moscow, Beijing, Korea, Brazil and of course European countries as well. Conversations with people from such a variety of places is incredibly insightful and stimulates fun and engaging discussion topics. This is incredibly motivating for a teacher and for the student as well, who is often curious to learn about you and your background.
You can really take teaching anywhere you desire.
I usually teach from the comfort of my own home, but also from my office and even from hotel rooms. I most often use my laptop, naturally, but smartphones have become so powerful, I'm able to use my super smart device to conduct my class. Whether it's a straight forward Skype call or involves connecting the phone to the TV, it's quick, easy and effective and as long as those elements are present, there's no reason why you shouldn't be teaching this way.
You don't need fancy equipment. Smartphone or laptop and a fast connection and you're all set.
Still not convinced?
3. Helping people
The first two reasons are truly great but no. 3 is a knock-out. The feeling of satisfaction of helping someone is overwhelming, especially when you see students crying with joy and hugging you, because you've helped them pass IELTS, allowing them to get the visa they need to move abroad and change their lives. Taking students from illiterate to passing Cambridge exams is something special and not something that happens everyday, but as you can appreciate, teaching people any skill, changes lives by creating opportunities.
It's often difficult for native speakers to understand how disadvantaged people can be sometimes by simply coming from a non-English speaking country. Due to globalisation, our communities are coming closer together and English has become the international language of our times. The number of non-native speakers is growing RAPIDLY and if you don't know English, you are going to have to wait in line behind those who do speak fluently, when job hunting.
Just to round this off, don't forget that as a teacher, more often than not, you can choose who you're teaching and who for. It doesn't have to be smelly teenagers for cowboy companies that exploit their employees, no! You can teach anyone from toddlers, young learners to business professionals or pensioners and they're plenty of great institutions with career prospects, excellent work environments and training opportunities. You make every class your own. You can design it to be as fun and engaging as you like, for your students and for your own motivation. As a teacher, you mould your world and not many jobs offer so many perks.
If you're not a teacher and sitting on the fence, leave some comments, ask me some questions and I'll be more than happy to clear up any doubts you may have.
British Community Teaching