A wonderful way to travel, see the world and perhaps earn a little bit of money is to teach English as a Second Language (ESL) abroad. This way you get to live in a foreign country, get properly immersed into the culture of your chosen destination and hopefully travel to your heart’s content. One small question I would ask myself before embarking on such an adventure or signing a contract is: “Will I actually make a good teacher?” To get the expected qualification for the job is important, but will you actually enjoy being the head of a class? Will you be able to control a class of sometimes 20 children? Can you manage your time correctly, to ensure you get through the lessons in time? These are aspects we at Oxford English Academy look for in our teachers, above and beyond their qualifications and experience.

Consider what it must be like walking into a classroom to teach English to students who can only just utter a ‘hello’ to you. It is part of human nature to becoming slightly withdrawn and even shy when you are unsure of yourself. Now it is your job to coach these students to become confident enough to creep out of their shells and attempt a new language. One word comes to mind here: patience! Every good teacher summons up an incredible amount of patience every day to deal with their class.

Besides patience, understanding plays a huge role in a teacher’s character: understanding of the fact that each student is an individual who learns in a different way, understanding of cultural differences and understanding of the fact that each student trusts you to provide them with the best education possible.

Time management is of the essence in the classroom and you need to be able to time your lesson to such an extent that you do not finish too early or run out of time. You must allow for students to ask questions, for group discussions and for revising certain aspects of the lesson if need be.

I have mentioned but a few qualities and characteristics needed for the making of a good English teacher. At Oxford English Academy our teachers are there because teaching is their calling and their passion. We pride ourselves in the fact that our teachers are ambassadors of what we as a company believe in: academic excellence!