That sucks, and when you’re an ESL teacher, you might think like that from time to time. I thought like that quite a bit when I was a teacher.
- You’re in a foreign country and the language isn’t always easy, so getting around and doing stuff isn’t always easy.
- You’re working at a job that doesn’t pay that much and a lot of the time it seems like you’re getting no respect and what you do seems like it has no value.
- You’re wondering why you decided to travel half way around the world so you could do…this.
Yeah, you’re an ESL teacher. The good news is that you won’t be forever.
Everyone else teaches for a year or so and then heads home to do…God knows what. If someone asked me, I’d say that just 10% to 20% of ESL teachers teach for more than a year…it just doesn’t happen that often. Teaching ESL is seen as a year off, a learning experience, a way to find yourself. After that, many go home and continue with their education or get a ‘real’ job…whatever that means.
I will tell you this – by teaching ESL, you’re really going to be ahead of many of your peers when you get back to America or Canada or Europe or Australia or…wherever.
You’re going to be able to think on your feet, act quickly, and come up with new ideas when everyone else is staring at their feet.
You’re going to be great at communicating, and standing in front of a room of people won’t bother you that much.
You’re going to be super at striking up conversations, reading body language, and ‘figuring out’ what people are trying to say.
These are all things that you get when you’re an ESL teacher. On top of it, you’ll have a perspective on your home country that few of your fellows will have. Really, probably the same 10% to 20% of people actually live abroad for an extended period, and now you’re one.
Wow, isn’t it amazing how much of a boost you get by being an ESL teacher? In just a single year of teaching, you build up a wide range of skills and abilities that others just don’t have.
Golly, come to think of it…you’re awesome!