As one who is leaving in 12 days for Keelung, I hope that the apparent hostility towards “uneducated” teachers on this message board is merely a product of the medium. At the risk of spouting off about something of which I am ignorant, a semi-rhetorical question:
Is it not possible, in theory at least, to learn a trade without some sort of lengthy, “formal” education? I only say this as a recent (last weekend) college graduate, but I would think that any form of teacher training naturally involves some element of practical application. If there are only, perhaps, a handful of college graduates who look at TESOL activities as a career choice, versus, say, a way to “see the world until I work for a brokerage” or somesuch, doesn’t it make a certain amount of sense to have a place for these dedicated albeit “uneducated” individuals? In my own case, I see it as a way to fund future graduate work in the field, and to have practical experience to add to that process.
I wonder if there isn’t some sort of strange ranking system here that equates formal education with drive, motivation, desire; any number of intangibles that really seem to make the difference between effective and ineffective teaching styles. This is purely anecdotal: I’ve had a fair share of language classes during my undergrad career. 6, actually, and I feel as if I’ve learned something about the process of language teaching. If we equate CELTA or M.A. with inherently good, and EverythingElse as inherently limited, I feel we might unfairly leave out other possibilities.
Perhaps I’m simply rationalizing my inadequacies aloud. I am not claiming to be a good teacher; I’ve never done it. I would certainly hope, however, that upon my arrival I will not be immediately written off as someone with little to contribute.
I hope this didn’t sound pretentious, as that certainly wasn’t the intention. I simply think that sometimes individuals should be given the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise.