What you wish you had brought in preparation to teach

Out of curiosity and a desire to learn some inside tips, I ask the following:

In hindsight, what would you have brought with you (from your home country) to assist in teaching English given what you know now?

Would you have brought books, activity games, teaching aids, etc that you didn

A pet duck. :slight_smile:

Language-based games can be a great resource.

Marker Proof Clothing or washing powder that removes those pesky marker stains and maybe a game like Scrabble.

Tylenol and story books.

I’d pick up one or two books on ESL/EFL (in general.) One of the two books (if you get two) should focus on young learners. The majority of the jobs here will have you teaching kids from 1st through about 6th grade I think. You’ll also probably end up teaching young learners so learning something about that would be good too (6 and under.) If you get morning work, you’ll (likely) be teaching kids under 6 years old.

A book on ESL/EFL games would help, as would a nice book on classroom management. Having an interest in learning these things before you come will save you time when you arrive. You will more than likely be thrown into a classroom of kids with zero training ahead of time. They will expect you to know what you’re doing (unless you are hired by one of the larger chain schools.)

Having a basic understanding of classroom management and a few good games in your bag of tricks will help a lot. Also, find some online resources for getting coloring sheets/flash cards/work sheets. There are many good ones out there for free, and some nice pay-to-use sites.

Fuck any naysayers that tell you not to waste your time preparing (I may have been one of those in a past life :blush: :smiley: .)

After that, it’s just learning how to keep parents and management happy. That will very school to school, but by using common sense (oh, bring some of that too, or get you some. You seem to have plenty judging from your posts :wink:) you’ll be able to figure something out. Usually, if the parents are happy, management is happy. Some schools will have useless paper work they want you to do. You can get out of doing it IF the parents are happy (and you think of creative ways to deal with said useless paperwork.)

Keep posting questions here too.

Here’s the first book I got about all this stuff. I’m no expert, so I’m hesitant to recommend a lot of things, but this book gives a good run down of all the different theories and stuff with language learning and teaching. There are a lot of other books out there.

[Principles of Language Learning and Teaching, Fourth Edition (Paperback)]

Yes, MTK’s recommended book is a great intro. If you live near a university go to the bookstore and pick up some books on 2nd language teaching, education (how children learn, learning as it relates to age, motivation, classroom management, etc), and linguistics.

More condoms. Not that I don’t love my wife and daughter, but I’d still be enjoying the freedom of being a single man. :wink: