Published 7th March 2016

Doing a TEFL course can be at times overwhelming for even the most dedicated and passionate TEFL student. Studying on your own is great because it’s convenient and your time is flexible but it also means that you need to be your own cheerleader and keep yourself motivated.

If you’re feeling like you want to throw your laptop out the window because you can’t get your lesson plan right, don’t; rather have a look at these tips for staying motivated, and keep those grey hairs away.

Take a break

Seems simple enough but when you have other pressures like work and family on top of your studying schedule, sometimes it seems like you never have a spare moment to breathe. Resist the urge to keep going until you fall asleep on your books and take a break when you feel your concentration flagging. Even a ten-minute breath of fresh air will help you feel more energised and get back on track.


Do something completely unrelated

When it feels like your head is about to explode with TEFL information, spend some time doing something that has nothing to do with Teaching English as Foreign Language. Go for a walk, watch a movie, read a novel, go for coffee with your friends, anything. By taking your mind off your work you’ll be giving yourself a mental break. Whatever you do, don’t feel guilty about it and you’ll be surprised by how many teaching ideas will pop into your head anyway!

Do something unrelated like meeting friends in a coffee shop


If you’re not a gym bunny this might be the worst piece of advice for you, but sadly it works. Make sure you are getting enough exercise and are not spending your entire day sitting at a desk. If you really need to work, take a walk to a not-so-close coffee shop and work there, or wake up an hour earlier to get some gym time in before the day starts. Those endorphins will keep you healthy and get you through the worst days.

Take a job with friends or colleagues

Have a mood board

Cheesy, we know, but visualisation is known to do wonders for your mood. Create a noticeboard of pictures of the places you want to go when you’re finally finished with your TEFL course, and when you feel like you can’t read another sentence, take 10 minutes, look at your pictures and imagine where you’ll be very soon…if you keep working.

Create a board of place you wish to travel and teach when you have completed your course.

Read TEFL blogs

Reading about other TEFL teachers’ teaching adventures is a great way to focus on the goal ahead. Keep reminding yourself that that could soon be you and your brain will find renewed energy to tackle your latest TEFL assignment.

So don’t despair on those days when you’re convinced there is no light at the end of the tunnel – be your own motivational speaker and keep reminding yourself that you’ll soon be living your own TEFL dream.