Working as an ESL teacher trainer

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After a novice ESL teacher has worked as a classroom teacher for about ten years, one of the career paths that might be worth following is that which leads to working as an ESL teacher trainer.

If you really feel passionate about teaching and are one of those teachers who would like to pass your skills on to other ESL teachers – this could be just the job for you. As an ESL teacher trainer, you will probably be working in a university or college of higher education: so it’s quite a prestigious post. Apart from confidence and the passion to work as a teacher trainer, if you hope to be a good teacher trainer, you will have to have certain additional qualities: here are some of the qualities that you should have if you hope to work as a teacher trainer. You will need to have patience and the ability to empathize with your trainee teachers.

Empathy will be one of your most important qualities; you will have to be able to demonstrate a genuine interest in your trainee teachers irrespective of trainees’ ethnic backgrounds, sexes, or ages. You should be able to mentally put yourself in the trainees’ position in order to understand and appreciate any difficulties that they might face. You should be approachable, patient, and caring about your trainee teachers’ development.

You will need to have good communication skills and be focused on your objectives: you will have to be able to constructively criticize incorrect teaching practices and bad teaching habits without making trainee teachers feel embarrassed, belittled, or despondent. You will also have to be able to get your ideas over in a simple and effective manner so that the trainee teachers understand exactly what is required: the best way in which this can be achieved is by being focused on your objectives.

You will have to be a highly organized person, for example you cannot expect your trainee teachers to prepare lesson plans if you don’t bother to do so, and as a consequence: your lessons are disorganized and lacking in clear objectives. A good teacher trainer will also be expected to have good training skills: It should not be assumed that a teacher trainer who has good communication skills will also have good training skills. In some educational establishments, a potential teacher trainer will be required to show some proof of ability in training: possibly by holding a professional training qualification or teacher training experience gained as part of professional career development undertaken while working as an ESL teacher. You will be expected to be knowledgeable about TEFL education theories and practice, and you will have to know how to relate theory to practice.

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