As a novice ESL teacher, you will undoubtedly be keen to show you have the qualities required in order to get recruited by a good ESL school. So, what qualities do ESL employers look for in their potential ESL teachers? Here are some of the qualities that ESL employers expect, and which you should definitely possess.
Your potential employer will expect you to be enthusiastic and optimistic. For a novice ESL teacher, it is very important that you come across as someone who is enthusiastic about starting a career in ESL teaching and that you have an optimistic outlook to life in general; your optimism and enthusiasm will be a driving force for your students as well.
Motivation is an important quality. ESL employers will want to know your motivation for choosing a career as an ESL teacher. They will want to know if you view ESL teaching as just another job or if there’s a deeper motive that has led you to this particular career. If your reason for ESL teaching is just to use it as a vehicle to travel around the world, it would be better not to mention it.
You should be able to demonstrate that you would be committed to your profession, your school, and your students. ESL teachers who are committed to their profession maintain a high degree of professional and personal integrity. A commitment to the school would entail compliance with the rules and regulations of the educational institution and the ability to put the good of the school before personal betterment. For example, you wouldn’t leave your school in mid-term by taking advantage of an exit clause in your contract so that you could take up an alternative ESL teaching post that is far more lucrative. In short, a committed teacher would be a loyal teacher. Finally, a commitment to your students would manifest itself in your ability to empathise with them: empathy is one of the most important qualities that a teacher should possess, and together with patience they make the teacher a more approachable person.
The ESL employer will expect you to be a highly organised and efficient ESL teacher. You will be expected to show that you are capable of organising your teaching and non-teaching duties in such a way that your teaching duties do not impede or prevent the execution of your non-teaching duties, and vice versa; for example, not making a lesson plan because you still have to urgently complete school reports.
You will be expected to be knowledgeable about TEFL, both in theory and in practice. You will also have to show that you are creative and flexible in your approach to classroom teaching.