What to Do As an ESL Teacher During Your Downtime

One of the best things about being an ESL teacher is the sheer amount of free time there is. Sure, the work’s hard when you’re actually teaching, and prepping lessons takes a bit of time, especially if you’re new. However, once you’ve got the hang of lesson planning and teaching, it really is fairly easy.

If you’re teaching 20 hours a week, you shouldn’t be working any more than 25 – 30 hours a week. So, as I said, this leaves you with a lot of free time to do what you want. And if you take my advise, the best thing to do with your free time is study, study, study.

Trust me when I say this, you’ll be surprised at how quickly the time will go by. One moment, you’re a new teacher, knees knocking as you go into your first class, wondering why the hell you thought teaching was a good idea. The next, you’re going to be looking back 20 years wondering what happened to all the time. And maybe why you’re still an ESL teacher, but that for another post.

FutureLearn Limited

Finding the Write Course to Study

Of course, the trick is to find the best courses to do. And the fact is, if you’re living in the middle of nowhere, with nothing but internet access, a laptop, and your trusty fruit knife, there is not much choice in the way of teacher training in the real world. But have no fear, I have an online e-learning solution for you and it’s called FutureLearn.

FutureLearn is a digital education platform founded in December 2012.
The one and only Open University from Milton Keynes, UK owns it. It is a Massive Open Online Course learning platform, and as of May 2018 included 143 UK and international partners, including non-university partners.

Before I start, I wrote this from the point of view of an ESL teacher, but it doesn’t matter if you’re an ESL teacher, or a tradition school teacher; they are not mutually exclusive. And in some ways, the two skills, teaching English as a second language and a first language can complement each other nicely.

In fact, I myself started out as an ESL teacher in a language centre. Then I quickly moved on to ESL teacher in an international school. Finally, I moved on to teaching First Language English in another international school, where I ended my days as a teacher. Sadly, there were no online courses available in my early years of teaching. Luckily you don’t have that problem.

esl teacher
Me when I was young and handsome. Lol

So, let’s look at the first online e-learning course that I’m going to recommend you to look at, whether you are an ESL teacher or a FLE teacher.

Professional Development for Early Career Teachers

There are many reasons to do this course. The most obvious reason is that it is an online training course for new teachers. And the more training you get at the start of your career, the better a teacher you will be. In this course, you’ll not only learn how to be a better teacher but you’ll also find out how to develop your career.

What This Course Will Give You

When just starting out as a new teacher, everything can be very overwhelming. Every day, there is a new challenge or a new responsibility. Your HODs, DHTs, and HM will constantly ask you to do new things, which would take them five minutes but will take you hours, by the way.

With this online course, you’ll get the advice and guidance you need to learn the skills to manage your work life so you’ll still have a personal life. And of course, you’ll also get the advice and guidance to increase your teaching skills.

ESL teacher

During this course, you’ll be able to think about your needs as a teacher. Let’s look at some more blurb. You’ll explore subjects such as behaviour management strategies, pedagogical approaches to teaching and learning, and ways to prioritise your workload and more.

What Topics Will You Cover

  • Reflective practice and how you can use it to review and develop teaching and learning.
  • Strategies for managing workload.
  • Approaches to effective behaviour management in order to promote behaviours for learning.
  • The use of assessment for learning (AFL) strategies to effectively assess the progress and learning needs of children.
  • Approaches for providing appropriate challenge and differentiation.

Who Developed This Course?

This course was developed by the University of East Anglia (UEA). UEA is an internationally renowned university. It provides top quality academic, social and cultural facilities to over 15,000 students from over 100 countries around the globe.

esl teacher
Image by 정수 이 from Pixabay

Who This Course Is Best For

As the name of this course suggests, it has been designed primarily for teachers who are just starting their teaching career journey. However, I think that if you are a more experienced teacher, you will still find it useful as a way of reminding yourself of the basics.

How Much Does the Course Cost?

The great news about this course is that it is free if you don’t want a certificate. However, if you want to put it on your CV, I strongly recommend that you pay the €64. This will give the course much more value, especially with future employers.

I also have to say something else. If you have a good amount of free time on your hands, you should think about paying the €169, and do as many courses as can in the year. That will give your CV some serious weight.

Wrapping It All Up

And there you have it. If you’d like to check out the course, “Professional Development for Early Career Teachers”, please click on the image below. Scroll down a bit and you will find the course you’re looking for. You’ll also see a lot of other courses listed. You can check them out as well if you like.

FutureLearn Limited

If you liked what you read, please feel free to leave a comment. And when you have finished your course, come back and let us know what you thought of it and how you did. I would love to hear about your success stories.

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