Although I had been tutoring english for three years, when I first signed up for this course I had just been teaching TEFL in a classroom setting in a foreign country for a month. First and foremost, taking this course offered me a systematic way to think about how my teaching had been progressing, receive insights from the experts, and expand my perspective. While some things were review
, such as the tense overviews in the early chapters, other details of grammar that I learned were things I had simply never thought about because they came so naturally to me as a native speaker - the huge difference in meaning that a comma holds when it distinguishes between defining relative clauses and non-defining relative clauses comes to mind as a prominent example.
However, probably the most important thing that I learned, the one which I think I can most meaningfully and effectively put into practice in my everyday teaching duties, is the importance of organization. During my teacher training in preparation for the program which I am currently doing, the first time I was told to write a lesson plan, I remember a sense of panic and not knowing the first step. Moreover, when I began my first class, I largely did it without structure and relied too much on improvising. While it managed to turn out alright, and I could develop a good rapport with the students, there was one thing that continually came to mind. While the students seemed reasonably pleased with the lesson, I couldn't help thinking that I could have accomplished so much more if I had planned better and had a more systematic approach. This course has taken me step-by-step through the most important things to bear in mind as a teacher in my current job
In addition to taking me through the course step-by-step, the course has taught me the importance of taking lessons step-by-step. I think I learned this practical lesson most effectively with the video
from Unit 10. It may have been the most time consuming, as I watched the video several times, but I think that of all the lessons in the course, I got the most out of that one. As I watched the rather excruciating first video, I couldn't help but be reminded of some of the times when I felt dissatisfied with my own lessons. But now I think that seeing the real difference made by a truly well-planned lesson, as well as the practice in making lesson plans, has already made a big difference my effectiveness as a teacher, and I am certain that it will continue to do so into the future.