Technology = TEACHnology = Good TEFL Method
This comes up so often that it is worth talking about. This is actually the first time – and possibly the last – I have ever written specifically to a particular occupational group. Strange? But not.
Yes, people who work in information technology (IT) – in my experience as a teacher trainer – often make the BEST EFL/ESL teachers.
I’ve taught a lot of IT people to be teachers and I have also communicated with a lot of them about changing their careers. Something about IT seems to encourage people to get OUT. Perhaps it is the cubicle work environment or even the tedium that can come with systems design and work.
If you work in IT and are thinking of a career change – TEFL may be a pretty good choice for you. Why do IT people do so well? It is largely because of the step-by-step process by which they are used to analyzing their work. It is very method intensive. This works, so you add a step. If something doesn’t work you back up step-by-step until you can make it work – then you begin to add steps again.
Step-by-Step Method is great for TEFL
That kind of careful analysis and that method of approaching problems is exactly what your EFL students need. That kind of method translates super well to designing lessons for your students. And with so much practice, IT people just seem to “get it” much faster than other TEFL trainees. They are very used to and familiar with PLANNING what they do. And if it doesn’t work – going back and taking it apart piece by piece to find out why it didn’t work.
This kind of approach, which is second nature to IT people, is often difficult for TEFL trainees (EFL teachers in training) to get a good handle on.
I remember taking a FORTRAN class back in 1970 or so – and it taught me some good skills that I still use today.
So . . . IT people – all I am saying is that if you wonder if you might do well in TEFL. My answer will almost always be YES, you probably will do very well.
For the rest of us non-techies, we can do pretty well too, but sometimes we struggle with the process. Not a big deal – it’s not rocket science – pretty much everyone gets it during their training, it’s just that it comes very naturally to the IT folks.
TED’s Tips™ #1: If you work in IT and you wonder if TEFL will be easy or difficult for you, I am telling you here that it will likely be a very good transition for you. Go for it!