We all know the old saying, “Knowledge is power.”But, for children and adults trying to learn English, the true challenge is not the gaining of knowledge but the ability to share it.
Having taught many young children who were learning English as a second or even third language, I can quickly recognize the frustration of someone who is just trying to make themselves understood. Imagine not being able to share even your most basic thoughts, feelings, and needs!
The beginning is rocky, and the frustration is real, but students are sponges. Slowly but surely, the language skills you are teaching will seep in. It works every time.
(For those first few weeks, though, be prepared to practice your skills of interpretive dance. I found it to be a unique and interesting challenge the first time I needed to mime to a child, “Do you need to use the toilet?” and “Please do not put your hand in your friend’s pants.”)
There is no experience quite like witnessing a child’s lightbulb turn on as they realize that they know how to say exactly what they want to say. Suddenly, that wall between teacher and student caused by a language barrier is gone!
From then on, the floodgates open. Their English is not perfect right away of course, but that is not the point. They can communicate. They can tell stories and ask questions, express a range of emotions, and share their abilities with their peers.
So, I ask you - is knowledge alone truly power, or can knowledge only create an impact when you have the skills to communicate it?
When you become an ESL teacher, you become part of this incredible process. The things you teach will create a lasting impression on students who will continue using what you have taught them throughout the rest of their lives.
At the end of the school year, as I watched my students chat and joke with one another clearly, effortlessly, and entirely in English, I knew I had made the right career choice.
So, if you are looking to get into a career that makes life-changing differences (for your students AND yourself), consider teaching English!
Because communication is power.