The trials and tribulations of an ESL Teacher

Being a TEFL teacher is one of the jobs that lets you travel to wonderful corners of the globe while also earning money. However it does depend on where you work. It is undoubtedly a most rewarding job seeing students being able to greet you in the corridor who would have balked at speaking a sentence three months before. However it is indeed not all roses, and certainly not lacking in work. Here are some of the many complaints I heard from teachers in our (sweetness and light-filled) staffroom:

1.Not being able to plan for any moment, in any form.

2. Asking students to repeat themselves until the conversation has gone past acceptability in awkwardness.

3. Talking about the finer points(or lack thereof) of Diceys.



4. Splitting a gut trying to switch the projector on on a teetering chair… culminating in explosion and (hopefully) laughter.


5. Explaining why tea with milk is the ultimate delicacy..not spuds or Guinness. And what’s so disgusting about it? Ungrateful sods.

6. Teaching the whole class Riverdance; then sitting back to watch the repeat performance yelling out instructions. e.g. KNEES HIGHER! WOULD MICHAEL FLATLEY BE PROUD OF THIS? JEAN BUTLER WILL HAVE TO GO BACK TO SELLING CHOCOLATES!


7. Making repair work seem like a life-changing classroom moment. (oh, look at the computer, it just rose from the ashes of the classroom!)







8. Practicing drama to perfection..cue Pink Panther music for a game of Murderer.

9.Working nine to five…and then some. Sure what were evenings made for only mountains of corrections….


10. Socialising in the pub on a Friday evening downstairs from the main building. (editor’s note: Not the writer’s local, at all….)

11. Literally living for the weekend. So you can carry out your true powers of persuasion.



12. But living through the week even more, and realising how lucky you are to be doing something you love. To teachers!

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