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TEFL Training In Costa Rica | 04/24/2018

What are the roles and responsibilities of a teacher?

Written by International TEFL Academy Costa Rica

Are you considering becoming an English teacher but wondering what a teacher really does?  In our 4-week TEFL course in Costa Rica, we will spend a lot of time discussing the roles and responsibilities of your new career, but let's look at a few right now!


11 Things You Will Learn in Your 4-Week Costa Rica TEFL Class

Being an Effective Teacher

As English teachers often living abroad, we are language experts, cultural representatives, educational mentors, authority figures, role models, founts of inspiration and members of the community.  Lots of people look up to us, and it's our responsibility to live up to the expectations.  Teaching is more than just a job; it's a career.  Your focus should be the needs of your students, not your own wants and desires.  There are varying definitions of what makes a "good teacher," but we should be honest and reflective in our practice and always looking for ways to improve.  Each group of students should be recognized for their differences, and we need to work to build rapport by learning about their specific needs and interests. 

Classroom structure is a necessary part of teaching. As the teacher, you need to consider class rules, procedures, rewards, and appropriate consequences. Consider rewarding positive behavior versus punishing bad behavior.  This draws attention to what you want the students to do opposed to focusing on what you don't want them to do.  Your school will probably already have some type of system in place, but research all of your options, find what works for you and your students, and make sure you consistently follow through. 

FAQ about the 4-week TEFL Course in Costa Rica

Relationships to Consider

As teachers, we encounter a number of relationships that have to be considered and play a role on our list of responsibilities.  Most importantly, we need to recognize the importance of our relationship with our students.  We want to be likable yet effective in their education experience.  Even when working with adult students, as we often are in the world of ESL, we need to remain professional and represent our profession.  You might also have interactions with your students' families or other members of the community.  Again, don't forget you are representing the school and the teaching profession, even when you aren't working.


Relationships with your coworkers will likely be some of the most enriching experiences you have, especially when living abroad. At many schools, not only will you help each other prepare for your classes, these people will become your closest friends, your new family, if you will. You will celebrate birthdays, marriages, and other important dates together. You will get each other through new experiences, travel together and bounce ideas off of each other.

Finally, consider the relationship with your school administrators.  There are many different types of bosses. While you might end up with someone who is not very supportive of the staff, you could also end up with a boss who is encouraging and helpful. Regardless, the best boss is the one that teaches you how to be a better teacher.

A Day in the Life of an ITA Costa Rica Trainee

The Teaching Practice

The teaching process is complex. For instance, we need to believe in moving the whole class to a higher level of language competence without leaving students behind. Good teachers make things fun, and they think outside of the box. They think of innovative, interactive ways to do potentially boring grammar tasks. They use comprehension checks that help reassess where everyone is and see if everyone has really understood what was taught. Many teachers prefer to ask questions to elicit responses to monitor progress. These teachers will go back and reteach or continue to practice the concepts that were taught until the entire class gets it, all while maintaining curriculum needs and class schedules.  Some best practices include trying new things, using class time effectively, incorporating technology and multimedia, limiting teacher talk time, managing your classroom, avoiding negativity, being a facilitator instead of controlling everything, and effectively correcting students' errors.  It's impossible to do everything perfectly and from Day 1 in the classroom, so hang in there!  You will get the hang of it!

Teaching, like any career, has its challenges, but it is by far one of the most rewarding experiences you can have.  And don't worry!  During the 4-week TEFL course, we will discuss all of these aspects in more detail and model good teaching techniques.  Plus, you will get practical experience in the classroom during your student teaching in the course.  So don't wait any longer!  Sign up today!

How to Prepare for your TEFL Course

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