It was really difficult to me to decide which job to choose, but once I decided to become a teacher, I entered university and expected professors to teach me how to teach*. Further I will provide an insight on my experience as a university graduate and novice teacher.
After my university study, I decided that I am more interested in teaching at private language school rather than state one, simply because I supposed that students are already motivated to study. However, the reality turned out to be far from my expectations and now I can argue that children should be constantly motivated and interested in language learning (some people might have come to this earlier) and it doesn’t matter whether they go to state or private school. What surprised and pleased me about my work experience is that we had weekly two-hour teaching sessions where senior teachers organized workshops on how to use certain teaching techniques. After every session I thought: “That’s what they should have taught us to do at university!”
During the study we had several opportunities to teach school children each year except the first one. After this practice we had to write reports on what we did and how interesting it was, but, in fact, I didn’t feel that I was really ready to teach. I mean we presented some grammar topics and exercises, but there wasn’t any systematic attempt to make English lessons interesting to children rather than complete the task and get a grade. Having read piles of scholarly literature on methodology of teaching foreign languages and written a diploma work, I didn’t feel skillful enough to engage students in language learning. Luckily, my boss appeared to be brave enough to let me start teaching career.
That was my story of beginning teaching career. I understand that my university teachers couldn’t have given everything I needed as a specialist, but I think I would have benefited as a teacher, if there had been more practical advisory work during my study. Now I feel that I have just started being a teacher; I am really into this profession and the ways I can develop teaching skills.
What about you? I will be really happy if you share your early experience in teaching and describe how your university knowledge matched it.
*here I apologize for tautology