New Teacher Tales – Chiroshree
In our New Teacher Tales series, experienced TEFL teachers from all over the world tell us about how they started out and what advice they have for new English teachers.
In this post, Chiroshree from India tells us how she started out as an English teacher in Italy after having her first child, to moving to work in London and the various fascinating ‘journeys’ that working with her learners have taken her on.
Where do you work now?
Presently, I’m working as an Assessor in a Private College (Newham Council) and as a Sessional ESOL and Functional Skills Tutor at ACL Chelmsford and Harlow (Essex County Council).
Tell me more about the job?
My job includes:
- Motivate and inspire learners to promote achievement and develop their skills to enable progression
- Plan and deliver effective learning programmes for diverse groups or individuals in a safe and inclusive environment, following safeguarding procedures
- Promote the benefits of technology and support learners in its use. Ex – VLE
- Address the mathematics and English needs of learners and work creatively to overcome individual barriers to learning
- Enable learners to share responsibility for their own learning and assessment, setting goals that stretch and challenge
- Apply appropriate and fair methods of assessment and provide constructive and timely feedback to support progression and achievement
- Maintain and update your teaching / training expertise, vocational competence and digital skills
- Contribute to organisational development and quality improvement through collaboration with others
- To initially assess learners’ starting points and monitor their progress, set challenging tasks and objectives, and build on and extend learning for all learners.
What’s the best thing about living in London ?
It is a multi-cultural and multi – ethnic city with lots of job opportunities, fun, peace and freedom. All these give enough reasons to live and work in London.
What did you do before you started teaching English?
I had finished my Masters in English Literature before I travelled to Italy in 2009. I gave birth in 2011 and in 2013 I wanted to get back to work and that’s when I learned about CELTA and after much research, I enrolled for it. After CELTA, there was no turning back. I am able to work in Italy and the UK because my husband holds an Italian passport, although he is also from India.
For more on what a CELTA is and why it is useful for a new teacher, see our post on what TEFL qualification you should do
Why did you become an English teacher?
English was my subject right from the beginning. I graduated with English, Honors. I have Masters in English. So, the choice was obvious.
Where have you taught English?
I taught English (ESOL) in Italy and UK(London).
Read more stories of Indian English teachers working abroad.
What’s the best thing that’s happened to you since you became an English teacher?
The best thing that has happened are the various ‘journeys’ I get to listen from my students and their achievements and appreciations at the end of every course.
Out of all that I remember the 1:1 lesson with an Indian lady, whom I taught for 2 years using various teaching methods (visuals, realia, videos, presentations, audio, role-plays, educational dance, arts) I managed to teach her English and now she is a very confident speaker.
What’s the worst thing that’s happened to you since you became an English teacher?
I once faced a very aggressive learner, but I maintained my calm and called in my line manager, immediately. I let go other learners and spoke with the learner until I felt he has come to his senses and is able to go home. I could have escalated the matter to higher officials, but I didn’t. The next day the learner apologized but left class.
Tell us a bizarre story that’s happened to you as an English teacher.
Ok, there was this learner from Bulgaria, whose husband demanded to sit outside the classroom to keep an eye on her. I did not allow that, but he was quite adamant. Even the wife was annoyed by his behavior.
Is there anything you would change about your time as an English teacher?
To be able to try new methods of teaching/ experiments. To present better content. To be able observe, reflect, and improve more. To focus and assess more on the skills achieved by the learners irrespective of their age.
Check out our other New Teacher Tales posts from teachers from India, the Philippines, Ukraine, the UK and other countries to see what advice other teachers have.
What advice would you give to someone thinking about getting into English teaching?
- First, research about this job. Question yourself if you are ready to take on this career path.
- Get the right qualifications.
- Gather experience, be ready to start as a volunteer teacher.
- Get ready to be paid less, initially.
- Learn, practice what you learnt.
- Observe other teachers with more experience; enhance your CPD.
- Do courses.
- Get further qualifications, update yourself, always.
- Teach learners from different backgrounds.
- Research on the career graph, work accordingly.
- Love your job.
If you are looking to get into English teaching, we have a whole range of posts aimed at helping, including interviews with other teachers, advice and country guides. Have a look at our Teaching English Page.