Online TEFL alone can’t make you a teacher

What is a well structured lesson? How to write objectives? How to create and organize materials? What could be the potential problems while teaching? These questions can only be addressed in class and applied practically in real time teaching. Therefore an online program alone cannot make you a teacher. Like any other skill it has to have practical application to prove its success. Teaching is not just about executing lessons. In a classroom understanding the class dynamics is very important.

Class room components like the layout of the classroom, the seating arrangements and infrastructure all affect the teaching learning environment. This cannot be understood through online reading alone. Subtle but important things like the teacher’s body language and in turn the student’s body language and what they mean are things that cannot be explained adequately through a theory based course alone. Every class is different and the ability to evaluate and profile a class can only be learned in the classroom itself.

Teaching is a people’s skill and can be nurtured among people. In fact if we think about the teachers who taught us most often than not the teachers that stand out are the ones that might not have been very highly qualified but excellent teachers. Learning alone cannot impart a skill it has to be practised and used in order to sharpen it.

We constantly learn from observing others. An online program is pretty much isolated. There is no interaction with tutor or peers. During teaching practice and later teachers are constantly observing peers and this enhances their own learning and teaching skills. This is a very important component to teaching. In real time teaching teachers have to collaborate and cooperate. A teacher does not function in isolation. Teaching is a collaborative effort. Therefore interacting with others, adjusting to various personalities, holding your own are all important job skills that teachers need to have and this is not possible in an online teacher training program.