9 Resources to Make You a Better Teacher Abroad

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Take it from us, teaching abroad is awesome.  Can you think of other job opportunities that give you the opportunity to move to another country, make money, fulfill your wanderlust and travel, contribute to bettering the education and lives of students, try new things, build confidence and meet new and interesting people?

No? Us either.

We're pretty sure the only other person who can do that is Oprah.  CIEE Teach Abroad is all about making you feel as great as Oprah about your life decisions.

But, there are a few steps you have to take to be successful in this.  Step one: apply.  Step two: prepare to move and plan your adventures. Step three: realize that you are in charge of molding young minds.  Don't panic; just prepare properly.

The best option: CIEE TEFL. There's really no better way to prepare yourself for teaching abroad; especially if you've never taught before.  CIEE TEFL can prepare you for your upcoming adventurous journey and show you how to teach English abroad successfully. It will teach you ways to deal with cultural challenges, teaching struggles, and you'll discover how to create lesson plans and keep your students engaged so that you'll become their favorite teacher. Do it for the kids.

Teaching can be a tricky business.  That's why we've compiled a few of our favorite resources and materials to make you even better at it.

1. Lesson Plan Templates

Never underestimate the power of a strong lesson plan.  You can list materials you need, your objectives, what you want students to gain and activity goals.  They help you stay organized and on track because those students are sneaky and know how to get you off track.  Having a well planned lesson plan can give you more confidence and make you seem like you know what you're doing (even if you don't).

2. Use Media

Using movies, television, newspapers, magazines, music or radio can be incredibly beneficial in your classroom.  Having students see how English is used outside of a textbook or worksheet provides better exposure to English.  Consider using a television clip for an example, or having them bring in an article in English.  You can get really creative!

More specifically...

3. Simon's Cat

Simon's Cat is a series of short 1-3 minute videos.  The videos don't have English, but the videos can be great for vocabulary or using past/present/future tense.  You can have your students write sentences about the video or have them list as many vocabulary words as they can that are in the video.  We find that students of all ages like this one (plus, how cute is that darn cat?).

4. Pinterest

Pinterest is a great tool for teachers.  You can find lessons, games, speaking activities, ideas to overcome a topic you're struggling with, or fun art activities.  The possibilities are endless on Pinterest (you can also look up motivational quotes and how to rearrange your living room and where to travel next and puppy videos, so how can you not love it?).

5. Games

Students love games... no surprise here. Incorporating games can actually really help.  Our favorite: Scattergories.  Does anyone dislike Scattergories? No.  It works for every level and you can work with vocabulary and grammar.

6. Art Projects

Having your students get creative is a good way to incorporate other learning styles and give students a break from lectures or workbooks. We recommend creating brochures, having them create a board and presentation, or incorporating drawing or art into a lesson.  You’ll be amazed at how creative your students are.

7. Holiday Activities

Teaching about your own holidays and customs in a foreign country can be rewarding to both you and your students! They get to learn about your culture, and you can set up a fun and interesting lesson plan including something like a video, word search, bingo, or a worksheet.  Besides, everyone should know about the joys of Groundhog Day.

8. Authentic Materials

You can also get pretty creative by using authentic materials. Maybe you are teaching about travel, so you bring a backpack filled with things you would pack.  You can have students explain why they should pack that item, the vocabulary, or discuss places you’ll be going.  Using authentic materials is a great way to practice English!

9. Conversations

Never underestimate the joy of speaking activities (Teachers probably get more entertainment out of it than anything). It’s a good way for students to practice, and you can give them various scenarios to make it more enjoyable and fun!

So, these are just a few ways to make you a great teacher.  The key: variety.  Mix it up so your students stay on their toes and you can incorporate different learning styles.  Plus, getting your CIEE TEFL Certification will make you an expert at this!