If you’re planning on teaching EFL in Thailand, you’ll need to get TEFL certification. One of the requirements for certification is passing an EFL teacher evaluation which some people find easy, others do not. If you plan on taking a TEFL certification course anywhere in the world and are nervous, when your EFL teacher evaluation comes up, follow these tips and you’ll have no problem passing it.
Plan Well – It’s better to over-plan than not plan enough. I watched several of the teacher evaluations of my fellow students and it was obvious the ones who had planned well and those who didn’t. Don’t forget, in any class things can go array but, if you’ve planned carefully you can easily rectify most problems. If you haven’t planned enough, you could really be stuck.
Dress Professionally and Be Clean – I’ve sat through some TEFL certification EFL teacher evaluations where the teacher being evaluated is smelly, sweaty and scruffy looking. Make sure you shower that day, iron your clothes and, if you’re in a hot country, use copious amounts of baby powder and deodorant.
Dress professionally with a long-sleeved dress shirt and a tie, if you’re a guy, and a professional shirt and skirt and sensible shoes, if you’re female. You’re not only being evaluated on your teaching skills but also on how much like a real teacher you actually look.
Arrive Early and Set Up – If the classroom you’ll be having your EFL teacher evaluation in is free before your class, arrive early and begin setting up. With every EFL class I teach, one or more of my students always arrives early and wants to chat. That’s why you don’t want to leave getting set up for your evaluation till the last minute. You never know what might distract you.
Bring a Watch – Make sure you have a watch or a small clock with you. You’re being evaluated on your ability to teach as well as your ability to stick to a schedule with correct timekeeping. Don’t finish your
class too early or too late, simply because you have no idea what time it is.
Remember to Give the Evaluator Your Lesson Plan – Before you begin teaching, make sure you don’t forget to give the evaluator your lesson plan. If he has no idea what you’re supposed to be doing, it’s hard for him to figure out if you actually are.
See Other Evaluations if Possible – On the TEFL course I took, we were allowed to watch other teachers being evaluated. If that option is open to you before your evaluation, take it. You can learn a lot from both what other teachers do wrong and what they do right by sitting in on their evaluations.
Forget It’s an Evaluation and Teach – Remember, the students you’re teaching, even in an evaluation, are there to learn something. Don’t concentrate so much on the evaluation you forget to teach them anything. Your priority, even in a teacher evaluation, should be your students. Concentrate on them. Make sure they understand, they’re having fun and they’re learning something. That alone will ensure you pass your teacher evaluation.
Have Fun – I have a blast in every EFL class I teach, even if it’s an evaluated class. If you have fun while you’re teaching, your students will have fun too and your evaluator will have no choice but to pass you.
Talk to the Evaluator Afterwards – I sat through one evaluation where the teacher being evaluated finished teaching the class, thanked his students for coming and bolted out of the classroom like he was being pursued by wild bears. The next time the evaluator saw him was two days later in the next TEFL class.
Remember, your evaluator will want to talk to you after he’s finished with his assessment to let you know how you did. Stick around. You may be pleasantly surprised how good you were.
Passing an EFL teacher evaluation is honestly as easy as being prepared, arriving early, dressing well and having fun. Good luck. You can do it.
Photo copyright – Aray013, Creative Commons