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A Day In the Life of an ITA TEFL Student - New York Class
Written by: Lynda Galea
Last Updated: July 19, 2021
International TEFL Academy is proud to offer a world-class 4-week New York City TEFL course at our partner TEFL school’s headquarters located in the heart of Midtown Manhattan. Employing a state-of-the-art curriculum and taught by expert university-level instructors, this course is designed to provide you with the skills & qualification you need to succeed in teaching English abroad. This course is fun and you will learn a ton, but it is also very demanding and requires that you be prepared to meet the full-time demands of a rigorous university-level course. To help you prepare for this course, we've put together a typical day in the life schedule to outline the daily grind and committment required.
Wednesday – Week 1
7:00am – Wake up; you’re staying at the Vanderbilt Residence Hall which is in walking distance of the school. This gives you enough time to take a shower, go over the course schedule for the day, review your plan for your first teaching experience this afternoon, read the assigned article and complete the worksheet on writing objectives that you didn’t have time to finish yesterday because you fell asleep after preparing the instructions for your class today.
9:00am – Arrive at New York training center; today you are leading the warm up activity. Each day a different trainee will lead the class in a warm up game and today it is your turn. You have arrived a little early because you want to get a cup of coffee and settle in before your classmates arrive at 9:15.
9:15am – 9:30am – You lead your classmates in a fun warm up activity that you chose from a packet of games that your trainer gave you on the first day of class. It was fun and you got to know your classmates a little bit better since it is only the 3rd day of the course.
9:30am – 10:00am – It is time to check in with your teacher trainer about today’s practicum class. Today is your first lesson with your students. Yesterday you chose the ice breaker game you wanted to play with your class and last night you prepared your materials and instructions. Now you need to check your instructions and materials with your teacher trainer and get feedback on them.
10:00am – 1:00pm - Morning workshops. Today you experience a demonstration lesson on how to teach vocabulary. In a demonstration lesson, you and the other trainees pretend to be ESL students as you role play the stages of a communicative speaking lesson. After the demonstration lesson, you analyze your experience to discover the stages of a vocabulary lesson and how to teach vocabulary effectively.
1:00 – 2:00pm – Lunch! Midtown Manhattan has quite a few options for lunch, but you head over to Café Hestia to take advantage of their wide selection of lunch options and your 10% student discount.
2:00 – 3:30pm - Afternoon workshops. You take out the worksheet you completed early this morning on writing effective ESL lesson objectives and discuss your answers with a classmate. You practice analyzing and writing effective lesson objectives and discuss what the topic for your next lesson will be. Your trainer divides your class into teaching groups and you choose your partner for the vocabulary lesson that you will plan and teach on Friday.
3:30pm – 4:30pm – Your students will arrive in about an hour. You have one more chance to check in with your trainer about your lesson today. You make photocopies and practice your activity instructions with another trainee on the course.
4:30 – 6:30pm – Intermediate ESL class. Today you have a full class with 12 students! Your students are a mix of international tourists and people who live and work in New York. You lead your class in an icebreaker and successfully memorize all your students’ names. You are excited to teach them again on Friday.
6:30pm – Return to the dorm. The school is sometimes open until 8:00pm, but you prefer to do your homework in your room in case you fall asleep again! After every ESL class, you’re required to write a short reflection paper (the initial reflection) on how you did, before receiving feedback from trainer and peers. You will have feedback first thing tomorrow morning, so this is the first thing you work on. After finishing your initial reflection, you have another article to read, a lesson plan to review, vocabulary to research and a lesson plan to start writing.
1:30am – You finally pass out in the middle of researching your vocabulary for Friday’s lesson. You’ve spent approximately 5 hours on homework and are exhausted, but you can do anything for 4 weeks! You are one step closer to achieving your dream of becoming an English as a second or foreign language teacher!
An accomplished traveler (she's visited 40 countries!), Lynda hails from Melbourne, Australia. Since she joined ITA in 2017, Lynda has become a primary expert on the field of teaching English online. Not only has she published numerous articles on the topic herself, but she has worked with International TEFL Academy alumni around the world to produce an entire library of information and content about teaching English online. Lynda also serves as a primary organizer of ITA's ground-breaking Teach Abroad Film Festival.
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