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Teaching English Online Specialty Class Review with Patricia Morris
Written By: Patricia Morris | Updated: July 19, 2021
Written By: Patricia Morris
Updated: July 19, 2021
What is your citizenship and where are you from?
I'm a US citizen and I'm from Exeter, New Hampshire, USA.
How old are you?
What is your education level?
Which ITA Specialty Class did you take and when did you take it?
I took the 2-week Teaching English Online (TEO), Teaching Business English (TBE), and Teaching English to Young Learners (TEYL) Specialty Classes in July, August, and September of 2020.
What motivated you to enroll in these Specialty Classes?
I enrolled to help my resume and to open more doors for me with better opportunities.
What did you enjoy most about your Specialty Classes?
The Specialty Classes dive deeper than what the standard 11-week Online TEFL Course can. The 11-week Online TEFL Course is great but there is only so much it can cover. This hits very specific topics which these classes deal with.
What stood out to you in the Specialty Classes that set it apart from what you learned in your standard TEFL course?
That each class focuses on what it is. I took all three Specialty Classes and they was super helpful with hitting those very specific topics.
Did you take your Specialty Classes while taking your standard TEFL course or after?
I took my Specialty Classes after my TEFL course.
How many hours per week did you dedicate to your Specialty Classes?
I dedicated 15-25 minutes per day depending on the material.
Did you buy the textbooks for your Specialty Classes?
YES! If you can, BUY the textbooks!! I am still using them even after the classes! They are so helpful. There are example lessons, ideas, and the grammar one is SO helpful!!
Did you enjoy being able to virtually interact with your classmates?
It was nice to get to virtually interact, but I am the type of person who likes to be in a classroom so for me personally, I will always prefer in-person classes. Obviously, during 2020 that was not going to happen. So this was good for what needed to be done.
If you teach English online, where do you teach from?
I teach English online from home in the USA right now, however I do eventually want to go abroad.
What company do you teach English online with?
I teach English online with a local institute in New Hampshire that works with refugees and other foreign peoples.
Tell us about your online teaching job!
My hours are set in the evening which is nice because I work during the day at a school. The online teaching position is currently a volunteer one right now because of the COVID situation. My students are young adults aged 19 through 50-ish.
Did you talk about your Specialty Class training during your job interview to help land your teaching job?
I did mention that I have my certification in Teaching English Online, Business English, and Teaching Young Learners. I do believe the online portion did make me more desirable because of the remote situation right now.
Did the TEO Specialty Class help to prepare you for teaching English online?
I do believe it did. It really makes you think of body language (because most of the time the only thing people will see is your head and hands), camera issues, and how to set up a background and an appropriate work space.
How has the knowledge from your TEO Specialty Class been incorporated into your teaching?
Knowing these tips from taking the teaching online learners class has helped me develop appropriate materials for class, knowing how to act, and how to make a proper working space for me.
What do you enjoy most about TEO?
I can teach from anywhere, so if I do need to travel (for some reason) I can teach as long as I have my laptop and a strong enough Internet signal. Plus, I can reach more people this way. Plus (an added bonus if you live anywhere with a lot of bad weather like snow) no travel.
Is there anything you wish you were made aware of prior to taking your Specialty Classes?
I had a pretty good idea of what they would be like and so there was nothing really I wish I knew before hand.
Would you recommend fellow ITA students/grads take the Specialty Classes?
YES!! Even if you don't think you would need it, just take it. First off, it won't hurt to add more tools to your teaching tool box. Second, it goes deeper into topics that the 11-Week Online TEFL Course just doesn't have time to really cover. Third, if you get the books (which you really should) it is a great tool to look back on. Finally, you never know what kind of situation you may walk into if you travel abroad. If you go to teach in person and then suddenly classes are cancelled, having a basic idea on ways to teach online is better than trying without knowing.
Patricia Morris is a 35-year-old from Exeter, NH with a B.S. in Business Studies. She got TEFL certified in early 2020 during the COVID-19 lockdown - with her daughter home from school and taking remote classes, she saw this as an ideal time to get TEFL certified as she had to stay home with her. Patricia eventually wants to teach English in Japan, but for the time being, she teaches English online.
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