By María de la Lama
Both public as well as private educational institutions are looking for top quality English teachers who, besides being first-rate educators, can become transformation and leadership agents in the national EFL arena. It’s true that many mentors complain about low rates but usually they do not realize that institutions are willing to pay good salaries to professionals that fulfill specific requirements. So, unfortunately, there are no shortcuts: to get a good job, one that enables professional development above all, a teacher must meet the following traits:
· To begin with, having a good command of the language is a must, at least a C1 level in an international certification. We need to bear in mind that nowadays a growing number of high school students finish their schooling with an international certification of B2, if not a C1 themselves.
· Updated methodological knowledge. Even if you are a qualified teacher you ought to make an effort to learn new techniques to apply in your lessons. This will not only develop your creativity but will keep your teaching style fresh enough not to become predictable. I’ve seen instructors who used to captivate their students but who have eventually lost their touch because their resistance to update their teaching style. Teachers without creativity won’t be flexible enough to adapt to the different learning styles proper of new generations.
· Technology is your best allied. Virtual platforms, on line courses, digital books, on-line international exams, are just some examples of how technology is changing the way we learn and the manner we teach. Even though many schools do not have the economic resources to incorporate technology in their classrooms, teachers need to be skilful in the use of educational technology not to be left behind in their career.
· Teaching English through content. It would be convenient to prepare yourself to teach a course in English: Science, literature, history courses taught in this language are in high demand, so teachers that are well prepared to teach courses in this foreign tongue increase their possibility of finding excellent jobs.
DE LA LAMA, MARIA, Bachelor in Education, has a master's degree in Applied Linguistics and a Bachelor's in Linguistics, both obtained at the University of California, Davis. She also holds an MBA from Universidad del Pacífico. She currently serves as the Director of the Language Center at Universidad del Pacífico.