I’ve been teaching for quite a few years now, I’ve taken my entry-level certification aswell as gained my DELTA. I’ve worked as teacher, trainer and have given a couple of seminars. I have arrived at this career after staring off as lawyer but I decided to dedicate to myself to something I felt more passionate about, namely, Language.
I chose to further my studies in ELT because i loved it. I wanted to share in a deeper and more meaningful way with those who sought to further themselves. I have met people whose motivations spanned from being forced to learn for some job or grant, to those who were interested in any kind of learning. It is a job that has inspired me to better myself and those who I have to opportunity to teach.
However, I do still have a bug bear. ELT while being one of the more innovative and diverse teaching arenas is so curtailed by its intrinsic financial constraints. At an estimate, 90% of ELT is at its core run as a business and a teaching institution second(As opposed to non-profit schemes e.g. public schooling, social outreach etc.). I have seen schools apathetically let highly trained and skilled educators leave their ranks because of a ‘what difference would it make the student won’t know any better’ attitude. English is a prized commodity in the world today. But as with all commodities in the world it one that is there to be consumed in the throw away fashion.
So do the schools, that students pay their hard-earned cash to, actually value their education, development and growth? I have worked in a few schools whose educational ethos was to the fore, so I know that they do exist. However the deluge of two-bit, so-called schools that drench anyone looking for real, lasting and sustainable language tuition almost makes the profession a laughing-stock or at a minimum less respected. Why? because it has money at its core and where there’s money there is a lack of trust.
I am not proposing a removal of money in ELT, how could I? I need my income as much as the next person. However there needs to be a movement by teachers to promote learning for the sake of development and not just financial income, after all that’s what education is about. The learners who progress are those who are inspired, an institution that puts little value in its pedagogical endeavour must be approached with the utmost caution