Teaching English as a foreign language lets you meet people from around the world, learn about their cultures, and gives you the feeling that you are making a difference to peoples’ lives.
Whether you are meeting them in person because you are working in their country, whether they have travelled to learn in an English-speaking country, or whether you are teaching them online, your life is still enriched through contact with interesting people from around the world.
This is what some teachers in International House schools have said about why they love teaching.
Making a difference
Lots of teachers love the fact that they really do make a positive difference to people’s lives.
I love teaching, because you can make a positive difference to people's lives by enabling students to reach a goal or a dream, or even by inspiring them to love learning and self-development. John Shaw, Senior Teacher, IH Moscow.
It's a rewarding experience because you can see the tangible benefits when student pass their exams or get accepted into the international universities they applied to. Aaron Knox, Senior Teacher, IH Bangkok
It’s a rewarding job
Making a difference, and helping people learn something which they genuinely want to know is very rewarding. Language classes taught with the communicative approach also tend to be more lively, varied, and engaging. Students should have fun in lessons, and that is rewarding to be a part of.
I love teaching because I love challenges. A teacher's challenge is to allow students to achieve their objectives. I love teaching because I feel part of their learning process and when I get positive feedback from my students I feel proud of my job and of all the effort my students put into learning the English language. Basically, I love teaching because it's one of the most rewarding jobs in the world! Adalgisa Navarra, Teacher, IH Madrid
I like teaching because I like seeing the students enjoy themselves when they learn something new. Mike Tomkins, Senior Teacher, IH Torun
For me, teaching is all about relationships. That’s why it’s such a lot of fun. You could teach the same thing a hundred times but it would always be different because of the people in the class. It’s such an honour to get to know students and learn about their cultures and it’s rewarding to help them target weaknesses and see them improve. Jancis Edbrooke, Teacher, IH Bristol
You keep on learning
There is a famous saying “He who dares to teach must never cease to learn”. This is so true. Whether you have been teaching two months, two years, or twenty years, you will still be learning new things.
I love teaching and teacher training because each student teaches me something new so we learn together! A teacher never stops being a learner and so I love teaching because my students and trainees always teach me something about them, their culture, and myself! Robert Martinez, Director of Studies, IH Catania
What I love about teaching is that there's always something to learn, no matter how long you've been doing the job. I think all teachers, and possibly even all human beings, have an innate desire and need to learn and teaching is a very satisfying way to do that. Lucie Cotterill, Educational Projects Director, IH Reggio Calabria
I love teaching because I love learning things. I learn something new every day, I learn from books and colleagues, from conferences and seminars, from lessons I teach and observe, but most importantly, I learn from my students and trainees. I learn practical things, I gain new knowledge about teaching and language theories, about different cultures, and I learn to understand other people and myself better, and to be generous, to share my knowledge. I think it's one of the best jobs to explore the world even without travelling to its every corner. Though travelling does often come into it, and I love that too! Tanya Polovinkina, Teacher Trainer, IH Moscow
Meeting interesting people
If you live and teach in different places around the world, you can’t help but meet interesting people. Whether these are your colleagues (most staffrooms have teachers of many different nationalities), your students, or the people you met where you live, you will get to know them and their culture on a much deeper level than just visiting as a tourist.
I like teaching because I love to meet new people and share information about our different cultures. Rachel Hunter, Senior Teacher, IH Torun.
Doing fun things
Teaching can be technical and precise, and you need to plan carefully. Doing admin and writing reports are all part of the job. But there is also an art to teaching. Letting your creativity shape what you do can be hugely rewarding, and usually makes engaging and interesting lessons. In lessons for young learners there are lots of opportunities to integrate activities and arts and crafts, but this is also true for adults - they would much rather be actively doing something than sitting passively. As well as enjoying the class more, they will also be learning far better.
I love teaching because I exchange energy with my students. Sharing with them makes me a happier and more interesting person and I hope they feel the same. Also, I love it because teaching allows me to realise my creative potential and that's why I consider teaching as a form of art. Olga Connolly, Director of Studies, IH Moscow
I love teaching because it's like being a Blue Peter presenter but without all the bad things that come with being famous! Francesca Lam-March, Young Learners Teacher, IH Reggio Calabria