It’s ten to four in the afternoon. Outside the sun is shining and the temperature is 31 degrees Celsius. It’s November and I’ve just enjoyed a wonderful cycle ride to work. I’m grinning like a Cheshire cat. It’s an expression that I find myself sporting often. When I ask myself why, I discover that it’s because I love my life, I love my wife and, most importantly, I love my job.
Five years ago “I love my job” was not something I ever felt I’d hear myself saying. But now I’m a teacher of English as a foreign language in my fifth year I really do love my job. It’s the best job I’ve ever had. It’s rewarding and fun.
It hasn’t always been like this. The Cheshire cat thing is something that has recently happened. When I was a policeman, a job I did for twelve years in two British police forces, smiles were less spontaneous. It was only when I stopped trying to be a “teacher”, whatever one of those is, and started being myself that I became aware of just how much I was smiling.
If you have read this far it means one of three things: you are a teacher of English as a foreign language, you are thinking of becoming one, or you thought this article was about something else.
I’ll make a guess that you fall into the first two categories. As such I’ll also assume that you are concerned about your ability to deal with the problems of behaviour you encounter or are going to encounter in the classroom. Furthermore, I’m fairly confident that you want some sensible, practical advice to help you cope. I think you’ve come to the right place.