Helene Combe

Through my journey as an English teacher and a language learner

I don’t want to teach online

Obviously, I don’t have a choice right now, as my school is closed, like the two companies I regularly teach at. Hear me out, I am doing it right now, because we cannot do otherwise. But I am not interested into doing it more than necessary.

I am fully aware that online teaching is huge within the ELT industry, that it’s comfortable to work from home, that it’s way more convenient, whatever, I am not interested. I didn’t become a teacher so I would sit in front of a computer. It’s a very reductive image, I know there is way more than just sitting down and talking to a screen, but that’s how I feel when I’m teaching online right now.

How are you supposed to pass on your passion, your love for the language you have been teaching for years when you cannot even see the genuine reaction of your students? I didn’t become a teacher because I wanted an easy path, a hideout, a 9 to 5 job. I had one years ago, I worked in a competitive atmosphere, and I hated every minute of it. I am not the only one who decided to become a teacher (worse, an EFL teacher) despite all the difficulties we all know about. I am getting tired to hear that we are just lazy people, sitting on their asses, that we are complaining about this or that, and now, a whiny EFL teacher doesn’t want to teach online. Yeah, I don’t want to, sue me.

I need to be in a classroom, I need to share the experience with my students, I need to know them, I need to be able to decipher their body language to get them, I need to be able to adjust my speech. My students are my priority, always have, always will. Teaching online is taking away all these things, and I just can’t cope. Call me old fashioned, but I can’t wait to go back to school for real.

I have a Teams chat with my students though, and that’s the bright side of this entire story. We are keeping in touch lightly, without any pressure, they are free to answer when they want. Our relationship changed, probably for the best: they are less afraid, I would say, to ask for some advice, to participate, to get involved. At the end of the day, I am still working for them.

1 Comment

  1. I totally understand how u feel I am going to school to become a teacher I didn’t not sign to teach online I did. Not sign up for an office job I signed up for teaching because I love to learning and knowledge I wanted a career where I could be creative and to express my creatively with my students and to make learning fun, interesing and engaging and to watch them learn and grow and it not the same teacing online vs teaching in person. Not only that I would never be able to teach online due to the fact that I have a physical disability and I have to stay physically active for the rest of myself otherwise I would lose the ability to walk. Yes hopefully this won’t be the new normal life is so uncertain right now and that’s the most scarey thing right now I feel bad for all the teacher’s that feel the sameway I honestly I don’t know what to do because I really don’t want to change my major. I know 12 years ago I went into the classroom to get some experience and I absolutely enjoy every moment of it. Let just hope that all teachers will be able to go teach the way that teaching was met to be teach in the classroom

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