When I first started teaching TEFL – Accumulating teaching materials | TEFL Jobs London

When I first started teaching TEFL – Accumulating teaching materials

by Donna Hutchinson
London based TEFL Teacher, @donnatamara

When I first started teaching, I used to get ever so frustrated that all the material I needed had to be new to me. I would woefully look around at more experienced teachers who had go-to material whilst I was rifling through books and internet resources. Of course, many teachers would give me recommendations or even give me some of their own material which I am eternally grateful for, but I’d still have to familiarise myself with it.

Recently though, dear readers, I have come to discover that I too have started on the path of go-to material and the effects are amazing. For one, I don’t spend hours planning and familiarising, and two, most of it is saved on the computer so no digging around in files or folders. I tell you, it has begun to revolutionise my teaching. I am so glad I have reached this point but at the same time I’m well aware that this is only the beginning, there is so much more I must accumulate.

However, I thought I would share with you my top go-to materials and perhaps you could recommend some others I should start to make.

Vocab materials

For vocabulary, I have three powerpoints that I can whip out at any time and don’t be fooled by their seemingly elementary level because I’ve only used these with higher levels who seem to have forgotten…

Donna's power point

And it’s not just vocab! For the third conditional I’ve got an episode of How I Met Your Mother called Lucky Penny which is a God-send and the show is fairly popular amongst the students I teach. I have also accumulated grammar powerpoint/notebook files which are without context so I can drop them in whenever or tweak them a little, one of which I made for an observed lesson so I know it’s good.

Hometown presentation

My most recent creation is a presentation on my hometown of Lancaster. This was as advised by a colleague as I’m told that it can be used for many different things. For instance, this morning it made its debut because my students had to design a tour of their country or region but as the summer term draws near, I have a sneaking suspicion it will be making more appearances.

I still spend quite a bit of time planning my lessons and I’ve still not really got the hang of planning in advance of more than 2 days but I am glad to say that for someone who has always been accused of being a hoarder, it is beginning to pay off!


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