I loved teaching English (ESL). Some places where you work can be trying, but I loved teaching English. I loved learning new things, being challenged in my job, and meeting new people and in turn learning from them too. Every week I learned something, whether it be about my students, language, or a new way or seeing something; it was great.
Scrivener and Harmer
These two men are some of the go-to-people in ESL. Their books, Learning Teaching and The Practice of English Language Teaching, are two that I’ve seen most often on ELT and TESL training programs. And for good reason too. Both of them give you the basics and a nice starting point for your ESL career. They won’t give you everything you need to know, and no book can, but they help get you on your way so you can continue your own learning and evolving.
While both books provide an overview in how to teach, and plenty of situations and examples Jim Scrivener’s Learning Teaching contains tasks to complete so you can think of the theory with ‘a hands on idea’ and get you into reflective practice. Jeremy Harmer’s The Practice of English Language Teaching delves into more theory and methodology. Individually these are great books; together they are perfect for getting you started in your career.
They are often unavailable through Chapters and Indigo, so you may have to visit the publishers websites or http://www.pearsonlongman.com/professionaldevelopment/pelt.html
I’m all for professional development. No matter how long you’ve been teaching or how great of a teacher you are, you can always learn something new. A worst case scenario is that you help colleagues improve themselves as well; and I don’t think that a bad thing really. A quote from Professional Development for Language Teachers by Jack C. Richards and Thomas S.C. Farrell made by B. Gottesman summarizes it perfectly “A teacher who is willing to try to improve his or her teaching is not admitting weakness, but rather is simply trying to find better ways to teach his or her students”.