The COVID-19 pandemic is unlike anything that we have seen in our lifetime and has highlighted many inefficiencies and flaws in many of the infrastructure systems that we have come to rely on in the modern age. Everything from food distribution to healthcare services has been severely impacted by the crisis and as a global community, it is important that we act to make changes to the way we operate our societies in order to ensure that these kinds of disruptions are lessened in the future disasters.
One of the major impacts to day-to-day life has been on children, who in many countries have been unable to go to school and partake in the education they will need later in life. Many parents have also become inconvenienced with either having to isolate themselves from their children and work around their suddenly free schedule or find alternative care and education arrangements while they work. However, there is a way that TEFL qualified teachers can help with these issues while at the same time providing essential education services while following social distancing guidelines. In fact, distance teaching could be set to become the new norm for many children around the world, but let’s look at how your TEFL degree can help you find work during this time of global crisis.
Qualified to teach an important skill
Firstly when it comes to distance English-language teaching, no other qualification is as well recognized and accepted as a standard of excellence as the TEFL qualification. This will instantly tell employers and students alike that you know the theory behind how to impart your language skills to other people. However, it's good to remember that while this is a great qualification, it isn’t some magical golden ticket and practical experience and demonstration will most likely still be necessary.
Distant teaching follows social distancing
Right now many children are unable to go to their regular school premises to get their education. This is because in a classroom environment it is nearly impossible to maintain social distancing to slow the spread of the virus AND complete a regular lesson in the most efficient and educational way. Distance teaching removes the necessity of the classroom environment and can be used to educate both young and older students in the comfort and safety of their own homes.
People want to learn new skills
With the pandemic leaving many world citizens both out of work and stuck inside their homes until the virus subsides, many have turned this extra time into picking up hobbies and learning new skills, some bake, some start their own business, but many have chosen to expand their knowledge of English and learn this ever-important skill. This can not only help them find better work when the pandemic subsides but can also help keep them distracted from the mundanity of being stuck at home. This means that there are more people than ever looking for good English teachers who can provide their services from afar. And one of the ways these new students will evaluate their choice of teachers is through their qualifications, such as a TEFL certification.
Preparing for “the new normal”
In the end, the way that education is provided will have to be more flexible than in previous years, and making sure that they can keep their students safe and healthy while they learn is paramount, Therefore, many education providers will be looking to those teachers who are qualified enough to teach the subject, but also aren’t restricted to being physically dependant on being physically present to teach. The principles underpinning TEFL education mean that the techniques learned are applicable to both distance and physical learning and can be used interchangeably. Therefore, those with a TEFL qualification will be better suited to new distance teaching roles and will be better candidates for these positions.
Ultimately, COVID-19 has proven that we were previously educating our students in an unnecessarily unsafe environment and clinging on to unhelpful “traditional” practices that don’t have any real advantage over new distance-based learning methods. As a global community, we are now paying the price for the lackadaisical way in which technology has been implemented to keep our students safe and well educated. As a teacher, there has never been a better time to invest in a TEFL degree in order to kickstart or compliment your career and experience in the field. With many institutions requiring this as a bare minimum, the choice is obvious!