What NOT To Bring
Eric at the Adventure Logue had a great post on things he wishes he didn’t have in his pack…so naturally I thought of applying it to TEFL. What should you NOT bring?
Keep in mind this is a general list and there may be exceptions where it does make sense to bring these things…but most often not.
Lots of papers, especially ones with grammar exercises – even the ones you come across in your TEFL course. These are not hard to come by at all.If I get a good activity that really needs that copy to make it work, yes; if I myself generate a general list of questions I’m likely to use repeatedly, yes, because in my experience it’s not always fast and easy to use a school printer. But you absolutely do not need to bring copies from Murphy.
A grammar reference book…well, possibly one, but only if you won’t have internet at all and like to have your own material to work from at home. However, of the books available abroad, grammar reference books are some of the easiest to find.
English language texts from home. Because you can find a LOT online but most of all you won’t know what you’re teaching. In many cases it will be more work to find a way to fit in those texts than a timesaver. A few menus or a nice map, maybe. On occasion I’ve used a grocery store ad…but in general, you won’t use this stuff.
Photos from home. A few might be okay – and for your personal use, to put on your fridge or desk or whatever – but you probably won’t be using an abundance in class. Especially if you’re from the UK or the US…and really, probably from the other English speaking countries as well – students already have a lot of info on your country and culture. You might be able to introduce them to your own family and your own house and dog…but, especially if they are adults, I’d say 99% of the time, you won’t be introducing them “to America.”
Too many clothes. Granted, your budget might be lower as a teacher and if you have clothes you know you’ll wear, it may make sense to bring them. But chances are you don’t know exactly what you’ll want or need to wear. And then not only have your brought clothes you don’t wear, if you like them and want to have them back home, you have to find a way to get them back. My personal motto is: just go shopping.