If I was in charge -(TEFL School)
I use to be an English teacher (I pay more attention in class to my English than when I write these list). I thought it would be fun to see how my version of a school compares to my old school
1. Make sure kids leave happy
This was my no.1 rule for myself. If kids left happy, they'd want to return. If they wanted to return they'd do their homework /push themselves to do well in class.
No matter how bad they may have felt during the lesson, if they got to play a game for the last 10 minutes they left smiling.
2. Prioritise fun
You learn more when you want to learn. Make kids want to learn by keeping things fun and engaging. Games, quizzes, teams, and just being silly are easy ways to bring fun to the classroom.
Think long term rather than short term. Short term they might learn less this class long term they'll grow a love of learning and push past further than those doing it cause they have too.
Why do you leave a new language? In order to communicate. Teach questions and answers along with the target words.
Eg. If your teaching colors. Teach a conversation as well. 'I like/don't like red' is better than teaching 'red', once they know the answer teach the question 'what color do you like?' 'I like red, I don't like blue'. A conversation is now achievable at a much earlier stage than usual. Kids see a use for learning and parents are impressed that what they visioned for their child is now a reality.
Review other teachers lessons. Learn from them. What can you use in your own class. What could they learn from you?
I'd ask to see a video of them teaching a mock lesson. I'd be looking for fun and energy. I'd advertise the school as well as the surrounding area, where they will live. Would they be a good fit for the team?
We should aim to keep as many students and teachers as possible. It's much easier to keep them than find replacements.
What do the students want? What do parents want? What do the teachers want?
These are questions that should be answered daily.
Kids want fun - keep classes fun. Parents want happy and smart kids. They also want to show off their kids so make content worth sharing. Teachers want a good life. Make sure they're not stressed /have a social life outside of work. Getting in contact with other schools to form a forginer community would help everyone.
7. Own Course
I would make my own course for the school. Based around the best ways to teach each topic.
speaking/listening - A focus on conversations. Question/answer structures can be used for a variety of subjects meaning longer conversations can be had with each topic.
Reading/Writing - Focus on phonics. get them reading straight away. After teaching abcd you can get them to read cab, bad, dab, dad, Why wait until a - z is taught before reading is taught? Waiting means kids are learning something, for a long time without any context as to why it's important. As a result many will tune out (like i did as a child).
We trust our friends more than a business. Get kids /parents to do the marketing for you.
Make content worth sharing (readings, conversations, writing).
If class is fun kids will want to share that with their friends.
9. Local staff
Pay and treat them well. I've seen a lot of local staff get treated unfairly. Lots of extra work and low pay. If it's possible to still make a profit and treat them right (it is) you should.
Treating them well allows for more people wanting to market the school. Happy staff makes for the best work environment.
10. Language Lessons
Give the teachers lessons on the local language. This will help make them happier and if they become more comfortable living here they'll be more likely to stay.