Am I an English teacher or an English language coach?
As I was thinking about creating the right offer for my prospective students, there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted it to be as personalised and tailored to the individual student as possible.
Focusing solely on 1–1 classes, I knew I had to focus on the highest quality, individual approach and original materials. I wanted to focus on motivating my students, on setting and achieving goals, on arming them with an arsenal of skills so that they could easily take control of their learning beyond our meetings.
Years of experience in teaching and working with adults told me that this was the method that would produce the best and most lasting results.
At the beginning of my career as an educator, the word "coach", referred more to a football coach. However, now it is being applied to different fields, sometimes even considerably overused, in my humble opinion, of course.
Now I'm asking myself if it's such a fad, am I a coach too?
I think that everything is changing in the course of time and that the role of the teacher also needs to be modernised to some extent in order to adapt to current reality. Teaching materials are also changing.
Language schools are outdoing themselves in ways to attract students - they use visually attractive textbooks, interactive whiteboards, modern technology, mobile applications, and e-learning platforms to help us learn a language effectively.
We need to ask ourselves what motivates us more to learn, the great teaching tools or the teacher?
The modern learner has so many language learning materials at their fingertips, but sometimes gets lost in the technological jungle and does not know how to use these technological advantages effectively.
I think that the teacher's role is invaluable in the process of learning.
What makes me feel that I am also a language coach and not just a teacher. I take a more personalised and holistic approach to teaching. I work closely with my students to identify their individual strengths and weaknesses and provide guidance and feedback to help them improve their language skills.
The focus of my lessons is on building the student's confidence in using English and helping them overcome any barriers that may be preventing them from achieving their language goals.
In addition, I try to select materials with which the student can identify and prepare lessons based on the student's interests. I also strive to create an optimal, friendly learning environment for the student so that he/she can use and practise his/her language skills as freely as possible in lessons.
My role is to motivate, to encourage learning, to draw attention to the goals already achieved and to set new ones.
To sum up the above reflections and the search for a definition of my profession, I can admit that I am a combination of teacher and coach. Teacoach? Don't confuse that with a tea-making coach, please. :)
Whatever you call it, the conclusion is that learning a language will be more effective with someone you genuinely like and respect, and it doesn't matter whether they are called a coach or a teacher.