Star Wars is known worldwide as the ultimate story of epic adventure and its reach has spanned over three decades. Showing the Star Wars movies in your TEFL classroom can be a great way to help your students learn English because of its universal appeal, but have you ever realized that the main character in all three of the early films is also a great role model for TEFL teachers everywhere? Let us break it down for you.
1. He’s excited about travel.
Like many people interested in TEFL, as a young man on Tattooine, Luke can’t wait to get away from home and experience other worlds and other cultures. Heck, he builds a droid specifically to translate all the thousands of known languages in the universe just to facilitate his travels. And once he does get out there, he’s open-minded, which is another good trait for English teachers. He gets himself into some strange, sticky situations but he always seems ready and eager to learn from them, and is never judgmental.
2. Like a good EFL teacher, he seeks out mentors.
Sure, he sort of stumbles across his first mentor, Obi Wan Kenobi, in the desert, but first chance he gets, Luke goes off in search of Master Yoda. This thirst for knowledge and desire to be the best would have really made him a great TEFL teacher; there is always more to learn about teaching, and a thousand ways to improve. In the TEFL world, this can be your TEFL course tutor, or a senior teacher at your first job. When it comes to teaching English, Yoda’s immortal words of “Do or do not, there is no try” are incredibly apt!
3. He’s patient.
How many people could stand in front of intergalactic crime lord, Jabba the Hut, and calmly negotiate for the return of their friend who was frozen in carbonate? Not many. And that kind of patience under duress is exactly what English teachers need abroad. The job may not be easy and your students’ improvements may sometimes seem small, but tenacity and a positive attitude are important tools in helping them take big strides forward.
4. He makes friends easily.
Teaching abroad means building up a new network of friends to help you take full advantage of being in a foreign country. While it’s unlikely that you’ll befriend a princess who will actually turn out to be your long-lost sister, having an open and friendly attitude will make you lifelong friends, which can only help you maintain a positive outlook both inside and outside the classroom.
5. He believes in himself.
Remember that whole “Force” thing? It only works if you believe you can do it, and it takes Luke a while to build up the confidence necessary to become a master Jedi. The same is true of teaching abroad; few people are immediately comfortable and confident in front of a classroom. It takes practice and courage to get there, (and having the TEFL Master certification wouldn't hurt either) but the boost to your self-esteem once you do will reveal itself in many other facets of your life.
So, next time you catch yourself wondering if you’d make a good TEFL teacher, think about Luke. Or maybe the force is already with you?
If you’re interested in teaching English abroad, an BridgeTEFL online TEFL certificate is a great way to get started.