Using social media as an English teacher

I try to avoid posting personal stuff on social media. In fact, I have never opened an Instagram account and plan to keep it that way. I’m not a complete Luddite and understand that it’s important to be active online when you are a blogger, so I decided to write this post about my experience with using social networks for professional purposes, particularly in relation to TEFL in Colombia.

Using social media as an English teacher

ENGLISH TEACHERS IN COLOMBIA is the biggest group for teachers here in Colombia. The problem is that there are so many new posts every day, and most of aren’t really relevant. You can find some interesting job offers posted in the group, though. Actually, I got my first teaching position in Colombia thanks to this Facebook group. It’s worth searching it for information about employers and see what has been written about them.

If you receive an offer from a private language institute, you should definitely use the search function in Blacklist of Colombian Language Institutes and hope that there aren’t any results. The group isn’t updated that often, but you can read about negative experiences with some employers. It’s always a good idea to do your research to avoid finding yourself in an unpleasant situation.

When it comes to content that isn’t related to Colombia, I really like the DELTA & DipTESOL – Candidates & Survivors group because it contains a lot of helpful information for teachers interested in obtaining advanced qualifications. I also joined TEFL Equity Advocates & Academy Group, which is dedicated to dealing with native speakerism.

My blog’s Facebook page is followed mainly by my friends. I haven’t really tried to attract strangers to it because I only post links to new posts there. I know that I could get more visitors to the blog by posting links to my articles to Facebook groups. However, that would require me to get involved in online discussions, which isn’t something that I have a lot of time for at the moment.

I opened my account in May 2020 after making the decision to create this blog. I have to say that I have been pleasantly surprised by Twitter, mainly thanks to the fact that it’s so easy to get involved in conversations. Posts about politics don’t interest me, so I try to follow only accounts that focus on content relevant to ELT. I use my account for promoting new posts on this blog and sharing links that might interest fellow teachers. There is a huge online community of English teachers on Twitter, so you have a chance to bounce your ideas off others, which I think is great.

This professional social network can definitely be useful in terms of getting in touch with teachers from all over the world. Most of my connections are involved in education, which means that I often encounter thought-provoking content. I use my profile only for activities relevant to my profession. While I enjoy using LinkedIn, there is something that annoys me about this network, and that is the fact that many people think it’s okay to spam my inbox with unsolicited offers. I think this bizarre practice deserves its own blog post, which I’m going to publish in a couple of weeks.

I found out about r/TEFL only a few months ago. I don’t have a Reddit account because I am worried it would lead to procrastination (see this video by Viva La Dirt League), but it isn’t necessary to be a registered user to read the content. However, most of the posts on r/TEFL seem to be from aspiring teachers asking repetitive questions about working in Asia, which doesn’t really interest me. However, if you use the search function, you can find some pretty useful posts on teaching practice and advanced certifications. Colombia doesn’t receive that much attention there, and even r/tefl_blacklist doesn’t include any entry from this country. There are other subs like r/linguistics and r/grammar, which some readers may find helpful.

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