Disparities between ELTers – why does that happen?

This post is going to be very personal. I believe that it will depict exactly what I have been feeling for the past few months – the lack of companionship and the empty competition there is in our field.

Competition in a field or at a workplace might be profitable in the sense that it can motivate employees, make them put in some extra effort or go for the extra mile, achieve either personal or professional results faster and sometimes more enjoyably. It is an inescapable part of most people’s work lives and it activates parts of your brain that prepare the body and mind to be prepared for higher performance. What triggered me into writing “empty” competition is the fact that we (ELTers) are naming some people as experts of a determined area or business, and when someone else tries to develop that same area they are immediately discouraged to do so. My question here is very simple: Why? When being teachers comprehend different areas abound?

From where I stand, teachers must be ready and able to teach any level (from A1 – C2)  and any age (from 3 (?) on). I understand that some teachers have their preferences, which is not being judged upon. Conversely, what has been happening is, since we are living in a social media era we tend to post and show our work there and if the person is not the expected “expert” in this or that specific area, they are promptly going to be looked down on and/or even run the risk of being called a plagiarist.

Where is the companionship and the motto “together we are stronger” or “sharing is caring”? Especially for new teachers and teachers who are in the field for quite a time now, but haven’t yet found their “calling”? 

We are in 2019 and a whole host of new areas and ideas have come up with the new generation, why don’t we use it in our favour?

I say that if you see a fellow teacher

  • Trying a different area for the first or even the second time;
  • Hoping to get messages across;
  • Starting new projects;
  • Having a go with new groups/levels/ages;


There is no need to feel competitive – in an empty way – just remember that together we are indeed stronger and we can make a better and more consistent job. Remember that our students should actually be the focus here. Otherwise, who will profit from your endeavours? Another question I ask is – Why does that happen?

Beatriz Solino de Francisco

Beatriz holds the Cambridge Train the Trainer and the DELTA Mods II and III(Teaching Exam Lessons). She has a Licentiate’s degree in English Language from PUC SP (2007). CPE level of proficiency and she has been teaching for 15 years. She is an Academic and Pedagogic Coordinator. She is currently doing a Company Management MBA at FGV.

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