I have been very fortunate to experience different areas of teaching ESL.
In Indonesia, I had conversation classes where I picked the topics and lead the discussion and I also taught grammar classes where I either followed a textbook or made up my own lessons.
In Turkey, I followed a specific curriculum, but was given the leisure to make up my own lessons.
Here in Japan, I teach an international course where me and the other ALT both, follow a textbook while being given the leeway to teach the lessons as we please, and also make up our own lessons. I also teach at another school one day a week where I have nothing to do with the lessons and am really there just to aid the teacher.
It’s these experiences that allow you to see where your strengths are.
I definitely prefer the lessons where I am given leeway to connect more with the students and make up my own lessons. I just think I am way better at those. My background and upbringing helps me relate more to the students at this level. Whereas when I am teaching straight grammar, I sometimes feel like a bit of a poser because I’m no expert in those arenas. I just happen to be a native speaker of English.
One thing that stood out about my master’s program was that they emphasized that we weren’t really just teaching English but working on developing the tools to understand the plight of the English language learner and using those tools to help them in their quest to learn English. I feel way more comfortable saying that is my role teaching overseas than I do portraying the role of the “English Expert”