As teachers we know what we expect from our students, but many teachers are not fully aware of what students expect from them.
This happens for different reasons. Mostly because many teachers think they know what their students want or need. Many believe that since they have experience, it is essentially a waste of class time. It is shocking how many of them actually take the time to address all their students' expectations. Taking some time to fully understand what your students' needs are, is definitely not a waste of time. Not managing your student's expectations well can lead to a whole bunch of problems, and feedback from your students can help you adapt and find a better alternative. So, how can you manage your students' expectations? Take a look at these awesome strategies.
Here's How You Should Direct Your Students’ Expectations Professionally
Find Out What Their Expectations Are
This seems so obvious but you would be surprised by how many teachers actually take the time to find out in detail what their students expect from them and the course. You need to know what their language learning objectives are. What do they want or need to learn? Your students will want to learn something new and useful in each lesson. The knowledge or skills they develop will have to be relevant to their lives. Otherwise they will simply lose interest or feel they are wasting their time.
Make Sure They Understand Where They Are
Very often what students expect is not very realistic. This could be because they are missing information. Many teachers don't provide detailed information about where and how students are from the language learning point of view before they begin their course. Students should have a detailed interview or meeting with their teacher when the course begins. You need to make sure they fully understand what level they are in , what they can do now, what their biggest challenges are, and what they will achieve and be able to do when the course ends.
Be Realistic about Meeting Those Expectations
Some expectations are easier to fulfill than others. Watch out, don't promise things you won't be able to do later. It is not uncommon for teachers to promise a little too much. Make sure to plan ahead with them once you know what they expect from the course. Involve them in the process and think about objectives and timing together. Also, some specific needs might require special material, and that might change how long the course lasts and even the cost. So make sure to communicate a program and let your students know what objectives that course includes
Communicate Problems or Issues
Good communication with your students is not only necessary at the beginning of the course but throughout the course as well. Things start out a certain way and could change further along. Challenges and pitfalls are not uncommon, make sure any problems regarding their program are communicated clearly. Also, provide details on how you plan to deal with those problems and what the options are.
Share What Your Expectations Are
Sometimes, what teachers and students expect are two different things. Our expectations regarding students' performance can differ greatly from what they expect. Once again, communication is the key. After you have told them where they are and once you understand what they expect, make sure to explain what you expect from them as well. Remember, learning a language requires a lot of hard work and dedication. They need to be committed to your goals too. Students consider their own expectations as the only or true objectives. What they don't understand is that sometimes to reach their objectives they will first need to reach yours. There are many things they are simply not trained to consider, after all, you are the teacher. They have to understand that they have to be able to trust your decisions and that will have to devote time to their learning
Motivation Is Contagious
Of all the things students expect from us, motivations is at the top. Nothing will kill their spirit and desire to learn faster than an unmotivated teacher who can't or won't motivate them. Your students want you to bring out the best in them. They want you to help them reach their goals, to make them want to work, and to constantly remind them of their day to day achievements. Believe me, motivation is contagious and it will spread. Once it does, you will see the difference.
It's All about Respect
Sometimes teacher lose sight of simple things. One of those things is how students feel and what they are going through in general terms. Learning a language is not an easy process. Students can function perfectly well in their native language and suddenly all that is gone the minute their ESL lesson begins. They now have to struggle to communicate things and try to avoid making mistakes. They often feel anxious and uneasy and it could be worse if an important life goal is tied to their language learning. They want the teacher to understand their difficulties and their hesitations. They don’t want to feel humiliated, they want to feel contained and, as their teacher you have to make sure they are.
Managing expectations can be a simple task.
There is no need to complicate things. The key is good organization, communication and respect. If your students communicate what they want and are clear on what you expect of them, they are on a road to success.
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