Many teachers sometimes will feel, at one point in their careers, that they need a change of tactics. This could be for a variety of different reasons. Perhaps they feel that their methods are not working anymore, and they are not engaging the students in the ways that they used to. A lot of people feel that they themselves might even be getting bored with the particular method of teaching.
This can have its toll on a teacher’s performance. As a result, it is important for them to think of new ways and refresh their old outlook. Many people will also find that having a look through the notes of other teachers will also help. Ultimately, our goal is to teach students how to speak English, and in order to do so we must keep the students interested and engaged. But for this to happen, we ourselves need to be interested as well. It can be very discouraging for a student if the teacher doesn’t really seem to care about the topic at hand and appears bored in the class. This will have a detrimental effect on their learning and will be the complete opposite of what we are trying to do. Following, one will find a number of teacher-tested ways in which one’s teaching methods can be “spruced up” and passion restored.
Spruce Up Your Classes Today: Here's How:
Speak With Other Teachers
Some teachers will work on a freelance basis and therefore may not have a lot of contact with others. Usually they will be sent out to various businesses and have little contact with others, save for the occasional e-mail and phone call from the company. Taking time to meet and talk to other teachers will give one some insight into any new methods that might be out at the moment. It can be a great learning experience for everyone involved. Everybody will go away having learned something new and will be able to apply it to their classes. This will be easier for teachers who work in a language school which they are at for most of the day. Over coffee in the morning, or during lunch break, it might be a good idea to sit down and see how one’s colleagues are handling certain situations. Speaking about any problems that are happening with certain students at the moment, and gaining solutions to them, will also help.
Observe Another Teacher
This is a very good idea for teachers who are new to the game. It is something that normally slips many peoples’ minds but it is definitely something everyone should do. If one is lucky enough to teach in a set language school, then this should be no problem. Ask that teacher if they don’t mind you sitting in on their class, taking notes and seeing how they work their method. Very useful tips and hints can be picked up here so it is important to record everything that goes on. Note how they interact with students, what sort of games they use to challenge the students’ speaking skills, and see how they distribute talking time amongst them. All of these can give you better ideas at how to teach.
Attend Training Seminars
Have a look on the Internet for any teacher training courses that might be available at the moment. Depending one where one lives, there may be very few. Usually in foreign countries, English speakers and teachers tend to stick together so it won’t be too difficult to network with others in order to find out what is going on at the moment. Sometimes it might even be a good idea to do an additional TEFL certification course in order to get some new tips and ideas, as well as boost one’s own qualifications. Sometimes companies will offer training courses as well to their employees.
Try New Methods
The Internet is a great resource in this day and age. There is a lot of information out there, so a good idea would be to have a look through the reams of information and see what might be out there. Some teachers, particularly if they have been teaching for a long time, might be a little more set in their ways and therefore less willing to change. Be open to experimentation and you might find methods that work even better than your old ones did.
Never underestimate what you can find in books. Like the Internet, there is a lot of useful information out there. Reread what you have already read before, and try and see if you can apply it in a new way!
Give the Students a Chance to Teach
This is a very interesting exercise which could wield some even more interesting results. This is particularly useful if one happens to find that one student tends to dominate the class with their talking. Get them to go up to the board and ask them to explain a specific concept. Do not make it seem like you are punishing them, however. Allow them to get a feel for what it is like to be the teacher, and see if they can explain a particular subject to you in an understandable way.
There are many ways in which a teacher can creatively get a class learning. Having the class come up with a story - particularly for younger learners - is a great way of getting everyone interested. A lot of amusing situations can be imagined, and everyone involved will have a lot of fun creating characters.
Challenge Your Students
Don’t make things easy for them. Giving them increasingly more complex tasks and sentences will keep the students on edge and keep the wheels in their heads turning. When studying, we need to be constantly challenged in order to learn more. Once they have mastered one particular aspect of language, the students will gain a lot more confidence.
Plan Your Lessons Differently
When beginning, the new teacher goes into a class with all the best intentions. They will probably be very meticulous about what they do and plan their classes down to the very smallest detail. While it is always a good idea to plan one’s classes, you might find that sometimes things never go according to plan. In this spirit, one should take a new approach to planning a lesson. Perhaps jot down a few ideas which the class can be based around, and work from there.
When you think about it, there many different ways to teach a class. Even in a place where there are very poor resources, one might be lucky enough to have access to a computer or the Internet. If this is the case, then one can come up with a whole range of different ideas for helping the students learn. One great way to help children learn is through the use of rhyming songs.
As you can see, sprucing up one’s classes takes a little bit of thought and effort. Sometimes people need a bit of change in their lives, and therefore one needs to be able to adapt to particular situations.
Always remember to keep the students’ best interests in mind, but also remember that a happy teacher will make for a more fun and interesting class!