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5 Tips to Become a Better Teacher

 

teacher

 

Lately we’ve been thinking a lot about the personal growth side of living and teaching abroad. And along with that, we’ve been reflecting on how we have grown as teachers over the years. In this post we are sharing 5 simple tips to help you become a better teacher. If you want more content like this, be sure to check out our IG @teflpros where we post weekly #TEFLtips to help you consistently grow as a teacher.

 

Tip #1 – Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

Let’s face it: being a teacher is not the most comfortable of professions. The discomforts that come with teaching can vary depending on your personality, so here are a few to consider.

The fear of:

  • Making mistakes.
  • Too much silence in the classroom.
  • Not knowing the answer to a student’s question.
  • Public speaking.

One may argue that you just shouldn’t be a teacher if you struggle with any of these, but quite frankly – most human beings struggle with one or more of these fears.

The key is to not let the fear overtake you. To learn how to “feel the fear and do it anyway” as Susan Jeffers would say.

Being a teacher can be a humbling experience. Teachers are not encyclopedias, dictionaries, or Google – we are fallible humans, just like our students. Accepting that will help you a great deal in managing the “fears” associated with this profession.

 

Tip #2 – Make Full Use of Your Space

When you’re new to teaching, it’s easy to get boxed in. You might use the same 3 seating arrangements over and over and over again. Seated pair work, pairs in a mingle, small groups in small circles.  

This is such a shame because language classes are filled with endless possibilities for creative use of the classroom space!

To get out of your rut, try some of these ideas.

  • Post things along the walls and have the students walk around the perimeter of the classroom.
  • Do activities with visual aids that get everyone down on the floor to put things in order or in matching sets.
  • Completely eliminate the desks by pushing them to the walls and spend a large portion of the class standing up in a role play or interview.

Be brave and break out of your normal classroom arrangements. Your students will feel energized and you will grow in your classroom management skills!

 

Tip #3 – Keep Your Attitude in Check

The attitude a teacher has in their classroom has a huge affect on their students. Don’t believe me? Think back to your own experiences as a learner.

Which teachers were your favorites?

Now think about how those teachers behaved.

My guess is that the majority of “favorite teachers” could be summed up with a single word. KIND.

Good teachers care about their students. And that caring attitude oozes into everything they do within those four walls of the classroom. If you want to hone your skills, become the best teacher you can be, and make it into those memories of someone’s favorite teacher of all time – remember to be kind.

 

Tip #4 – Remember the Basics

Does anyone remember the teacher in Charlie Brown? That “blah, blah, blah” sound that she made…

Well, get this – that’s what you sound like when you don’t pace your speaking speed in your English language class.

Uh-oh!

A great way to improve yourself as a teacher is to increase your awareness of your own habits in the classroom. And if you speak too quickly, watch what happens as your students tune out and focus on other things because they can’t bother trying to make sense of what you’re saying.

Try to find a balance between your natural speech and a natural way of speaking that is more manageable in the classroom. Your students will get so much more out of your lessons, if you make this one small change.

 

Tip #5 – Reflect on Your Lessons

Reflection is a topic that is not discussed enough in the world of teaching and training. It’s not just something you do when you’re training as a new teacher. It’s a habit you develop to become a great teacher.

To begin your own practice of reflection, try this:

Keep a record of each lesson plan. After you lesson is over for the day, go back to your plan and add notes in a different color ink where things didn’t go as planned. Things not going as planned isn’t always a bad thing. Perhaps you over planned the lesson, or you came up with an even better idea for an activity on the fly…

In any case, noting down these instances will help strengthen your teaching skill and help you better plan for your next lesson.

 

Did these simple strategies help you with your teaching? Let us know over on our IG @teflpros ! And be sure to leave us some comments on any of our #TEFLtips posts with any suggestions you have on improving one’s skill as a teacher 🙂

 

 

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