This week`s blog post looks at forming good "teacher habits" as I prepare to teach two online courses in a TESL Training program.
Did you know that on average, it takes more than 2 months before a new behaviour becomes automatic? This is why it is so difficult to form new habits.
There are many habits that contribute to good teaching but at the risk of overwhelming new teachers, I have prepared a short list below:
Habit 1: Preview the lesson
Tell students what they are going to learn in the lesson. I do this by writing a brief agenda on the board. I developed this habit more than 20 years ago and still do this before every single class. Research shows that the best place to write the agenda is at the top left-hand side of the board. Go through the agenda at the beginning of class and then as you reach each item, check it off. Students like to know what they will be doing in the class and it also helps me to stay on track.
Habit 2 - Recap at the end
Let's jump to the end...
One of the reasons that I like social media so much is because of the connections I have made with thousands of English language teachers all over the world. This includes you! I believe that we all share the same desire which is to help our students learn (no matter where we live or where our students live if you are an online teacher).
Over the holidays, I caught up on some reading which included an article by Emily Esfahani Smith, author of The Power of Meaning: Crafting a Life That Matters http://amzn.to/2hOArly and Jennifer Aaker, Professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Their piece entitled "In 2017, Pursue Meaning instead of Happiness" http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2016/12/in-2017-pursue-meaning-instead-of-happiness.html includes data from a survey of over 2 million people in more than 500 jobs. According to the survey, teachers (as well as clergy and surgeons) find the most...
Last week, I was a mentor teacher for one of my former TESL students. He needed to complete both observation and practicum hours for his Canadian TESL certification.
One day during lunch, a few teachers were commenting on what they were like as new teachers. One teacher recalled several disasterous teaching moments in his first year. Another teacher described himself as being "absolutely terrible". I am not sure that I would describe myself as absolutely terrible, however I was very nervous but I desperately wanted to be a great teacher.
As a TESL trainer, I have assessed many teachers-in-training and notice that it is not in common for nerves get the best of these newbies. There is not much one can do about nervousness as this is a natural reaction to being observed and assessed, even for more experienced teachers. However I have noticed 6 mistakes that almost all TESL students make. Although these mistakes might seem trivial, I believe that if small...
Last week-end, I presented at the annual TESL Toronto conference. The topic for my workshop (I will call it Workshop 2) was How to Survive and Thrive as New ESL Teacher (http://www.slideshare.net/PatricePalmer/how-to-survive-and-thrive-as-a-new-esl-teacher). It was a revised/condensed version of a workshop (I will call that one Workshop 1) that I gave in April. In both workshops, I was inspired by the keen-spirited new teachers who attended.
If you read my blog post after Workshop 1, you will know that in the first activity, I asked teachers to complete the following sentence "Being a New Teacher is"...
These were their answers:
a lot of work
I provided Workshop 2 participants with the above list and asked them to add to it. They agreed with everything on the list and added:
a joy ride
I am not sure about you, but I certainly wouldn’t want to go to work every day...