How to Make a Difference as a New Teacher: Kay Bennett`s Story

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...

Continue Reading...

Do you make these 6 mistakes as a new teacher?

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...

Continue Reading...

Mentorship for New Teachers: Meaningful Professional Development

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:


exciting
challenging
nerve wracking
a lot of work
intimidating
hard
daunting

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:


frightening
terrifying
overwhelming
rewarding
a joy ride


I am not sure about you, but I certainly wouldn’t want to go to work every day...

Continue Reading...