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 ( 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:

nerve wracking
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...

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Why Teachers Need a "Bag of Tricks"

new teachers Apr 02, 2016

A "Bag of Tricks" is essential for all teachers.  This is probably not something that you were taught in your TESL/TESOL course so what exactly is a teacher's "Bag of Tricks"?  It is basically a bag (backpack, tote bag, rucksack or any of type of bag) that contains everything you think you might need during your lesson(s).  Think of your own "Bag of Tricks" as a portable mini-classroom.

Maybe you are asking why do I need my own "Bag of Tricks"?  Here are a few reasons:

1. Many new teachers start out as supply teachers. You may end up facing a class full of students that you do not know (e.g. language level, personalities, prior learning). It is different to plan an effective lesson when you really don't know the learners.  Having a "Bag of Tricks" may help you adjust your lesson, if necessary and help you get through what could be a long day.

2. If you are new to the school, you may not have any idea where the supplies and/or...

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