I wrote these tips 2 years ago as a part of the assignment to be completed for a scholarship which I won (yay!). They still ring the truth though I might have reconsidered a few bits that I’m going to share later.
- Establish a good rapport with students
For a start, it is vital for a teacher to create a safe environment where learners feel secure sharing their ideas and thoughts. Similarly, a teacher should not be afraid to reveal his own personality by providing examples from his life experience, giving suggestions and advice, encouraging and motivating students, giving feedback – all these factors contribute to establishing a bond between a teacher and his students. So teaching and learning become an intertwined and mutual process which benefit both participants. In the end, students would feel as though they are valued and their words are appreciated.
2. Students are the best teaching resource
Everyone that comes to the classroom is a human being with all his perks and flaws. A teacher’s role is to reveal the entire students’ potential. As educators, we have a privilege to set our students tasks where they need to use their knowledge and personal experience. Therefore, while working in pairs or groups they have a good chance to interact with each other, to ask and answer questions. This creates a real need for English as a tool of communication. Hence, I would suggest teachers to encourage peer support, peer correction and working in groups and pairs.
3. Never stop learning
Being a non-native speaker of English, I constantly find myself struggling while trying to be good role model for my students. This involves a continuous practice of all skills along with students on a daily basis; a perpetual research into new methods of teaching; a quest for new activities to practise grammar patterns that are as old as the sea. Nevertheless, these parts of a teacher’s job that might seem to be appalling and daunting have turned out to be the most challenging and rewarding ones.
4. Get peer support
In other words, a problem shared is a problem halved. I have been extremely lucky since I have been working in a very supportive environment where I can address my fellow colleagues to find a better way to tackle whatever a stumbling block is. It is very helpful to create a teacher network around yourself either by consulting your personal mentor or getting in touch with online teaching communities. For example, I have recently tried an online teaching course with British Council and Future Learn. This experience has allowed me to have a constant access to a group of aspiring teachers that I can go to for advice.
5. Have fun
Last but not least, some people might think that teaching is a humbling occupation; however one cannot deny the fact that it is an extremely rewarding job that can make a difference. One must truly enjoy his work. It is contagious and students always feel a teacher’s passion and enthusiasm for what he is doing. So try to be one of the “carpe diem” teachers. Eventually, doing what you really believe in, what brings you joy, happiness and satisfaction yet regularly challenges you is the best job in the world.