First week back at work and I need some teaching tips…

Happy Wednesday guys and gals! I’m finally back at work this week and my first few days back at work have been brilliant – all guns blazing! (or so I’d like to think…)

I’m teaching a lovely intermediate class, with a mixture of Argentinian teens, a Turkish lady, a Turkish man and three Kuwaiti students… and they are all delightful! So far, I’ve hardly heard anything but English (always a huge plus!) and although they’re shy when I’m asking them questions, they work so well with each other!

My second class is an upper-intermediate with a mixture of 5 students I used to teach (at different levels), a lovely Spanish girl and also some Argentinian students. These guys are on fire! As soon as they realize they know something, I can’t get them to stop! We spent fifteen minutes today talking about idioms and sayings in Spanish and Arabic – it was brilliant and some of the sayings are absolutely hilarious!

For example, if someone is always looking for the negatives, they say

  • You’re looking for the fifth leg of the cat
  • You’re looking for the second tail on the dog

The equivalent to our English saying ‘the lights are on but nobody’s home’ is

  • You have no lights

My lunch-time speaking class is pre-intermediate, with two students I taught before Christmas. Today we role-played interviewing actors or journalists and it was hilarious (once they’d done the writing part). It’s been ages since I’d seen a class laugh so hysterically over not very much, but it was great!

My main focuses this week are:

  1. To get my upper-int class reading
  2. To encourage my int class to be less shy
  3. To break down my instructions more clearly for my pre-int class (I noticed today at least 3 out of 5 of them didn’t follow my instructions, and realized I probably waffled on a little bit)

Teachers – what are you working on this week? If you have any suggestions on encouragement for reading, please share them with me? I love reading and I’m struggling for ideas on how to encourage others, other than saying “YEAH READING IS GREAT!”

6 thoughts on “First week back at work and I need some teaching tips…

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  1. Awww, this was such a lovely read. I’m glad that you’re super determined and motivated about your work – that’s a great thing! It sounds like you’re really making a difference Claire, teaching is an art and I still have to master things from teaching code and communicating it well to beginners. I love the process though and it sounds like you do too, thank you for the refreshing insight into your day! ❤

    I also tell people that reading expands knowledge and it's so powerful when you direct it to an application on yourself (especially self-help/development books!) Alternatively, who doesn't like being transported to another world for a bit? 😛

    1. Aaah you are such a babe! Thank you for reading and leaving me such a lovely comment!! I absolutely love my job. I love what I do and who I teach! But I still have so much to learn and that’s the other aspect I love about it. You can never stop learning, you will never know everything and it only motivates me more.

      I agree with you on the reading – I’m always explaining how wonderful it is to find a book you can’t put down. To meet new people through characters and learn new things. Still, you can’t win with everyone I suppose!

  2. Hi,
    And thank you for the inspirational post.
    As for making students read, have you considered finding some nice article that would kind of advertise on how reading is important for language learners? You could’ve make a nice lesson out if it. Personally, I improved my writing proficiency a lot through reading as well as grammar awareness and vocabulary range.

    1. Hey Lina, thank you for reading the post! No, I absolutely had not considered that. What a great idea! I’m my opinion reading is the perfect way to learn or revise grammar awareness- it’s all right there in front of you! I’ll let you know what I decide to do ☺️

      1. I totally agree with you! IMO, extensive reading is an inevitable part of successful learning. Stephen Krashen has done a lot of research on this topic; you might find it interesting since reading is a significant part of your life as I can see it 🙂 And it’s absolutely worth teaching students something YOU think is important (it’s up to them to decide if they want to do it or not after all, so there’s no real pressure). I’m pretty sure there’re some blog posts out there about how cool reading is. You can also do a small questionnaire for other teachers to see what they say about reading and include their responses into your lesson as one of the arguments – 100% authentic first-hand experience!

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