The new school year has just started in my country. A new year of challenges, success and initiatives has begun for both students and teachers. So I’ve been thinking that the real challenge that we as teachers have is to make every single lesson a memorable, productive, practical etc. one, in other words we all want to make our lessons good for our students.
Now can we actually imagine ourselves not as teachers but as students and analyse a little what we actually want from our teachers of English and lessons we attend? It’s a tough question, isn’t it?
I have come up with 5 matters that I would like to experience in a foreign language lesson in order to call it a good lesson at the end of the day.
1. feeling comfortable
This sounds very simple but not all teachers can make their students feel comfortable. I’m not talking about some external factors that influence the students, but I mean the teacher him/herself. The teacher needs to be peaceful and in absolute harmony so that students can relax and follow the take in the flow of the knowledge and skills coming towards them.
2. being aware of the aims
Knowing the objective of the course or the school year is important for every student. This awareness makes the whole teaching/learning interaction more meaningful to our students. Let your students set the objectives for themselves, encourage them to put it down somewhere, keep it in mind and at the end of the course let them evaluate their progress and decide if they’d reached the aim. Note that I’m not talking only about the syllabus or coursebook aims. Take it to another level with your students.
3. knowing the reason
This point’s quite similar to the previous one, only in this case I mean more details. Share your teaching objectives with your students, let them know why you would like them to do this or that activity. Let them understand that the lesson is for them, for their own good. Try to avoid the philosophical phrase “I’m doing this for you” which in reality doesn’t express much and will definitely make your adolescent students role their eyes with “here she goes again” expression on their faces.
4. know my strenght, work on my weakness
I’ve just realized how wonderful it felt when a teacher of physics (the subject I wasn’t very good at) encouraged me by pointing out that one little thing I was actually able to do in her lessons. It actually made me work on my weaknesses in order to pass the subject. My point is that every student is good at something. Yes, I said EVERY. Even the most hopeless ones have their strong points. Point them out. Let them know that you’ve noticed them.
5. I can make decisions
I’ve learnt this trick when I was at the university. My tutor always let us choose the topic or the activities we wanted to do on that day. Sometimes none of the options was appealing to us, however it made us feel important and take charge of the learning process. The most interesting thing is that this works with students of all ages. Give them two or three alternatives of what they want to do and let them choose. It works like magic!
Thank you for reading my blog. Next time I would like to speak more about lesson planning and how not to get tangled in aims and objectives that a lesson is supposed to have.
Feel free to leave any comments or share your experience about a truly wonderful lesson that you’ve seen or taken part in.
May you all feel that special feeling of fulfillment after your lessons!