As an English teacher, you have the unique privilege of helping others grow and develop their communication skills. While the job can be challenging at times, it also offers you plenty of opportunities to make a positive impact on your students’ lives. If you’re thinking of switching careers and working as an English teacher in a secondary school or adult education center, you should know that this field is quite demanding and requires continuous learning to stay relevant. Regardless of whether you already have teaching experience or are just beginning your career as an ELD instructor, there are some useful tips below that will help you excel at this challenging but rewarding position. Check out our courses here.
When you first step into the classroom, you want to make sure that your students feel as relaxed and secure as possible. A few simple rules that you can include in your syllabus can help you achieve this. For example, you can request that your students refrain from using cell phones or wearing headphones while they are in the classroom. This will help them stay focused and participate in class discussions. You can also decide whether you’d like to implement a silent or a quiet period. During silent periods, you can request that your students refrain from speaking and whispering, so that they can fully concentrate on the lesson at hand. During quiet periods, on the other hand, you can allow your students to take notes freely and speak to one another so that they don’t feel too pressured.
While it’s true that teaching is a highly serious profession, you shouldn’t neglect the fact that it’s also fun and entertaining! Students often have more fun and are more likely to retain the information that they’ve learned if they’re engaged and relaxed. You don’t have to bring out the silly costumes and magic tricks every day, but you can experiment with different teaching methods and see what works best. You can, for example, create a game or puzzle that you can use to help your students remember vocabulary words. When introducing grammar points, you can even try incorporating a game show format where you ask your students questions and give them silly nicknames for extra hilarity. Doing so will not only help your students remember the grammar rules better but also have a lot of fun in the process.
When you first start out as an English teacher, you will likely work with a wide range of students with different skill sets and levels of proficiency in the language. While this is not an easy task, it’s also essential that you closely monitor your students’ progress and make the necessary adjustments. In the beginning, you might want to start off with rewriting your students’ texts, while they take notes and ask questions whenever they don’t understand something. As the semester goes on, you can then begin grading their work and offer your honest feedback. You can also create a rubric for each assignment that your students complete and use it to grade their work. Doing so will help you stay consistent and fair when grading your students’ papers.
While it’s true that grammar is often seen as boring and unnecessary by some students, it remains an important and necessary part of the English language. You can help your students become more interested in grammar and see its relevance by introducing it as part of a larger communication process. You can also discuss why grammar rules developed and how they help people communicate more effectively. You can start each class by going over the previous homework assignment and making sure that your students understand the concepts you covered. You can also consider creating flash cards or engaging in other activities that will help you better understand your students’ struggles with grammar.
As an English teacher, you can also help your students build self-confidence by gently challenging them to step out of their comfort zones. You can encourage them to participate in extracurricular activities, such as debating or public speaking competitions, where they will have to use the English language to their full potential. You can also encourage your students to join online forums, take online classes or even write their own blogs where they can freely express themselves and practice their writing skills. Doing so will not only help your students build self-confidence but also make them more comfortable using the English language in real-life situations.
The English language is a challenging subject, but it can also be incredibly rewarding. If you’re interested in pursuing a career as an English teacher, you should know that you’ll have to work hard and learn a lot. However, the effort is worth it since this profession allows you to positively impact the lives of others. If you’re just starting out as an ELD instructor, you should know that it’s a demanding and challenging position. You will have to work hard to stay up-to-date with the latest teaching methods and always look for ways to improve your lessons. By following the tips provided above, you will be well on your way towards becoming an excellent English teacher.