Teacher tip: Expanding your vision as a teacher

At the recent CO-TESOL convention, one of the featured speakers, author Joe McVeigh spoke about “Looking in, looking out: Expanding our vision”

Here are some tips he offers to teachers:

  • Create a safe space.

Students may feel insecure about their ability. Make sure they know they are supported.

  • Own the room.

You may share a classroom with others, but during the time you are teaching, it’s yours. Move desks or other furniture so that it works for you. (And be sure to put things back after you finish.)

  • Take it slowly at first.

Beginners need the basics before they can learn more advanced structures.

  • Adapt instruction to student abilities.

Have a flexible plan when you go into the classroom, and be willing to meet students at their level.

  • Build a community.

Remember, you are in this together. When students feel they are part of a group, they are more likely to finish the course.

  • Mix it up.

Routine is important, but so is variety. Include something slightly different to help keep students’ attention.

  • Make it fun.

Learning English is hard work. Play a game, tell a joke. Smile. If you are enjoying it, students are more like to enjoy class and learn more.