Teacher Tip – Starting Class

Many teachers and students will be starting up this January, so here are some tips to ensure you get off to a great start in 2017!

In a student’s home

  • Introduce yourself and provide a contact number. This way your student can text or call you if they need to cancel. Make sure your student records this information in the inside front cover of the book.
  • Get to know each other. You may want to bring some photos of yourself and your family to share with your student. In higher levels, have the student ask you questions about the pictures. Hearing them speak in English will give you a better idea of what their specific strengths and problem areas are.
  • Set expectations. If there are children in the home during class time, will they be involved at all? Will they be in another room? What about cell phone use during class—would you prefer your student not answer any calls or texts? Do you plan to use dictionary or other apps? Let your student know that you expect them to complete homework after each lesson. (You may need to negotiate how much is reasonable.)
  • Depending on the comfort level, you may have a shorter session your first meeting, and begin with the book at your second session. The most important thing is to begin to develop a relationship. Your encouragement and support of your student make all the difference.
  • Before leaving, make sure your student knows when the next class will be. Some teachers make up a calendar or stick a post-it note on the fridge.

In a school class

  • Start your class on time, even if one student is present. The first days of the term are hectic, and you may continue to receive students throughout the class period. By beginning class on time, you show the students who are present that you value their time.
  • Learn names as soon as possible. When everyone knows each other’s names, people feel like they are part of a community. This increases retention. If students get contact information from each other, they can communicate when they miss class.
  • Start class with a review of material, or a game that students can join in as they arrive. Begin new material after several students are present.
  • Set expectations. Remind students of the awards they will receive for perfect and near-perfect attendance.
  • Take a short break partway through the class. Even if you don’t leave the room, have everyone stand up and stretch. This will keep everyone fresher for the second half of class.
  • Teach until the end of class. If you finish the day’s lesson, use the extra time at the end to review, or play a game.

Whether you teach an individual student or a group, have fun!