This post is part of a blog challenge created by Joanna Malefaki in which we write a letter to our younger teaching selves. To read more posts in the challenge, click here.
So you’re just about to give your first lesson, armed with nothing more than a few pages of interview questions and a whole lot of curiosity. Before I give you some advice, you should know that I’ve teaching English for 9 years now and you have no idea about the places I’ve been, the people I’ve met and the things I’ve seen. But you’ll discover all of that in time. Here’s what you need to know right now… Continue reading “A Letter To My Younger Self”
On a recent trip back to the UK, I met up with an old friend of mine who works as a lecturer at a university training new primary school teachers. I asked him about learning styles and its place in the current training of teachers, and what struck me about the conversation was not so much his thoughts on the subject, but rather how politically he viewed it. Continue reading “Why Is ELT Politics Free?”
This post was first written as a comment on the blog of the Secret DoS. To read the interesting article that prompted it and the discussion that followed, including my original comment, click here. I have adapted the comment for this blog post.
I am writing you this letter because I feel the need to apologise. Recently, I was thinking back to our lessons, and I realised I needed to say sorry. I should have given you more when you were a student in my class.
Let’s face it, one of the hardest things for us teachers to do sometimes is to shut up. We can feel the need to keep teaching all the time and somewhere deep in our subconscious we have been led to believe that teaching means talking.
Maybe we don’t realise what we are doing, or we find it hard to resist. We might be waiting for the training that makes us realise it’s okay to be quiet for a while, or we might have a great story we want to share and half way through we realise we’re really going on a bit too much here. Continue reading “Shut Up!”
Here’s a tale of two teachers, Steve and Bob. They both teach the same class, one after the other. After almost every lesson, Steve returns to the teachers room, sits down at his desk, lets out an audible sigh and then proceeds to moan about the students. They don’t engage, he complains, they don’t get what he’s trying to do. The atmosphere around him is negative and other teachers look at each other with a look that says “here he goes again…”. Steve then opens up his big folder of lesson plans, photocopies the materials he needs for tomorrow’s lesson and goes home early. Continue reading “A Tale Of Two Teachers”
About a year ago, I made a decision. It was the kind of decision that people have made careers out of, especially the writer Danny Wallace who coincidentally was at my university at the same time as me. Since he studied Journalism and became a writer and I studied Media, specifically television, and became a teacher of English as a foreign language, I’m going to assume that his days at the University of Westminster were rather more productive than mine. Continue reading “Just Say Yes”
As I have decided to throw myself into the ELT blogosphere, I think it’s only right that I begin by telling you a little about who I am and why I started this blog. My name is James Taylor (@theteacherjames on Twitter), and I’ve been an EFL teacher to adults since 2006, when I went to live in Brasília, Brazil. I taught mainly one to one classes there for two years before moving to Seoul, South Korea, where, after completing the CELTA course, I taught local English school teachers.