Notes from Roger Gower, Diane Philips & Steve Walters: TEACHING PRACTICE

These tips will keep you in good stead when dealing with colleagues as well as your students:

Behaving professionally with colleagues:
  • Clean the board when you finish
  • If you rearrange the furniture, return the room to the state you found it in 
  • Return borrowed materials
  • Start and finish lessons on time
  • Make sure you know how to use the machinery. Try not to break it & if the worst does happen, report it.
 Improve your Attitude in the Classroom:
  • Smile – it shows a friendly attitude and warms the students to you.
  • Respond to what students say as communication – respond naturally and show interest in what they say
  • Find out about students, get to know them; address them by name. 
  • Take time, show interest in both the learning & the personal interests of the students. Talk to them before and after the lesson. Notice if they are absent.
  • Try to enjoy their company as a group
  • Show them that you are enjoying teaching them
Use eye contact to manage the class:
  • To ensure students have understood what they are supposed to do & know what is going on
  • To indicate who is to speak
  • To encourage ideas during eliciting ideas / responses
  •  To show a student who is talking that you are taking notice
  • To keep in touch with students – especially those whom you are not dealing with at that time
  • To stop, to hurry up or to signal an activity like pair work
  • To check everyone is participating
Use students’ names:
  • Helps to establish rapport; it creates a friendly cooperative atmosphere
  • Shows you are interested in them as people
  • Makes possible to discuss students with colleagues / superiors
How to learn names:
  • Get students to introduce each other and go around the class in random order, saying their names aloud to check if you remember
  • Keep a register and call out if needed to learn names
  • Associate names with physical features
  • Use names consciously in the first few lessons
  • Finally, if you can’t remember a name, admit it and ask!
How to make instructions effective
  • Use simple language & short expressions
  • Be consistent
  • Use visual or written clues
  • Demonstrate
  • Break the instructions down
  • Target your instructions
  • Be decisive and use words as signals, like Right / Listen etc.
Why are pair work & group work useful?
  • Gives students more valuable talk time for practice, especially language
  • Allows you to withdraw and monitor individual performances
  • Encourages rapport between students
  • Increases cooperation and independent of teacher
  • Gives opportunity for shy / unconfident students to participate
  • Provides change in pace
  • Adds variety to a lesson
How to monitor Group Work
  • Stand back
  • Quickly check
  • Don’t interrupt unless there is a real need
  • Spread your attention
  • Be easily accessible
  • Feed in ideas only if needed
  • Provide encouragement & be positive
  • Give correction and / or gather data for feedback
How to establish rapport and maintain discipline
  • Have the right style that suits your personality
  • Don’t prejudge a class
  • Enjoy your job / look as if you enjoy your job
  • Be positive about the activities and materials you are using
  • Show personal interest in students
  • Personalize materials and activities
  • Respond and react to what students say
  • Be interested in their progress
  • Ask for comments on the class
How to gain respect from your student
  • Be punctual
  • Be well prepared for the lesson
  • Return homework promptly
  • Do what you say you are going to do
  • Treat students & people consistently and fairly
  • Try not to let your personal feelings about individual students influence the way you treat them as members of the group
  • Don’t ignore their problems
  • Never make threats you are never able or prepared to carry out
  • Never lose your temper
How can you encourage students to write?

Have a positive & cooperative attitude towards writing: encourage real writing tasks; plan sufficient writing tasks; encourage peer discussion & advice; give encouraging feedback; be selective about the mistakes you are going to mark so that you don’t have to mark every single mistake made; display finished tasks in a class file / wall

Prepare students for writing: brainstorm / help gather ideas; talk about layouts

Structure writing tasks: plan writing activities carefully so that there is controlled/ guided / free writing; provide clear models; monitor carefully; show that you think neat, accurate writing is important.
Plan guided and freer practice carefully.

Guidelines for a process writing activity: 

Introduction – stimulate interest through a listening / reading text / speaking activity such as role play, visuals etc. Create a situation where a piece of writing is required. Discuss text type – letter / poster / essay / report etc. Think about reader(s). Who are they? What will interest them? What do they need to know?
Working with ideas – get ideas from students through brainstorming / using word pools / word clouds / mind maps etc. Note down ideas. Develop the ideas. Choose those ideas to keep and those to be rejected. Order the ideas. 
Planning – remind students of format of text types. 
Drafting – encourage them to write drafts in pairs. 
Reviewing / editing – students correct and improve their first draft. They look at content, language, accuracy, organization, style etc. At this stage you can take the work in and make comments. 
Re-writing – students write out the final version and submit to the teacher for checking & assessment.

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