After more than a decade of teaching, I've learnt that there is no such thing as a perfect lesson. Very often, we go home and think “I could have done that differently”, and it’s true, there are always small things here and there that we could change to make our teaching more effective. But besides self-reflection and self-feedback, what else can we do to improve our teaching?
Start your CELTA training ASAP
I can’t even begin to list all the advantages of taking a CELTA course. You’ll get hands-on experience in teaching speakers of other languages, as well as handy tools for your lessons and valuable feedback from your tutors. You will also have the opportunity to experiment with different teaching approaches and write detailed and efficient lesson plans. Although the intensive course only lasts a month, you will be able to put your newfound knowledge to good use for many years to come.
Tip: Don’t just look for the cheapest course. Do some research online and find the one that has gathered the most positive reviews from other teachers.
Participate in a Twitter chat
Teachers from all around the world use Twitter to share information, ideas and offer support to one another. Two of our favourite chats are #ELTChat (meets every Wednesday at 7 p.m. GMT) and #edtechchat.
To join a chat, simply type the hashtag into the search bar and hit Enter. Sometimes you might want to modify the order of results from Top to Latest so that you can keep up with the ongoing discussions.
Be open to peer observations
In fact, actively seek out opportunities for other teachers to observe your lesson. We learn better when we learn from and with each other, so invite a colleague you trust and think highly of to come and observe your lesson. You might want to get general input on how to improve your teaching, but it’s
undoubtedly better if you give them a list of specific items you want them to focus on. For example, if you have issues with time management, ask them to propose strategies to improve that area with that particular group they observed.
Tip: In order for this to be a positive experience, the feedback session should start with the positive aspects of the lesson and work your way down to the areas that need improvement.
Ask your students for feedback
Simple, yet many of us forget that our students are our “customers”. It will be well worth it if we try to find out how they perceive our teaching. What do they enjoy the most about our lesson? What makes them feel bored? Have they seen any improvement? In which areas? What do they still not feel confident in? These are only a few questions you may include in a simple anonymous questionnaire which can be used to inform your teaching in the future.
Tip: Make sure your students realise the questionnaires are anonymous; this will lead to more honest responses. Also, encourage them to be as specific as possible in their answers. Instead of saying “I feel confident in grammar” they could say “I feel confident in grammar and especially conditionals. I can use them with no problem at all”.
Sign up for MOOCs and free Webinars
Consider how people had to spend huge amounts of money for their education and training in the past. In 2021, knowledge has never been more accessible! To get you started, here are some suggestions:
Happy Teaching! 🌼