Tradition is a big part of New Year celebrations for many people. Some of us try to limit the varying vices we indulge in, drinking alcohol, smoking, over-eating, etc. Some vow to do things they haven’t in the past. Such as exercise more, take up running and even take up charitable work. Of course, everyone is different in the goals they set but what about TEFL teachers? Sure we all occasionally set the previously mentioned goals, but what about resolutions set in and around our profession; teaching TEFL.
If you are looking for something to boost your performance in the classroom and help kick some of those bad teaching habits you’ve learned over the years, check out these suggested resolutions and see if there is one that’s perfect for you in the New Year!
Lesson Plan Early!
Lesson planning can be stressful, especially to teachers fresh to the industry, but with time it becomes second nature and you can plan the perfect lesson in no time flat. That being said, why leave it to the last minute like most of us do? Instead of rushing at 10:00 or 11:00 pm every night to have your masterpiece ready for the following morning, spend a few hours every Sunday and prepare the entire week ahead. You’ll have so much more free time throughout the week for yourself. You will also allow yourself plenty of time to grab any materials you may need well in advance. It’s a great practice and one every teacher should try their hardest to get into. You’ll thank yourself for it.
Stick to the Reward System!
A reward system is vital for keeping order in any classroom. Most of us start out with a perfectly good system at the start of the year, but it can easily come off the hinges and get lost in the everyday routine of class. Starting with the New Year, you should remind your class of the reward system and make a strong conscious effort to follow it fervently. With order restored, your class will be more attentive than ever and learning at a much better pace than without. You’ll also find yourself not nearly as stressed out when it wasn’t in use. Most importantly; stick to it this time!
Treat Everyone Equal!
We all like to say we treat everyone equally, but the sad truth is there is always that one student who can drive you a little bonkers. I feel bad even saying that, but it’s a sad truth. Perhaps you overlook that student sometimes when you’re checking the students’ work. While you are trying to save yourself a little stress and the risk of ruining your day, that student is in fact suffering. Keep in mind the bigger picture. That student is there for an education. If you neglect him or her now it could have everlasting effects on their progression in the future. How prepared will student ‘X’ be next year if they’ve only properly learned half of the information for this year. Try to be conscious of your favouring of the students; it is our job as teachers to teach everyone equally.
Socialize More with Local Staff!
Teaching can be a tiring job sometimes, and with living abroad there are a million new things to do and see so we tend to make the most of our time off by seeing the sights and going out and about with our friends. Before you know it a year has gone by and you really haven’t experienced a whole lot of the local culture. Sure, you’ve seen it at the tourist sites, but I mean REALLY experienced it. A great way to experience it is to spend more time with your local staff and coworkers. They are always an amazing group of individuals that share your passion in teaching, and you would be amazed at whatever passions you have in common. Don’t forget, your coworkers are just as interested in your culture as you are in theirs, so it’s a great place to meet new friends and learn as much as possible about your host country.
Utilize your Office Hours!
Office hours are there for a reason, and how many of us lay low and blindly browse the Internet for funny memes; most of us. By now you should be pre-planning your lesson plans a week in advance. This alleviates the need to spend your time every evening doing this at home, so all you need to do during the week is make any possible materials you may need to create, and mark and tests and homework your students may have had. Get off the Internet and do this doing your office hour time! It is there so you don’t have to do these tasks at home in the evenings when you should be exploring your new home and taking in as much culture as you can while you’re there.
These are just a couple of New Year resolutions teachers tend to strive for. What are you self-goals for 2015? Let us know in the comments below!