Teaching English as a Foreign Language

T E F L

For some teachers, the first meeting is considered to be one of the most important meetings in their classes. This is the time when the teacher tries to build relationship with her students. The success the teacher achieves in this moment surely has contribution to her success in later meetings. Therefore, teachers should know what it takes to make an impressive first meeting. There are several things that the teacher must do in order to make her first meeting with her students motivate students, be remembered, and sustain the students’ eagerness to always come to class. 

Punctuality

       A teacher must pay attention to her students’ and her own punctuality. To be in the class on time or even in time will create an image in the teacher that she is really concerned about time. By doing so, a teacher will gain respect easily from students as well as ability to ask students to be in the class on time too without having to emphasize to the students the importance of coming early to class. 

       Preparation

    Being the first person to be in the class also makes the teacher feel comfortable and ready. A teacher is able to come to the class on time in the first meeting is mostly because she feels that she is well-prepared. First meeting is like any other meeting of her class–it needs preparation. Be ready with all of your teaching props, attendance list, and teaching aids.

      Personality

     Learning environment must be set up in order to make  conducive atmosphere for teaching and learning to take place. This condition can happen when the affective filter within the students’ body is low. Teachers can help do lower the affective filter by showing positive traits, like being friendly, enthusiastic, and helpful to students. The least thing that a teacher does to fulfill this task is by smiling. 


      
Adequate Ability in Class Management.

     In the first meeting, both students and the teacher have no idea about what will happen in the class, especially is the class is a new one. Therefore, a teacher should equip herself with ways to manage her class well. Inability to manage the class in the first meeting will cause troubles in the later meetings. Class management referred here is like how to control rowdy students, introduce herself effectively, and remember students’ names or personal information. In this part also, a teacher should communicate with her students what they can expect from the class they are joining, or rules and regulation in the class, and the class procedure including the exams and scores.
It is likely that the first meeting will not turn to a flop when the teacher does all the above mentioned. However, through continuous teaching practices, a teacher may find it easy to conduct the first class.

Meeting students for the 1st time always makes one feel nervous, no matter you’re experienced or inexperienced. Before the 1st class meeting, you have to think about what to do in the meeting, how to set the climate for learning and establish rapport with students.

 

Following are some suggested activities for the first meeting:

Get acquainted

  • Write the course code, title and name of the course instructor on the board;
  • Smile and greet students when they enter the classroom;
  • Look cheerful and move around and start up some friendly small talk with those in their seats;
  • Write your name clearly on board;
  • Introduce yourself, including your experience in learning/exploring the subject and why you are excited about the subject;
  • Know your students by names: for small class, ask students to introduce themselves.
  • Tell them how to contact you.

Set the climate for learning

  • Explain the nature of the meetings. Tell students what you plan to achieve in tutorial/lab sessions and how will the sessions fit into the course syllabus/learning.

  • Ask for students’ information, e.g. how many have taken a previous related course? What do they expect to get from the meetings so that you can plan to start from where they are!

  • Set a mutual “learning contract”—what you have to do and what your students have to do—to make the session an effective learning experience for both.

Carry out administrative duties

  • Roll-calling if needed;
  • Explain policies affecting students’ grades, like examination, assignments, attendance to class, projects, etc. (
  • Spell out the attendance requirements;
  • Set rules for behavior like late arrivals, lack of contribution to class activities, etc.

If you are nervous for the first meeting, you can tell yourself:

  • It is just natural and okay to feel that way;

  • You are not the only one being nervous. Your students are nervous too!

  • Take a deep breath and let it out slowly. Repeat the action several times as needed.

  • Practice positive thinking! Assure and reassure yourself “I can do it well”. Of course, good preparation helps you to become confident in your work!

In class, you have to:

  • Speak clearly at an audible level and concentrate on what you are talking about;

  • Write legibly on board;

  • Look calm, natural and act confidently;

  • Show your enthusiasm towards the course;

  • Listen and answer carefully to students’ questions, If you don’t know the answer, tell the student that you will find it out before next meeting.

  • Don’t apologize for your inexperience or lack of expertise in teaching!

Brainstroming sessions are crucial in teaching practices. Regular brainstorming sessions hlp both teachers and students work comfortably, in an effective learning envirorment. Why are these beneficial and what can we gain from them?

    Brainstorming is a way to gather ideas, it can be done as an individual or can involve a group who are looking to develop ideas and problem solve. The aim is generally to develop as many ideas as possible and then go back and evaluate them at a later date. Ideas can be worked on changed and improved.

   Brainstorming is a great tool in any situation to bring out ideas and stimulate creative though processes. It can often bring a shift in paradigm and thinking and enables many different minds and ideas to be brought together. It is incredibly beneficial to bounce your ideas and thinking processes of other people. This bouncing of ideas then may in turn spark the ideas of another individual.

   Some of the benefits of brainstorming may include:

  • Encouragement of creativity

  • Expanding of thinking to see different perspectives of problem solving and idea development

  • Everyone can be involved equally, every idea is a worthy one

  • Brainstorming can help ideas to grow quickly

  • It can dramatically increase productivity

  • Can help to develop lateral thinking

   So wether you are involved in a group as just an individual brainstorming can be a useful tool to develop ideas and solve problems. Please feel free to comment and add your ideas.

by Melanie.

Guidelines to Brainstorming

Here are no rules, just guidelines to brainstorming 
1.  Quantity trumps quality
Rapid fire as many ideas as possible.  Don’t worry about feasibility. The more, the merrier,
as they say. Each ideas become a catalyst for another idea.
2.  Welcome far out ideas
Share all ideas, not matter how odd they may seem to you.  Remember, nothing is too
ridiculous. Again each ideas become a catalyst for another idea.
3.  Make suggestions without judging the ideas
IIt is critical not to judge any part of the idea until the end of the session. This include
eliminating any statement like “That won’t work.”  “The is a stupid idea.” “That’s impractical.”  In fact don’t discuss the ideas at
all!  Laughing is positive. Criticism is not. Each ideas become a catalyst for another idea.
4.  Every one should try to build upon or combine the ideas of others
One idea can generate another one.  Ideas can improve with further suggestions.
5.  There are no bad ideas
Every person brings to the table a unique set of experiences. In brainstorming the goals is

The apple is a symbol for teachers and teaching — students have given shiny fresh apples to their teachers on the first day of school for over a century. But exactly how the apple earned this distinction is not entirely clear.

 

    The most common explanation is that in the 16th through 18th centuries in Denmark, Sweden, and the United States, poorer farming folk would pay their children’s teachers with food – most notably with common and plentiful apples and potatoes. Another is that farmers gave teachers this food to supplement the teachers’ low incomes; as teachers’ wages went up, the amount of food went down. Eventually, students brought in that one apple out of tradition more than anything else.

 

    Another consideration is that in the retelling of the story of Adam and Eve, Eve is said to have eaten an apple from the Tree of Knowledge. The apple is not actually mentioned in the book of Genesis; only “the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge.” Regardless, the apple story stuck. Since teachers offer knowledge to their students, the apple -as the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge — makes the perfect symbol.

 

    Some people point out that, when young children learn the alphabet, each letter is associated with a word they already know: A is for Apple, B is for Ball, and so on. So the apple is a symbol of the letter A, which is also the grade that most students want. So perhaps some students came to the conclusion that if they gave their teachers an A at the beginning of the school year, the teachers might return the favor and give them an A at the end of the year.

 

    This type of early “kissing up” led to the term apple polishing, a.k.a. brown-nosing, or offering up gifts or false flattery in hopes of gaining favor.

 

     Thousands of teachers receive shiny new apples at the beginning of every school year. Although they may have secretly hoped for an Apple iPod instead, this fruity gift is still appreciated. By giving your teacher an apple on the first day of school, you uphold a centuries-old tradition, make your teacher feel appreciated, and get the year started off right.

Being a teacher isn’t for everyone. Teaching does not come with a high salary, though it can come with high rewards. Many skills are required to become successful in a classroom. If you are selecting education as your first or second career, there are several qualities that are helpful to possess. Ask yourself the following questions.

Do you like people?

    I know the question may seem simple, but it is important that teachers like people. No teacher sits at a desk in isolation all day. The day is spent interacting with people. Spend lots of time with children of different ages. Find the age level that you are most comfortable working with. You’ll be spending the majority of your day with students, and liking them will help your classroom stay a happy place.

Can you be calm in any situation?

     Classrooms can go from stillness to chaos in a matter of seconds. It is important that teachers have a handle on their emotions. Children, parents, or faculty may yell at you or each other. Staying calm and responding calmly will help you stay professional and balanced.

Are you fair?

     There might be a student in your classroom that successfully becomes the “teachers pet.” However, every student in your class needs to be assessed by their performance skills, not on their personality. Establish rules and follow them to be considered a fair teacher. Students will find it hard to argue with a teacher who is always fair.

 Can you see situations from different views?

    You classroom may be a melting pot of the town you teach in. There might by many different ethnic or socio-economic groups represented in your class. Students might also be diverse in their learning habits, speech or motor skills. The ability to see every student and their unique perspective is an important skill in teaching; every student should have the chance to understand the lesson.

 Are you confident about sharing your knowledge?

    Whether it is math or music, teachers need to know their content area and be confident in sharing it. Teachers are leading student learning all day. It is easier to command attention when you know what you’re talking about. Some teachers experience nerves at first when appearing before a class. Never fear, you will get over it.

 Can you manage time effectively and with flexibility?

     The school day goes by fast. In order to organize lessons effectively, it’s important to manage time effectively. A meaningful lesson can be taught in any amount to time, but there’s more to the school day than one lesson. Being flexible with time and organizing lessons is key to achieving student performance goals.

There are countless traits that make teachers great. I’ve narrowed in on fifteen unique behaviors I’ve observed in great educators over the years. Do you have one to add to the list? Write in your own!

1. Teachers can say everything without saying anything at all. Experienced teachers have perfected the use of the facial expression, and can say anything to a student with just a glance. With a unique eyebrow lift, a student (or an entire class) can understand “be quiet,” “be sensitive,” or “nice work.”

2. Teachers don’t accept failure. They try every angle and every strategy to help students learn and succeed.

3. Teachers care. Teachers love every student in their class, even the ones that are hard to love, and sometimes especially the ones that are hard to love.

4. Teachers are fabulous communicators. They love to talk and listen to students, to other teachers, and parents. They chose their words wisely and can say anything with a smile and a positive spin.

5. Teachers are adaptable. They can change a lesson or an entire class in a moments notice, which comes in handy when the fire drill or unplanned assembly interrupts.

6. Teachers are positive. They know the work is challenging, but they’ve accepted the task and know they can be an amazing teacher because their attitude is great and no one can tell them they can’t do something.

7. Teachers work hard. They don’t show up and sit behind a desk. They stand all day, talk all day, think all day, interact all day, and learn all day. The corporate world may not get it, but teachers are busy people. Returning emails and phone calls are luxuries our days may not afford. But the important stuff- the teaching- that’s getting done.

8. Teachers know how to take charge. Teachers have no trouble being the center of attention while making students laugh and learn. They know how to be the boss even using just a small movement or sound.

9. Teachers are creative. They can help students learn something a million different ways, with any object, at any time in any place. The hallway, the playground, and the even the lunchroom are places where important lessons and connections take place.

10. Teachers are humble. They don’t teach to be praised, but to make a difference.

11. Teachers are always thinking about teaching. They plan, they research, and they think about lessons all of the time. They write down lesson ideas on cocktail napkins or receipts when they think of something great to include in an upcoming unit.

12. Teachers are resourceful. They know how to make the most of a lesson with no money, no supplies and little time.

13. Teachers are organized. They plan lessons sometimes a year in advance. The room is organized, the desk is in order, and the plan is clear for the day because they’ve made sure of it.

14. Teachers stick together. No one understands or can relate to the inside of a classroom like another teacher. When teachers feel frustrated or challenged, they know talking to another teacher is comforting and helpful.

15. Teachers don’t take teaching lightly.They’ve been trained in a field with no pay and no tangible rewards. The emotional rewards of teaching? The satisfaction of teaching? Those are so great it makes up for everything else and then some. The joys of teaching can be so overwhelming that they know it’s one of the greatest professions on Earth.

Jill Hare

1. Humourous  in the classroom and ease any frustruation.

2. Adopts a fair attitude when it comes to make any evaluation.( Djenet Touati)

3.Aware of the learners’ needs. (Meriem Belkhir)

4. Has a good command of the subject matter. (Belghoul Hadjer)

5.Dedicated to his work and never wastes time.(Bleghoul Hadjer)

6. Has a good sense of humour. (Belghoul Hadjer)

7. professional, aware, communicative, respectful and interested in his students.(Safia Benchaa)

8. Simple, understanding, enjoyable.(Safia Benchaa)

9. Brings authentic materials to inspire students. (Safia Benchaa)

10. Respects students’ social background.(Haidra F.Z)

11. Forgives students’ mistakes. (Haidra F.A)

12. Corrects activities without explaining. (Haidra F.Z)

13.accepts being corrected by learners.(Belkercha Laalia)

14. Be a co-learner. (Belkercha Laalia)

15. Listens to students and tries to solve their problems.(Abdelhrim Amane)

16. Be patient and comprehensive. ( Abdelkrim Amane)

17. Is not satisfied with his work until he is assured  that students understand the lesson (Amel Bouhenna)

18. Puts aside his personal problems once in class.(Amel Bouhenna)

19. Always on time and organized. (Amina Sahnoune)

20. Always smiling. (Amina Sahnoune)

Negative teaching style

1. Inhibits and insults students.

2. Misbehaves and shouts all the time. ( Djenet Touati)

3. Avoids students’ questions. (Meriem Belkhir)

4. Inhibits students when giving a wrong answer.(Belghoul Hadjer)

5.Works with good students only .(Belghoul  Hadjer)

6. Never praises students’ efforts. (Belghoul Hadjer)

7.Does not care about students’ motivation (Safia Benchaa)

8. Punishes students. (Haidra F.Z)

7. Thinks he/she is the best teacher.(Belkercha Laalia)

8. Does not believe in his students’ skills. (Belkercha Laalia)

9. Continues the courses without caring of students’ understanding.(Amel Bouhenna)

10. Does not respect the school rules (Amel Bouhenna)

11. Supplies information with no explanation. (Amina Sahnoune)

12.Hides his/her incompetency with anger (Amina Sahnoune)

The child arrives like a mystery box…
with puzzle pieces inside
some of the pieces are broken or missing…
and others just seem to hide

But the HEART of a teacher can sort them out…
and help the child to see
the potential for greatness he has within…
a picture of what he can be

Her goal isn’t just to teach knowledge…
by filling the box with more parts
it’s putting the pieces together…
and creating a work of art

The process is painfully slow at times…
some need more help than others
each child is a work in progress…
with assorted shapes and colors

______________________________

First she creates a classroom…
where the child can feel safe in school
where he never feels threatened or afraid to try…
and kindness is always the rule

She knows that a child
can achieve much more
when he feels secure inside
when he’s valued and loved…
and believes in himself
…and he has a sense of pride

She models and teaches good character…
and respect for one another
how to focus on strengths…not weaknesses
and how to encourage each other

She gives the child the freedom he needs…
to make choices on his own
so he learns to become more responsible…
and is able to stand alone

He’s taught to be strong and think for himself…
as his soul and spirit heal
and the puzzle that’s taking shape inside…
has a much more positive feel

The child discovers the joy that comes…
from learning something new…
and his vision grows as he begins
to see all the things that he can do

A picture is formed as more pieces fit…
an image of the child within
with greater strength and confidence…
and a belief that he can win!

All because a hero was there…
in the HEART of a teacher who cared

enabling the child to become much more…

than he ever imagined…or dared

______________________________

A teacher with a HEART for her children…
knows what teaching is all about
she may not have all the answers…
but on this…she has no doubt

When asked which subjects she loved to teach,
she answered this way and smiled…
“It’s not the subjects that matter…
It’s all about teaching the CHILD.”

by Paula Fox

If you decide to embrace the teaching profession, start from now on to learn some of the tips that help get on along in this hard but wonderful job.

Professional Practices
– Inspire confidence and assure students and administrators with your professional attitude and practices. Show that you can be a role model.

  • Arrive on time or early.

  • Dress professionally – like a teacher, not a college student.

  • Bring supplies that may not be readily available –, dictionaries, books, and extra markers and  laptop …

  • Respect the school’s rules exactly. Administrators complain when rules are ignored.

  • Conversely, they also praise you when you do an excellent job.

  • Familiarize yourself with educational skills to communicate professionally with colleagues.

  • Teach with a keen awareness of students. Implement lesson plans intelligently and perceptively. Watch each student, anticipate responses, and motivate students to do their work.

  • Act like a pro. Stand up straight with your hands at your side, not crossed in front of you or in your pocket. Make eye contact, and model each behavior you expect of students.

Personal Conduct
On and off the job, conduct counts! It reflects your maturity and professionalism.

  • Converse in a friendly, professional – but not too personal- manner with students.

  • Acknowledge politely, but change the subject with students comment on you personally – about your hair, clothes, or car.

  • Socialize sparingly at football games for example, but make sure you keep students respecting you as a teacher.

Groundwork
      Teaching can build classroom skills and help establish your professionalism with students and school staff members.

  • Prepare for activity in the classroom rather than supervision. Maintain a flow of activity for students from the moment they arrive. Follow routines to take attendance, group students, and distribute materials, for a smooth-running classroom. Avoid time fillers such as copying items from the board or completing worksheets. They are raw opportunities for student misconduct.

  • Be the guest teacher. By your actions, signal to students that you are more than a “real” teacher fill-in. Move about the room, keep on task, complete projects, and direct avid discussions.

  • Ask questions about the school. Take part in school extra activities. Take initiatives. Innovate and always think of inspire your students.

  •  

*The list of TIPS is not exhaustive .

Expect success and be ready to start.

One day you’ll start teaching

-and it won’t be for just one day!

 

Adapted by M. Louznadji

Consider the following points:

  • Meet your headteacher, introduce yourself

  • Listen carefully to his/her instructions

  • Respect the school regulations

  • Meet your colleagues and introduce yourself

  • Share documents and attend observation classes

  • Always take notes and be ready to ask questions

  • Learn from experienced teachers

  • Demonstrate enthusiasm and eagerness to learn

  • Be thankful and acknowlegeable

  • Build on what you have learned

  • Plan, apply…

  • Be self-confident

  • Never give up; your first problems are your first lessons

 

 More Tips:

  • knowing student’s names, and calling them by name

  • greeting students and colleagues pleasantly

  • remembering something that had earlier worried a student, and asking about it (“Is your mother recovering from her operation?”)

  • ” showing that you can change your mind, when evidence and logic suggest it

  • being on the edge of your subject and interests

  • never being late to class or cutting it for some personal convenience

  • insisting on neat written work, delivered on schedule

  • insisting on a formality of conduct in a classroom

  • insisting on clear thinking and fair-mindedness

  • always expect a bit more of a student than he expects of himself

  • accentuate the positive; be careful always to praise good work. No one learns anything faster than when he feels he is successful

  • never give up on a student, or categorize or ‘brand’ him permanently