5 Ways to be an Even Better English Teacher
Being an English teacher is a highly demanding yet rewarding job. It’s also a very important one. You are responsible for teaching the next generation to read and write while hopefully you’ll help them to fall in love with learning along the way. Great English teachers are passionate about many things; Books, literature, theatre, your classes, film & wine to name just a few. We have no doubt in our mind that you’re an incredible English teacher, but here are a couple of tips you may wish to consider.
Have a multi-sensory approach.
You know your class well and you know what they would enjoy and how they best learn. To ensure all learners are engaged, try and include as many different types of learning experiences as budgets and time allows. There are many resources currently available that will appeal to Visual, Kinaesthetic and Auditory learners individually, however a combination of approaches will often help engage the most sceptical learner. In our experience It is worth taking that extra little bit of time to figure out what they will enjoy and engage with most.
Organisation is key.
We know we don’t really need to tell you about this and you’ve no doubt got your planning down to a tee. However, we think it’s still extremely relevant. A well-planned lesson (or series of lessons) will establish a routine and help learners feel comfortable enough to be creative. As an example, In-class discussions can – as we know – often lead down unexpected/ irrelevant roads, but with a well-planned session in which you become the moderator, can encourage creativity, while staying focussed on the intended theme.
Effective setting of homework.
We all know how important homework is for consolidating your students understanding of a topic. The volume and type of homework you’re setting has to be both relevant and reasonable. To use an extreme example, setting homework such as reading a lengthy novel in a week could be considered unrealistic, it is much more beneficial to set homework by chapter or page(s) then follow up immediately with a related task. This short-term and immediate feedback is essential in today’s culture.
English can be a challenging subject for some students, so it is important that you’re approachable so they feel they can ask for help. You know that students can often feel afraid to ask questions in front of their peers. Therefore, letting them know that they can reach out to you when they’re struggling is extremely important. Many successful English teachers find a great way to ensure this is to have an “Open Door” at break / lunch so your students can come to you in private and ask you any questions they may have about the work that they are doing.
Incorporate peer and self-assessment.
Most school policies now include an element of self/ peer assessment. Students love marking somebody else’s work – if they see the benefit and are given clear criteria. A teacher reading the answers out and the pupil ticking or crossing is not self/peer assessment. They need a reason and to feel empowered. If pupils are given clear marking guidelines, success criteria and purpose this will allow them to do exactly that. It’s a great way for children to learn from each other and also help each other. It also gets them talking about the work.
Learners walk out of your class able to read accurately, write creatively, think critically, learn effectively and because of that, you will have a lasting impact on their lives. You know how to be an amazing teacher, but hopefully this blog has helped in some way. Learners will pick up on your passion and be inspired.
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