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October 12, 2006

Teacher Development- Reflection

Hello Readers,

I know one of my main concerns as an ESL teacher when I first started out was that though I was interested in teacher training, there wasn't anything available to me (aside from certificate programs). In my first teaching position, there weren't even teacher meetings to attend. In fact, there was only one other foreigner in the city, and the other Chinese teachers kept to themselves, so even if they did meet, they didn't see the need for me to be there.

So the question is, what can you do, alone or with other teachers, to help yourself improve as a teacher? The answer is quite simple...

... and all that's necessary is you, some paper, and a pencil.

An important part of any teaching, is the reflection that takes place after a class. After each class, it's helpful to take down some notes about what happened. Some things that you might want to note down include:

- a summary of the class
- what went well (and why)
- what didn't go so well (and why)
- if you could change something about the class, what would you change (and why)

Besides the content of the class and your actual teaching methodology, you might also want to take a look at:

- discipline
- student behavior
- student interaction
- the use of English in the classroom (were students only using English?)
- motivation
- participation
- classroom layout

If you have other teachers you can share these reflections with, do so. Together, you may be able to offer ideas to each other about how you can get Sally to sit still in class or what motivates the adult students, for example.

If you don't have any other teachers to discuss this with, your journal will be a good source for you later on.

Good luck- and happy reflecting!

Carol Rueckert
Writer, ESL Lesson Plan
E-mail: crueckert@eslemployment.com
Blog: www.esl-lesson-plan.com

"I hear, and I forget. I see, and I remember. I do, and I understand." - Chinese Proverb

*Looking for more articles that spotlight Teacher Development in the ESL industry? Click HERE!

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About the author of this entry:
Carol, a native English-speaker who hails from the small town of St. Joseph in Minnesota, USA, and lived and worked in China for more than 7 years. During that time, she worked with students that range in age from three to more than sixty years old. She worked in universities, private language schools, grade schools, international schools, as well as private tutoring. Besides teaching, she also worked as a head teacher, an education manager, and a material development manager. In addition to working on this newsletter, she currently writes a monthly column for Time Out Beijing. Carol is also currently working on her MA in TESOL at the Oxford Brookes University in England. Look for her posts on the ESL-Jobs-Forum discussion boards!

Posted by crueckert at October 12, 2006 01:30 PM

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