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April 19, 2008

Teacher Development - Becoming a learner

Hello Readers,

To help develop as a teacher, it's a good idea to step back from the front of the classroom every once in a while and put yourself in your students' shoes to see what it's like to be a student going through the learning process. How do you feel when a teacher calls on you in a language class to talk about a topic? Do you feel comfortable working with everyone in a group? Do you prefer to choose your own partner or to have the teacher choose for you? How do you ...

... feel about the teacher's teaching methodology? Would you like some input on the way the class is being taught? Do you feel you could talk to the teacher about his/her teaching style?

These are some questions you might think about as a student. To make it relevant to your teaching, it might be a good idea to keep a learner log so you can reflect on these questions later.

Some ideas for classes might include language classes (often available at libraries), knitting/sewing classes (check out your local craft store), drawing classes (perhaps at a local art gallery or community college) or even something physical like a yoga or tai qi class (at a local gym or community center).

In addition to reflecting on the teaching style, you might also want to think about the learning process. Do you feel frustrated in the beginning? Do you like to be shown what to do or do you like to just get on with it? Is it more important for you to get it right or for you to just be doing something?

How has being a student affected your teaching? Feel free to share your comments below.

Hope that helps!

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!

About the author of this entry:
Carol, a native English-speaker hailing from the small town of St. Joseph in Minnesota, USA, worked in China for more than 7 years. During that time, she worked at universities, private language schools, grade schools, international schools, and did private tutoring as well. 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 also writes a monthly column for Time Out Beijing, authors ESL textbooks for publishing houses in China, and is an Editor for Garnet Publishing in Reading, England. Carol holds a BA in Communications from the College of St. Benedict/ St. John's University, and a CELTA, and has just finished her MA TESOL course at Oxford Brookes University. Look for her posts on the ESL-Jobs-Forum discussion boards!

Posted by crueckert at April 19, 2008 07:43 AM

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