We are in the middle of May and the schools are closed and the borders are closed. There are no firm dates ( In Vietnam) as to when everything gets back to normal. Am I going to sit around and moan about life being against me or am I going to take this opportunity to focus on how I can help my students return to the classroom. I want to plan and prepare my classroom lessons and activities for when everything is open again.
The first thing i want to do is take stock of where I am (professionally and financially), where i want to go and how do i get there as well as how can i help my students achievr their language skill goals. my favorite method is by downloading a swot analysis tool from Microsoft word.
I can use this tool on any teachers, students or other external factors that affect my work. This will focus me on moving forward as soon as possible and may even uncover any opportunities that I haven’t thought about.
As an example one of the things I could look at would be…
How to use Technology in the classroom.
Strengths; Technology in the classroom can be used to focus the student by useing video, powerpoint as well as laptops and i-pads for a more inter active learning experience.
Weaknesses; By useing tech.in the classroom it might be percieved by others that the teacher is relying on external sources and moving away from the base curriculum that needs to be taught.
Opportunities; Can be used to engage students who otherwise find it difficult to follow the spoken voice. Also for those who have different levels of interest in the subject.
Threats; Could be seen by other teachers as an attempt to hijack the learning processor as an easy teaching option. Could upset the status quo.
This is an example only, but at this stage you would decide if it was worthwhile in preparing a lesson plan useing technology.
During this period of relative inactivity you can review the different levels of students you have and the approach you use to teach them.
Laugh and Learn.
For the younger learners i am very focused on the laugh and learn approach. Make your lessons exciting with lots of movement ( Especially Kindergarten) as the younger students attention span is not as developed as the older students. Try to change activities every 5 – 10 minutes. Add a lot of visual stimuli ( Pictiures, posters and flashcards) as well as aural input. ( You tube videos and sing alongs). And games. One of the best ways to teach English is by playing games. There are games for every skill . You have..
- Listening Games
- Speaking Games
- Reading and Writing Games
- Vocabulary Games
- Grammar Games
You can play hangman, Taboo, Pictionary, slap the board, last man standing and board race just to name a few of the hundreds of games out there. My advice is to try out a few games and see which ones work for you and your students. Happy hunting.
Put your time to good use and get your classroom preparation done. Your emplorers and your students will be impressed and you will be held in high esteem and hopefuly rewarded as a result.
Quite often be bemoan the fact that we don’t have enough time to put together the classroom lessons and activities we wish we had. here is your chance.
And if finances are starting to whittle away, now is also the time to look at adding other income streams to your ESL Teaching career. I will be covering this in my next post.