Have you decided to become an English teacher? Congratulations on choosing one of the most rewarding and outstanding professions.
You are teaching the language that crosses cultures and countries providing new opportunities and opening doors to the students.
When I was a student myself, I could never think of becoming a teacher, not to say, I could hardly imagine becoming an English teacher; I hated English. I hated the methods my teacher used to apply in the classroom, I hated the way she downloaded information to us to regurgitate it for better performance with standardized tests.
All the teaching was about how much we could remember what we’re taught. However, here I am, an English teacher collaborating with different teaching centers, having a lot of success stories to share and being proud of the profession I have.
Here are some tips from my own experience on how to become a successful English teacher:
1. Create a positive classroom atmosphere
Use 4Cs to establish great learning environment for the students:
- Collaboration and
- Critical thinking
Make sure you collaborate and communicate with your students. Let your students be creative as their brain naturally seeks creativity. Help your students develop and use critical thinking; a crucial skill to be successful in life. These 4Cs are the modern names of traditional human skills; humanity could not survive if not these.
2. Build relations with your students
If you have a really healthy and caring relationship with your students, you will definitely influence their attitude, behavior and life quality.
Showing care and interest in your students’ lives is a great tool in your professional arsenal to wield a teaching power. It is sensible to set a positive teacher-student relation to establish beneficial learning climate where the student is willing to perform, is not being shy and receives the support.
Respect is the word that best describes the relationship between the student and the teacher; you will receive the respect you give. Remember that the secret of education is actually in mutual respect.
3. Correct and give feedback
As a teacher, you have to correct mistakes; this is your responsibility, otherwise, your students may not learn the accuracy and the fluency.
One way of doing it is to take notes about the mistakes your students make while performing in a class and at the end of the lesson, you can give a general feedback on the mistakes. But you should be aware that the students tend to repeat the same mistakes if they do not have enough drilling.
Prioritize the mistakes and correct the most important ones; seek a pattern and be realistic. Every single error should not be corrected; students may feel estranged and unwilling to contribute more to the lesson if you stop them every time they make a mistake.
Just ignore some mistakes; do not embarrass them and let them perform more comfortably. Millennials need to understand and analyze their progress and receive regular feedback as they pursue personal growth.
As an English teacher it is your task to help them achieve their goals. In order for the students to progress and become successful, they need your constructive and honest feedback on how they are doing.
4. Be ready to learn from your students
Children are usually more tolerant and open-minded, while we are more into our ways and principles. Unlike us, children are not picky about things that come in their way; they are eager to know, learn and copy.
As a teacher myself, I used to be more reluctant to take risks and leave the comfort zone. I would sit back and give in if the challenge was unknown, or the situation required new skills.
With the gratitude to my students, I have to admit that I learned to face challenges, discover the new and take risks. I have a new motto now: “It is here and now”; a motto that drives my professional and personal life.
5. Encourage and inspire
We as teachers do not have the tools to make an average student capable of competence and performance, but we manage to reach the unattainable even if we usually do not have adequate tools.
Students are more realistic than we can expect; they need to see that they can use English in real situations. So, make your lessons more practical and encourage them to learn to explain what the point is in learning what they have to.
You can use true-to-life problems and instruct your students to solve them. As an English teacher, you understand that English is the way to access more knowledge and develop more skills to apply in real life.
The more we inspire our students to learn, the more motivated they will be to accomplish the goals.
6. Encourage an independent language learner
Involve your students in the decision making of what and how they learn, as they become more involved and inspired.
Your independent learners will definitely become more concentrated on own learning goals; they identify their needs, focus on the language and improve the needed language skills.
If you have independent learners in your class, your class will better understand their strengths and weaknesses, recognize their progress and manage their learning more effectively.
This will help them be more skillful in their day-to-day lives. This development built over time will make more conscious and independent citizens.
7. Develop yourself, make a better version of yourself every day
Professional burnout is a real and common problem for teachers. The energy you have to tackle every single can be in short supply.
In the teaching profession, we see that there is no limit to your growth as an educator. Do not forget that technical skills can make you a good teacher but the success will come down to how people perceive you.
Set both professional and personal goals before procrastination sets in your way; that will keep you motivated and find a drive every day to wake up and start a new day.
So, while choosing a great and complicated profession, invest in yourself to become more effective, more needed and more professional. Have a nice journey!