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Looking Back / Looking Forward


A big otsukaresamadeshita to everyone who worked hard right up until the end of the year. Soon, we will all take some much needed rest and set off on our winter break. Before that, let's take a moment to reflect on this year - what teaching goals we achieved, and what we hope to achieve in the year 2020.

Looking back through our blog articles and responses from teachers, there were some particular themes that were commented on more often than others. Let's reflect on them in no particular order.

We had an article on embracing change, another on getting outside one's comfort zone, and another on the various stages of culture shock. All of these emphasize adapting to change and making every situation a better one (to become better teachers and to keep the students on their toes!).

Reflection: Got some old worksheets that need a makeover? How about a game/activity that needs tweaking to keep the students engaged and motivated? Never tried using technology in the class before? Don't worry, it's never too late to start! Your mission is to never plateau, and every good teacher can always become a better teacher.

Some of our articles covered game/activity ideas, styles of learning, and being fun in general. Fun teaching + fun learning = fun for everyone! There are a lot more pros than cons in a fun learning environment. You'll find yourself looking forward to work every day, give a positive vibe on the class, and the students will digest English better when in an enjoyable environment. There are endless amounts of ways to have fun while 'learning', and who can honestly say they don't line to have fun?

Reflection: Did you and the students have a smile in the class more often than not? Did you make sure one of the top priorities was to deliver an engaging way for them to review and learn English? Hopefully you can answer yes to both questions. If you feel you were too strict or serious, remind yourself that 2020 is going to be about fun! 

Articles on maximizing student talking time. One was on the 3Ps (Presentation, Practice, Produce) where the Practice and Produce parts ideally taking the majority of class time. The other was on LTTT (Limit Teacher Talking Time). Some teachers are great at presenting the language and giving instruction in a very simple and bare bones method, leaving a bunch of time for learner interaction. On the flip side, some other teachers spend a lot time explaining, going into a lot of detail and examples that don't relate to the students... who in turn begin to lose focus and zone out... 

Reflection: Which one are you? Reflect upon your lessons and see how much time you spend on explaining and lecturing. See how much time the students get to interact with you and one another. This is the perfect time to make a change if it's an area that needs improvement. Save your voice for karaoke!

Many people make new year's resolutions and forget about them after a few weeks. Instead of making a new year's teaching resolution, think about some of the points above and see how they relate to you. We all want to be better teachers, and we can all find areas that need improvement in our careers. Self reflection is the key to improvement, and motivation is the key to making those hopes reality. Best of luck in the coming year, and let's make 2020 the best teaching year yet!

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