In Part 1, I proposed Five Essentials for Ultimate Lessons. To be more alliterative, I could have called them my Five Fundamentals for Fantastic… oh whatever. Anyway, can you remember what they were? Well, if you can’t, you need to study harder, or I need to chat to you, because your five may be better than mine. I had, for my five essential, must have classroom kit: a board pen, pictures, students, a watch and a lesson plan. Well, this time I’d like to add five more. No
I was reading a magazine the other day. It was one of those magazines about making your home beautiful, a-la Martha Stewart. I don't particularly like home making magazines, and I don't like cooking, but there was an article in it by a famous chef I had never heard of, and he was waxing lyrical about the 10 things he could not do without in a kitchen when cooking one of his meals. One of them was canola oil. I don’t even know what canolas are, but it got me thinking. As
Whenever a chance comes to go out of Bangkok and visit the rural areas of Thailand, there is a ripple of excitement. Lopburi, by Thai standards, isn't that far away. But with a two-hour drive ahead of us, an early start was in order. Wat Sra Kra Beuang School is located around 200 kilometers north of Bangkok in a rice-paddy strewn paradise of greenery and lush tropical foliage. With only 90 students, the school doesn't have many facilities, and only 7 classrooms. Because
Number one on the list is to look and act like a professional teacher. Dress smartly. Buy some new shirts. Make sure you are clean-shaven and get a hair cut. For female teachers, dress conservatively. Skirts below the knees and arms covered or partly covered. No bare shoulders. Shower and smell nice. The number of times, over the years, I've heard complaints from students about smelly teachers! Carry some spare deodorant in your school bag. We all know how hot it can get in A
The fact is students are individuals. They have different interests, cognitive abilities and learning skills. Your expectations of them should start at zero in the first lesson. You can only have high expectations of yourself. These must include everything we've talked about already plus assessing what they know and what they need. Ignoring their needs and existing knowledge will lead to academic stagnation and your lessons will be over the heads of many and bore other studen
As teachers we all want to create an atmosphere that encourages, mentors and unites our students in a rich, learning-centred climate. We do have the 'danger zone' to consider. That is the first few weeks of teaching a new class. Your concern during this time is to firmly establish some ground rules. The students need to understand that you are the teacher and as such are in control. You are friendly, but not their friend. They are learning in your classroom. Yes it is your cl
Often teachers will start a job at the beginning of a new term. This time can be slightly chaotic for both teachers and students. Timetables, sometimes, have yet to be finalised or can be confusing. Ensure you have as much information as possible prior to your first day. Don't be afraid to ask questions from managers and colleagues. If you don't ask then it will be assumed that you already know or have been told. The same goes for teachers starting mid-way through a term - as
My husband and I came to Thailand on holiday in 2006 for a month and at that time we fell in love, not only with the place, but also with the people and the culture. We decided that we just had to come back, and not just for a holiday, but to stay! So, decision made, we signed up for the TESOL course in Bangkok. Before we left home for Bangkok, though, there was much fret and worry. Leaving everything to start a new career in another country can be pretty nerve-wracking!