16 Tips to be # 1 Teacher
1. Learn your students’ names.
You will be able to control your class better and gain more respect if you learn the students’ names early on. If you are one who has a poor memory for names, ask each student to bring a photo of his own and write his name below it. Your students will be impressed when you call them with their names.
2. Establish authority from the beginning.
Establish a system for communication in the classroom from the first day. Deal quickly with inappropriate conduct in a friendly yet firm manner.
3. Be overly prepared.
You must be well mentally prepared for each lesson. You should know the sequences of activities and how long each activity will take. You should also have an additional activity prepared in case you have extra time.
4. Always consider the learners’ needs when preparing for each lesson.
Why are your students studying English? How will they use English in the future? What do they need to learn? The answer of these questions helps you specify what and how to teach and what to focus on.
5. Be prepared to make changes to your lesson plan.
If the lesson you have prepared isn’t working, don’t be afraid to modify it. Be sensitive to the students and the conditions around.
6. Find out what learners already know.
This is an ongoing process. Students may have already been taught a particular grammar point or vocabulary. Base your lesson on their prior knowledge and provide them with additional information that they don’t know.
7. Be knowledgeable about grammar.
You don’t have to be a linguist to teach EFL. Most of what you need to know can be learned from reading the students’ books. Often the rules and explanations about structure in the students’ books are much more accessible and realistic than in other books
8. Be knowledgeable about the learners’ culture.
The learners’ culture can be a valuable tool for teaching. Knowing it will raise your ability to communicate effectively with your students.
9. Don’t stick literally to the set book.
Add any extra necessary vocabulary, functions, grammar, or topics that you feel the students may want or need.
10. Don’t assume that the set book will always work.
Many activities must be modified to make them work, and some have to be changed completely to cope with the educational setting.
11. Teach vocabulary effectively.
The building blocks of language are not grammar and functions. The most essential thing students need to learn is vocabulary; without vocabulary you have no words to form sentences, no words to pronounce. Help your students to use the stock of vocabulary in their minds and learn more.
12. Proceed from more controlled activities to less controlled ones.
Not always, but in general, present and practice more structured activities before freer or more open ones.
13. Don’t neglect the teaching of listening.
Listening is the most important skill to teach your students. While listening to each other and to the teacher will improve their overall listening ability, this can be no substitute for listening to authentic English. As much as possible, try to expose your students to authentic English in a variety of situations. The best way to do this and the most realistic is through audios and videos. Videos are much more motivating and culturally loaded.
14. Turn regular activities into games or competition.
Many familiar teaching points can be turned into games or activities with a competitive angle. It is a sure way to motivate students and activate them to work on the language.
15. Motivate your students with variety.
By giving a variety of interesting topics and activities, students will be more motivated and interested, and they are likely to practice more.
16. Don’t leave the learners in the dark.
Explain exactly what they are expected to learn in a particular lesson. Make sure that students know what they are doing and why. Each task should be introduced so well that students know what to do exactly.