If you’ve ever sat down for drinks with a group of teachers the conversation will inevitably turn to students and co-workers. You’ll hear us groan about the usual headaches, laugh at some oddball nicknames (Poo-poo, Golf, Best, Beer – all real students of mine). In the TESL world, a teacher’s reputation is extremely important. A positive word from an reputable source can lead to new and lucrative job opportunities and vice-versa which is why everytime I hear a teacher-friend say, “Oh yeah, I’ve worked with Mr.Smith – he’s an amazing teacher!” I immediately ask back, “Why is he so great?” It was important for me to understand what qualities in a teacher are valued and respected so I could one day own a great reputation of my own.
The decision to make this blog forced me to revisit those old discussions and really think about what makes a great teacher and why. Next I started breaking it down into steps and putting together a starter kit for ESL teaching. Here’s what I came up with:
Building Blocks for TESL to Young Learners
Step 1. Classroom Management
Step 2. Understanding the study culture
Step 3. Lesson Planning
Step 4. Resources and Content
Step 5. Breaking the Ice
Step 6. Finding your niche
Step 7. Recognizing/Coping with Burnout
Step 8. Looking ahead
I’m sure as I go, these steps will morph and change. For now, however, this is my starting point. My hope for this blog is to one day, when my fingers are tired and my library is full, approach some colleagues of mine and persuade them to contribute their TESL knowledge as well.
My niche in teaching has always been with young learner classes (specifically the 4 to 8 year-old group) – but if dreams come true and pigs can fly, I might one day have a comprehensive guide to teaching Kindergarten, Young Learners, Teenagers, and Higher Education. Fingers crossed! 🙂