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Showing posts from 2019

3519. Enjoy Teaching when Your Students Are Trully Learning!

Teachers are important. We teachers are important for our students’ learning. We are important, if we help our students learn. Also our students need to hear us if we prepared ourselves great in order to teach well. They need a model. 
Anyway, we teachers have to help our students learn. According to Professor Ken Bain our college students should have more opportunities. We teachers may tend to punish or the sort when our students do not know the answer at an exam and they fail. They heretofore fail. 
Those students should have more chances to learn and try anew. Come on, you tried but should work and learn more, we could say to our pupils. And then you will try again, after some time of working hard. 
Our students should learn by a creative process. 
They could try and study humanities if they are studying engineering for example. They can benefit from those humanities. And the other way around: They should study science if they are graduating at humanities. That way they can benefit of …

3518. Learning a Lot by Reading: So Motivating!

Reading may be so motivating. For our students and for us their teachers. As well reading may be a skill that makes you learn a lot of a foreign or second language. 
I’m a foreign language teacher: I teach English to my countrymen Spanish people. And I can assure you that you learn a lot by reading. Also you acquire the language: you learn it in a not adverted way: you internalize a lot of language without being aware of that fact. 
Currently I’m re-reading a sequel or episode of Harry Potter, namely Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. It’s great. And I’m learning a lot. Now more than when I read it for the first time. 
Something to bear in mind: we have to accept that we learn little by little: a language is not learned by big chunks or by vast lots. Little by little. And if you’re enthused, much better. Just dedicate some minutes every day. 
By reading a lot you are creating and building up the language sense: you are able, you become able to discern whether something is English-l…

3517. Something Essential for Teachers: Don't Miss It!

We teachers wish to have peaceful classes with our students, right? At the same time we may wish for them, for our students to participate actively in those classes, also right? 
Something else to bear in mind: We have to love our students with benevolence love. 
Not because if we love them we will have no problems, but we have to love them in a generous way. That is, benevolence love is to seek what is good for them. We love them, we have to love them in a generous way, as I said. 
We in principle should seek what their parents want for them. Okay then, otherwise if we do not love them, we may be failing at something essential, and besides and moreover we may have discipline and behavior problems. On the contrary, if we seek what is good for them, we will be interested in seriously helping them. Each and every one of them. 
A teacher who attends his classes but at the same time he just wants to fulfill his strict obligation, well then, he may start to have problems. First he may be faili…

3516. On Positive Intrinsic Motivation in the Classroom

We teachers – we have a great profession! – have to correct our students, for we want to educate them for life, don’t we? Nevertheless also we have to reckon their work and let them know about what they do well and correctly! That counts for much and we will be boosting their learning! 
I can assure you it’s so, it’s like that, I’ve seen it in my students and in other groups of people. Positive motivation, positive intrinsic motivation can multiply what they do correctly. 
Furthermore that is a way of making them repeat what they do well. And they, our students, will do better what they already do well. And we’ll cover their error and mistake gaps. 
It’s not flattering, silly adulating, it’s kind of recognizing and noticing what they do well. 
We will not be all the time flattering our students. However, when they are doing something right, we can just say some “Yes…” so as to pull our students toward doing things correctly, and toward letting them continue saying a right answer to our qu…

3515. More on Motivating Our Students

Teaching is… great, once again. And watching and observing how our students are progressing or not very much… - so far - is also great. 
We have to plan our lessons with our students in mind. But I can also see and perceive that I have to keep on improving my teaching. Once and over again and again. No problem.
If you've been teaching for some quite many years, you can discover and find out what your students are in need of.  
Well, my students try to do their best. I teach English as a second language. This morning my students were saying what some words meant, from a worksheet with sentences and one longer text. That was one of the activities we were carrying out. 
That was good practice and I intended for them to notice and reckon that: that was good practice. 
For next class I will also say what those words mean, and thus I can mold the exercise for my students to have some more examples to imitate or to build up their definitions upon, also counting on what advanced students say w…

3514. How to Motivate Our Students: Some Hints

Teaching is great, as I’ve already said. Several times. I’ve said it several times. Ok. 
When teaching a second or foreign language we teachers have to create the atmosphere of communication in the classroom, even at the school corridors and halls. Communication in the school, that’s it. And communication in that language we’re teaching. 
But also we have to give our dear students language facts: vocabulary, grammar points, curious and interesting points about the language. 
And we should carry out activities where our students have to interact with us their teachers and with other learners as well. 
This morning I observed some of my students dialoguing in English at the beginning of the class. English is our common target language. They were talking about their yesterday’s experience at speaking with some American volunteers, young ones, who offer conversation sessions for my learners. These latter ones are adults, mostly retired people. 
They were making errors and mistakes – my student…

3513. Teaching with Affection Is Great

Teaching is so great. But it entails a big effort, right? In the classroom and out of the classroom we teachers have to strive to treat our students in a nice way. 
If the teacher really wishes his students would learn, he has to put all his self into action and that entails a big effort, as I said. 
The teacher, however, cannot teach as a mad man. He has to treat his students in a kind way. For that reason he has to teach whilst he’s thinking how to teach. 
For that reason he will teach in a serene way, thinking of what he’s doing. 
I had a friend who used to think while he was teaching. He was thinking and teaching at a nice rather slow rhythm. Not very slow, anyway. He did like that in order to be able to think while teaching. 
Also because of that he achieved to address each and every student, while he was presenting some issue. And he got to make his students contribute to the class by intervening a lot. His students intervened a great deal in the class. This one was not merely a spee…

3512. Important for Our Students: Learning How to Learn

We teachers do know that our dear students have to learn how to study, how to read with attention in order to memorize some concepts and relate them to one another. 
This way of studying entails some mental processes. And we teachers may be experts at this point. 
For that reason we should also dedicate some daily time to study ourselves. Also because we teachers have to recycle our knowledge and aptitudes. We are capable, likely, to help our dear students. We as adults have some special ways to study which can illustrate our students’ ways of studying. 
For example we can plan our daily studying. And thus we can teach our students how to plan this point. 
Also we know how to read for the gist. 
Also we know how to read and take in the main points and try to memorize them. 
Also we know ourselves and can deduce that at that or that specific times we’re more capable to memorize. 
Also we know how to relate our previous knowledge with something new. 
Also we have nice techniques for memorizing.…

3511. You Teacher, Relax and You Will Find the Solution

The main resource for classes is the teacher himself. And this teacher needs to have a growing capability for planning the lessons and for creating a nice atmosphere in the classroom for his students to learn better and better. 
This teacher needs to have a growing agile mind to face the problems he will likely encounter and even to boost his students’ eagerness to learn. 
Something I advise is for the teacher to make up the situation in which his students are. I mean, the teacher has to be able – through practice – to visualize each class of students and what they need most. For this class of students they need this, for that other class of students they need that, and so on. 
It’s a kind of clarity of mind to visualize what his students need most necessarily. 
Also I advise to carry out this task by strolling. Yes I sometimes carry out this kind of visualization by strolling along a park or the countryside, or other times by relaxing in an armchair and thinking about what my students ne…

3510. How to Expand Our Students' Vocabulary: Some Hints

Something which constitutes a big booster to learn a second language is just reading. Well, all four language skills ought to be practiced: listening, speaking, reading and writing. But I can confess you that reading books massively and intensively really helps you learn and acquire that language. 
One of the books I’m currently reading is Harry Potter, namely the third episode or sequel, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I read it also some ten or more years ago, so I know the story. And it is still interesting. 
I read also for just fun or entertaining. 
And I do not get too trapped in looking up words I don’t know – I enjoy the reading. 
As well I’m studying and working on a C1 English textbook and I can assure you also I’m learning quite a lot. C1 is one of the levels of mastering a language: it equals to advanced level, with C2 as the highest level possible. They’re levels at the European framework of reference: A1 and A2 are basic, B1 and B2 are intermediate and C1 and C2 ar…

3509. Preparing Our Students for Communication in Today's World

Communication in the classes of a second language is necessary and essential. Of course. But by no means do I say that grammar and memory are not necessary. They are, indeed. 
And our young learners, our students, are capable of understanding grammar and of memorizing for example the English irregular verbs. 
Grammar is like the skeleton of language and useful for communication in that language. And some sane memorizing new vocabulary words can be a language-learning booster. 
Thus both communication and firstly studying grammar and memorizing can be genial path-mates. 
I have traveled through grammar and memory in my learning English to achieve some communication for example when right now I’m composing this post. 
So let’s dedicate some time to grammar and its memorizing in the classroom. In a sane comprehensive way and combined with communication and practice. And all this in a peaceful and joyful way. Have a nice day. --- In my case, my male students could understand grammar since they…

3508. Several Considerations at the Beginning of the School Year

I have met several teachers along my career as a teacher and have seen that an enthused teacher gets his students enthused over the school subject. 
Those teachers plan and program their lessons. And if they’re second language teachers they achieve their students would use and utilize that language. Those teachers’ method may be communicative: the second language is employed as a vehicle for communication in the classroom. 
Furthermore the classroom becomes a piece of a country where that tongue is spoken. I have seen it along my career as a teacher. 
And if that teacher is not native of the second tongue, he strives to also learn and acquire it. 
I knew a teacher with not much time left and he used to just learn one word or a few ones every day, every single day, with perseverance. 
How to achieve the students would use the language? For example by means of jigsaw activities or puzzles where some students have an information gap to be filled by other students who have that piece of inform…

3507. Teaching Students to Work on Their Own

Every teacher, if he or she wants to be a pretty good one, has to learn how to delegate upon their students. Clear enough, let me tell you. 
Well, we must know that they can do quite much on their own. For example they have to learn how to read and understand an activity or exercise they are addressed to resolve. We teachers could tell them how to make it… but that way they will not learn and progress. 
That is not against often telling them and molding them how to solve those problems or activities, and quite often we’ll have to intervene, but if we do know they already have to make it on their own… let them do it themselves. 
Also in that way we’re educating them and moreover they will feel we are willing to educate them: they expect we’re letting them learn and do their business. 
At those times we’re spectators of their learning process. 
We could help them but… no: let them work on their own, although they might do things rather wrong: they’re learning! 
As well we could set some chore…

3506. Do You Want to Become a Very Very Good Teacher?

Committed and constant teachers hit the jackpot of teaching well. They may be very good teachers. 
Those professionals also are continuously open to learn how to be better teachers. They wish to serve the school families and their children alike. They are open to learn new things, because they know they are not perfect. 
Thus they turn to reading from books how to become better teachers. They’re open to read books and perhaps also from websites, blogs, and teachers forums. It’s so because they wish to hear from other professionals. They’re prone to trust in and rely on what other teachers say, also on those other teachers’ experiences. 
They want to learn from their best colleagues throughout the world. They’re open to receive correction from other colleagues. And they react in a nice way to those corrections ultimately. Maybe at first they feel some harshness when corrected but ultimately they react well. 
As well they’re prone to learn from the parents… and even from their dear students…

3505. Working on Interesting Texts in the Classroom

Some time I somehow enjoy in the classroom is when my adult students are reading and working on the worksheets I hand them out. The new school year is coming on and now it is a nice time to think of the good things teaching has. 
Sometimes, as I said, my students dedicate some time to revising those worksheets I make myself. 
While they’re reading I can contemplate them working and that’s nice too. 
They need that amount of time to focus and concentrate on those texts in English. It’s then when also they’re learning and acquiring that language. They often use their smartphones to look up words they don’t understand, on an online dictionary. 
They learn a lot mainly because they’re good learners. It’s also then when they’re a bit more of autonomous learners. 
As well that’s when I have some recess at my teaching them. And that’s important. Furthermore because I need some break within classes. 
Of course I keep at their disposal in case they have some questions. 
Who are the learners who have …

3504. On How to Learn a Lot of Vocabulary In and Out of the Classroom

Learning and acquiring a foreign language, like English in my case and my students’, demands learning and acquiring a vast vocabulary. This is clear enough, right? 
Something I implement when daily learning and acquiring English is reading books in that language. I consciously try and learn new words from those readings. Every single day. 
And when writing for example these blog posts some words come up to mind and then I use them, while writing. For example ways of saying things in English, or single words, or phrases. Or whatever. 
I am sure also I gain and acquire words I’m not aware I’m acquiring. Also those words may come up when writing. More often when I read more. 
Currently I’m reading a book about teaching English by great Jeremy Harmer plus a book on Apollo missions to the moon in the sixties and early seventies, when I was born and a young infant. Great. 
Sometimes I read as if I were writing those texts, word by word, and in that way it’s like I were using those new words – wh…

3503. You Want to Be Respected as a Teacher?

When I was at the English summer camp two weeks ago I thought of writing on class management and discipline when I had the chance to. And here I am. 
For example there was a teacher whom the kids of the camp respected a lot. Well, you know, he was nearly seven feet tall, but that was not all. He respected the kids. He used to get concerned about his students’ work and learning English. He tried hard to assist them at their everyday work. 
Also he would not raise his voice to address a disrupting kid. Not at all. It’s also true that those kids this year were respectful, but I mean he knew how to manage the class of students. Yes indeed. 
Alike then I thought and recalled about a teacher whom also her students had a lot of respect to. She taught chemistry. 
She was so concerned about her students that they tried to also respect her. Even they did not want to fail at exams to avoid provoking any annoyance to her. They knew she loved her students with benevolence love, and as all answer they …

3502. Are You a Creative Teacher?

Most of us teachers in earth north hemisphere may be on vacations. And we know that this break may be somewhat short. So we have to make good use of time. 
Do we know how to rest? Do we know how to make good use of this resting and relaxing time? 
I do know that we teachers on holidays may have other things to do at this time. But we must learn how to rest. I would say that this recess is for gathering forces and strength for the coming school year 2019-2020. 
It’s the time for rejuvenation and recovering our lost forces and strength. It’s a time to perhaps strolling around the countryside or along a solitary beach and think of things that can boost our ordinary work and laboring. 
It’s a time to think of our students in a new and fresh way: we’re educating the people that are our society’s near future. 
We deal with persons and do not dedicate our nice time to manufacture screws: we work with persons, human beings. And those our dear students can give a lot from themselves. 
We have to dre…

3501. Discipline and Class Management for their Happiness

In 10 days we will be starting an English summer camp for boys. Near Costa del Sol in southern Spain. A wonderful place and hopefully a wonderful camp. 
Now I’m thinking of the first announcements and advice I’ll tell the thirty students that are to attend it. Who will be responsible of conduct and behavior? The kids themselves. I’ll be saying some things that could penetrate in their heads though they may be not very conscious the first day. 
We teachers and monitors are sowing and planting seeds that will penetrate in them over time, maybe over years. 
They have to have a pen plus a notebook or A4 sheets – also a dictionary is sensible to have. They must be punctual, which amounts to be respectful to other people, other human persons. 
They will practice the four language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. They’ll have a wonderful chance to practice their English with a pair of native teachers: last year and other past years we had an African-American nice teacher who is …

3500. Students and Freedom. School Rules and Freedom

We teachers in the north earth hemisphere may be at vacations. And we do need to rest and relax, don’t we? I’m after it, I’m resting and relaxing. But we may do other small jobs, like attending a summer camp for boys for a couple of weeks. 
They will learn and practice their English with English native teachers. I’m making up some plan to help those kids. Something I must take into account is that they must learn some conducting rules, but ultimately they keep being free persons. 
Freedom is a value I must take into account. Freedom has a pedagogic and educative value, yes it has. We monitors have to respect that liberty. 
If those kids have freedom, they can likely let us monitors educate them, in accordance with what their parents wish for them. Only if the kids are free, they can better as persons. Because we teachers and monitors have to try to help them become better persons, and that’s what their parents and families wish for them. 
Only if they’re free, they can grow up as worthy p…

3499. Enhancing Rich Vocabulary in the Classroom

We teachers have to encourage our students to learn the second or foreign language. But it’s these latter ones who have to want to learn. 
Learning vocabulary is one point that deserves their attention and effort. Each word they learn is a step forward. 
In order to have a vast lexis they have to learn word by word. I insist on purpose: each word which is learned is a step toward success at learning a language. No words, no language. Many words, a lot learned. 
And a skill that promotes learning many words is reading massively and intensely. For example novels, or simplified and abridged readers. With contents that are respectful to our dear students. 
When reading is a skill that has been largely fostered and practiced, the learner learns and acquires words even in an unaware way. And that learner is acquiring the language sense, this is, the capability of learning in a thorough way and the capability of using the language for communication with other people. 

Also with that language sens…

3498. What Is a Good Teacher like? Some Hints

A good and committed teacher is the one who teaches individually. He may have a class of forty students, but he teaches somehow individually and personally. 
He may address the whole class but he’s referring to each one of his learners. He does so because he has love of benevolence toward each of his dear students. He seeks what is good for those students. And so in accordance to their dignity as singular human persons. 
And he tries to be an honest and honorable person himself. 
Also when he has set some work in groups he circulates among the groups while they’re working and gets to know how to monitor their work. He does not confine to fulfill his schedule but does more than he’s asked to. Also that in accordance to what their parents wish for their kids. 
And when his students ask him questions, he answers as if that student who’s asking was the only one in the classroom, although as well he says something that can benefit each and every one of his learners. 
I have seen this in a class…

3497. Toward Happy Communication between the Teacher and the Students

Let us not forget that we teachers of a second or a foreign language have to foster communication among people, among persons. 
Persons with all that that means. People’s dignity pushes up teachers to consider that being a human person entails a lot, quite a lot!
For example when treating our students in the classroom as well as out of the classroom along the school facilities, halls, corridors, common rooms, offices… we teachers have to empathize with those people, with those singular and significant persons. Also with very nice and exquisite respect toward them.
Also along the school year – which now is coming to an end here in Spain – we have to take into account what we learn and get to know about all those people. Let's listen to them carefully and by keeping what they say to us or to other teachers.
A teacher cannot treat those people like they were numbers or, even worse, steps upon which I can move up a selfish career toward my own selfish satisfaction. 
We are at the school to…

3496. Do You Have Any Intuition as a Teacher?

The good teacher tries to plan his or her lessons. Also he or she might as well dedicate some brief daily time to think of just something brief that each class-group of theirs may be in need of. Because each class-group is in need of something to improve, and their teacher tries to find out what that is. 
All that has to do with intuition. The teacher has some intuition about what each class-group really needs. And that teacher is capable of quickly finding about that necessity. 
As well when the school year is over, that professional will write down some brief experiences of how the school year went. 
He or she does so in order to next year build upon what worked the past year. 
They will write about positive as well as negative points. All that also has to do with intuition. 
For example he or she will write about how some new activities or some more general approach succeeded or perhaps did not do. All this can be written on a simple Word document, in brief lines too. 
A teacher who does…

3495. For Any Teacher to Become a Good Professional

The main source and resource for the classes is the teacher himself. He can be like a volcano in eruption, or otherwise a peaceful continuous stream down a hill flowing along the prairie ;-)
He is the main tank of activities, and even if he utilizes books, apps and programs, he is like a cinema director that directs the filming and all its details within. Any of you or nearly so can be that teacher, not a super-teacher anyway.
But he must have interior life. He must cultivate his thoughts, ideas and imaginations. And so he should have time available for thinking. Otherwise also his mental skills will make him make good use of the scarce time available. 
He will for example join one thought over here to another one, one more over there to this one, a luminous idea that occurs right in the middle of teaching a lesson, perhaps when one student is contributing to the class… 
Such great teachers have done so along the teaching history. Any of you can be that teacher. Over time.
What teachers ca…