Friday, April 4, 2014

Teaching: the Small Stuff that Actually Matters

If you want to see me live and in-person, come check out the Kotesol Busan-Gyeongnam Symposium on April 12th at Busan National University.  I'll be talking about my top 10 small things that actually matter in the classroom.  Leading up to that, I'll be taking the next 10 days or so to talk about each one individually. 

Small Thing #1: Where are you going?

People like to know the plan, particularly if they are the organized type like I am.  Even those who are generally not organized probably like to know as well.  In the classroom, students like to know what's going on.  What is the beginning and middle and end of a class.  And students seem to feel reassured about the whole thing if they know that the teacher has actually prepared.  I've taken some language classes where it felt like the teacher threw together some crap 1 minute before walking into class and was just making stuff up on the spot.  It didn't give me a happy, comfortable feeling. 

Anyway, in the classroom, I'll always write up the plan on the side of the board.  Just general stuff and this is maybe what is would like for a conversation class:

Today's Plan:

1. Warm-up: review game xyz

2. Simple past - pg. 12 + conversation practice

3. Listening - pg 13

4. Simple past board game

5. Homework: Workbook pg. 34

For my writing classes, it's usually much simpler and I just throw it up at the first slide of my PPT for the students to check out as they come into class. 

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