As a part of the CELTA experience, trainees need to do TPs (teaching practice). Since the start of the course, we have already had 2 TPs and got valuable feedback from our tutors on the way we teach and changes we might introduce into our practice.
I do not have the chance to hear the feedback given to every individual in my class because the class is divided into 3 teaching groups. So, I will be sharing the teaching tips given to my group mates and me.
I must also point out that I will be sharing about 5-10 tips every time I write about TPs, and I will be doing that for Saturdays and Sundays. I hope you’ll enjoy reading them and find practical ideas for your own teaching.
Here come the first five tips for our teaching group by Chia Suan Chong who has always become quite patient and empathizing with us -I hope she will always be so 🙂
1) Remember to sit in your chair at times: This one is the most interesting for me because I had always thought the other way around, standing for the sake of showing to learners that you are the authority. However, teachers need to remember that they are facilitators, so they need to get out of the presenter mode, and they should be sitting in their chairs in the center of the classroom while monitoring their students for pair/group work (moving around the classroom in the chair at the same time), eliciting answers from students during open class discussions, and even while giving instructions for an activity.
2) Answer questions from where you are: This is one of the points I had never thought about, too. It is good for the fact that all students will hear the answer to any question, and that will help you save time by avoiding another student asking the same question during the lesson. And it is better if you do that in your chair.
3) Have separate column on the board for emergent language: As students work, they may always need assistance from their teachers with words or grammar. Teachers should make notes of them in their notebooks and display on the board for the other students following the activity before moving on to the next one or finishing the lesson as a wrap-up.
4) Change pairs/groups from time to time: This is really a useful point to keep in mind because the goal for any lesson is to create opportunities for students to interact with each other. Interaction, doubtlessly, is more interesting when it is with a number of other people because there will always come new ideas from others. It is also good for class dynamics as students will make new friends, and the class will share more.
5) Step the pace up at times: Sometimes it takes students more time than you plan to do an activity or things may go slower while eliciting answers following the activities. When that happens, teachers need to push the students and make quicker transitions from answer to answer. At the same time, teachers need to look more energetic by, for example, snapping fingers where necessary as they facilitate the open class discussion.