The 7 roles of a teacher, part 4: THE ELASTIC

Children are highly unpredictable in their behaviour. Because of this fact you cannot always stick to your plan. Planning a lesson is important but you need to be flexible like ELASTIC. When you see something does not work because either your students are not in the mood for a particular task or it needs some adjustment, be ready to stop it immediately and start something new. Otherwise children will either get bored or start to misbehave. With small children you must be able to change according to the situation. If you are an experienced teacher such changes usually come naturally. If you lack experience, though, make sure you have got some emergency tasks at hand so you do not panic when you need to change the course of actions.

It is also very important to be able to take advantage of spontaneous situations during the lesson. They are often the best opportunities for real, meaningful communication. Do not smother such situations for the sake of sticking to the plan. Use them by reacting in English to what students say in between the tasks, ask questions, show your interest, praise even for simple words or misused phrases. This will definitely build students’ confidence and creativity in using the language.

How to be ELASTIC?

  • If a task does not work, stop it. Think why it did not work and either change the way you introduce it or motivate students before you try it next time or simply come back to it when students are in a better mood for it
  • React and modify your actions according to what your students say or do
  • Have some emergency ideas / tasks at hand
  • Do not worry if you cannot follow your plan every time

Click for the next episode: THE ROCK.

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