Posted in My articles, This and that

Sitteaching?

As you know, there is no term as sitteaching. However, some of our colleagues assume that they teach when they sit, don’t make eye-contact, don’t use intonation, etc. Is it possible to teach like this?

I wasn’t planning to talk about that today but facebook showed me a video that I shared five years ago! Here is the link to the video:

When I watched the video, I thought our students are aware of everything we do and don’t do! Mostly they seem as if they are not following us in the lessons-especially nowadays with spring mood!- but indeed they are. However, it is easier for us to complain about their mischievous behaviours rather than paying attention to their body language or ideas. Sometimes all they want is attention.

As a person, I don’t like moving or doing any sports at all but as a teacher, I can’t stop walking, running or jumping in the class :))) My students mostly say “hocam, how can you be so energetic? What do you drink in the morning to get that energy?” I just smile as an answer. I believe real teachers are born to be active in the class. When the teacher is active, students feel an urge to be active. When I sit, I am bored so isn’t it normal for a student not to want to be a part of education process?

Of course we might be tired! However, even our tone of voice can help us at that point. We should share our energy with learners! But what if we don’t want to do anything as a teacher?

First, we should find something we are interested in as a person and do it more often.

Second, we should get more fresh air which will make us more positive and give us energy.

Third, we should ask for new teaching ideas to colleagues, forums, or read some research-which is boring to me!

Then, we should ask our learners what they want to see in the class.

Finally, we should brainstorm about these and then start an action plan.

Seriously, it is not as difficult as it seems! Just start from somewhere and you will find yourself in the middle of production and creativity.

How did I come up with these steps? I have been in that process for the last few weeks :)) Nowadays I feel much closer to producing something and now I am writing here 🙂

Come on, stand up or sit down and start somewhere! A teaching term is too short  to wait for the inspiration ship to come to you so go for it!

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Posted in My articles

Some practical ideas on learner motivation

As we are approaching the end of the term, our students are feeling unmotivated soon and we are “infected”, too. That’s why we need to prevent this, otherwise our lessons will be really boring and a kind of torture both for our students and us. I believe nobody wants that!

We all know there is a strong connection between student and teacher motivation so we affect one another somehow. Why don’t we make use of that connection and make our classes more enjoyable than we used to see? If your answer is yes, let me suggest you some ideas:

  1. Reward your students. That reward doesn’t have to be a big one of course! When one of our students performs a task successfully, we can ask the student choose a song and play it while the others are doing an activity like reading, speaking
  2. Explain. When our students wonder why they have to learn a specific topic, provide them with explanations (Harris, 1991). When they realize we don’t see them as machines which only fulfill tasks, they will be happier to participate.
  3. Care. When they share a song, a book or a movie in the class, we may have a look at it on our own. Then tell the student what we think about that item honestly and see the gleam in their eyes! You have cared about their ideas.
  4. Provide choices. As teachers we always say “My students want spoon feeding all the time!” or “They don’t have autonomy!”. If we present choices, they can choose what they want and change their attitudes in process of time. You can even ask “We have two books in our program today and I wonder which book you would like to begin with”. Done!
  5. Collaboration. We can ask our students to study together more than before. I am not saying monitoring each group or pair will be very easy for you; however, they will feel more comfortable with their friends instead of talking in front of everyone. Thus, we can use collaboration.
  6. Get feedback. We all think we are doing great things in the class, but are we sure that they are so great? Without getting feedback, we can’t know where our “ship” is heading. To illustrate, we can ask our students to write their opinions related to the activities of the week on a piece of paper without writing their names. Collecting the feedback and then reading them on our own might help us.
  7. Be open to new ideas. We can try something new and this not just related to teaching. We should try something new in our lives like a place, dish, movie etc. Having routines will lead to a decrease in the level of motivation.

All in all, motivating our students is not as difficult as we may believe.

Changing small details can help us find motives for new teaching methods.

References

 Harris, R. (1991). Some ideas for motivating students. Retrieved on March 3, 2014. http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/affective/motivation.html http://www.crlt.umich.edu/sites/default/files/resource_files/Nilson- adaptedmotivation.pdf

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