It’s time to start over!

It is August, and most language teachers are likely to be here: back to the beginning of a brand new semester. For those of us who are teaching new groups (and why not old ones too), it is the perfect moment to reflect from two different perspectives:

Leaving our comfort zone

Every semester is a golden opportunity to become better at what we do. For this reason, I usually think of the areas I would like to work on and investigate more about in order to improve as a teacher. I also try to narrow my goals down so that they are hopefully more tangible and measurable. Here are some possibilities that are likely to make us leave our comfort zone as well as have an immediate impact on our teaching:

  • Video-recording our lessons;
  • Inviting peers to observe our lessons;
  • Observe as many teachers as possible.

Making it happen for someone else

Teaching is a very serious business. Not only are we teaching someone to communicate in a new language, but we are also changing a life, here and now. For this reason, it is paramount to know who the people in front of us are, what they want, where they come from, where they hope to get to after taking this English course, among other things. Here are some possible ways to do so:

  • Ice breakers and Warmers throughout the course with an agenda: gather information about learners and help them get to know each other;
  • Ongoing Needs Analysis;
  • Questionnaires used PRE-MID-POST course.

Going back to the beginning, I would like to invite all of you, fellow teachers, who are eager to learn and hope to instil in other teachers this passion for Continuous Professional Development, to choose an area to develop that will truly make you leave your comfort zone. Finally, when we look at our learners, I would also like to invite you not to see students, but possibilities and lives hoping to thrive.

I look forward to meet you all here in September so that we can share chosen areas for development and ways that helped us know our learners better!

Lenora Haranaka

Lenora Haranaka is a teacher & coach at Cultura Inglesa São Paulo. An ICELT and DELTA (M1-2) holder, she has taught English for 15 years and has presented in ABCI and Braz-Tesol conferences. She is currently finishing the DELTA M-3 and her academic interests are teacher development, pronunciation and ELT methodology.

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