New Year, new teacher! Do things in a different way

Louise Potter

We all make New Year´s resolutions for the coming year. These resolutions are generally related to our personal life, such as eat less chocolate, go to the gym at least twice a week and maybe quit a certain addiction we have.

Let´s try to focus on our professional life and make resolutions towards being a different teacher. You can ask me – what does it mean to be a different teacher? I will go through some points that I am sure will make you rethink your practice.

1. Give your students a saying towards what they are going to do in the classroom. That does not mean you have lost control over your content. It means your students can choose how they would like to discuss the topic. Let them research a little before you come up with all the answers for them. Study a little about Project Based Learning or take our online course – Beyond the Course Book – in which we go through the main points related to Project Based Learning.

2. Redesign your classroom. Not only in the sense of changing the furniture around and having students look at each other instead of looking at each other´s backs, redesign the way you are teaching. Lower your TTT (teacher talking time) and give your students time to expose their findings and their work. It is not an easy task for a teacher to talk less; in fact, it takes more planning time.

3. Incorporate other resources other than the course book. Again, we go over many different resources in our online course Beyond the Course Book. Try to redesign your course book so your students are able to be more active in their learning process. It takes more time to plan your class, but the outcome is definitely more rewarding.

4. Use more learning centers. We know students need to be mentally active in the classroom, but they also need to move around and move their body in order to use their minds. Students are responsible for their own learning and timing when they do different activities in different centers. They are motivated and eangaged.

Use these topics and research for more to improve and twist your teaching for the coming year! Be a different teacher this year. Change is challenge, but why are we teachers anyway?