Being a Private English Teacher, or a teacher in an other field, is a respectful but really challenging lifestyle. Yes, Lifestyle. What do I mean? Teaching must not be only a lesson-long activity.
As a novice teacher it might not be sensed, but teaching gets to be involved more and more into our everydays and private sphere.
After a while, trying to relax with a good book or film at home, you may realize that your thoughts are full of your students and the new methods that can make your lessons more enjoyable.
The „dark side” is if the time comes when you feel to be burnt out, the lessons are getting boring, you are not creative enough. Not only you, but also your students feel this and the worst thing that can happen is that they stop attending to your lessons.
Let’s see 10 ways to avoid boring lessons, getting over the threshold. Even if you are not that real teacher type, but you would like to refresh your lessons.
Try to imply some vocabulary, speaking or grammar games. Students love playing. Therefore the lessons will be active and a lot of new things can be learned. Situation games are one of my favourites, because these can be very funny and students can forget their problems for at least a lesson-time.
2. Read News
Excellent speaking activity, not only for intermediate English learners, but also for pre-intermediate ones. Sometimes course books get boring, but with current issues you can make your students be up to date and learn such vocabulary that is used in every days, in real situations.
People like talking about themselves. Try asking general questions and in case the student gets excited about a topic, make him/her talk about it. You will seem to be open-minded and even a shy student can gain self-confidence and will be less shy.
4. Be sensitive
Whenever your student appears to be tired or full of stress, always try to distract. Avoid speaking about the problem and play a short game as an icebreaker or teach him/her new grammar or translate a text so that the student can concentrate on something totally different than the problem.
5. Be enthusiastic
My students are always amazed how much I am keen on teaching grammar. Speaking personally, when pretending to even go to bed with an English grammar book, it has always enabled me teaching grammar without any boredom and disgust. However, learning grammar is one of the most boring part for students.
6. Give advice
As the student does not understand something or a new type of homework causes problems, give advice! You are the teacher, the student wants you to solve his/her problem. You have the key to tell them how to deal with a task. Furthermore, give personalised advice and you will look absolutely professional.
7. Deal with the problem
If the student has a weakpoint, spend more time on developing that skill. If the student is lack of writing skills, provide more writing exercise. If the listening is the weakpoint, spend more time on doing listening exercise. Moreover, give homework on that particular topic because it is never enough to practise only during the lesson.
When the student has an extraordinary achievement, a nice essay for instance, reward him/her! It is really important so that you can maintain the motivation. On the other hand, if the performance is not the best, never let your student down, let him/her know that the next time everything will work better and practice makes perfect.
9. Provide suitable exercices
This is a really motivating and well-working practice to improve motivation. Try to transform the weak skills into similar exercises that the student can do well.
Never be afraid of telling the truth! The learner’s knowledge can only improve, if you correct him/her and pay attention to the progress. Never deny telling them when they are wrong or some fields need more practice!
+1. Train yourself!
Last but not least, the most important thing to be an extraordinary Private English Teacher, is to train yourself! Learn new phrases, new methods so that your lessons will never be boring because you, the teacher, can continuously renew!
Annamária Ibos, non-native English teacher from Budapest, Hungary, with more than five years English teaching experience for groups and private students.
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