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Transforming Last Year’s Experience into New Year’s Wisdom

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The ability for assessing and decision making attested reality of all human-centered professions is their subjectivity to perpetual change. Therefore it is hard to attain perfection in all aspects. The areas, skills and approaches that constitute the teaching practice viable are:

  • Reliable managerial skills
  • Fairness and good judgment
  • The ability to establish a good educational setting
  • The ability to sense and respond to learners’ needs
  • Flexibility and adaptability without causing disruptions
  • The ability to develop trust
  • The ability to communicate eloquently and comprehensively

 

Proactiveness and anticipation

Successful teaching is dependent upon a range of circumstances, some of which are beyond the EFL/ESL teacher’s control.  Yet, some of the circumstances which confer to the fulfillment of the year’s outcome can be monitored and arranged. It would be helpful to invest in some of the essential components that seem to be closely connected to the optimal intended results.

 

Decisive Factors for Success for the New School Year

 

Classroom  Premises

Classroom arrangement and the surroundings where teaching takes place are important. Lack of appropriate, pleasant and comfortable environment can disfavor teaching and learning.

Ensure that students will be learning in a clean, well- ventilated, tidy classroom, preferably with natural light. Likewise, teachers feel more motivated and energetic when performing in nice and tidy classrooms.

Luckily, arrangements that upgrade the classroom are feasible, as they don’t require much time or extravagant costs.

In the case of learners with ADHD and/or other learning difficulties, too much visual information (distractors) and clutter can result in lack of concentration.

 

Enhancing the practice

Make teaching meaningful, have  a clear vision of the desired outcome and communicate it to the learners.

The first few days of the school years are crucial in:

  1. setting the appropriate tone,
  2. clarifying the classroom goals and procedures,
  3. explicate sanctioned and desired behavior and routines.

 

With regard to the intended routines and classroom rules, these seem to be more eagerly adopted when they are explained to the learners in the form of statements like“We need to be discreet upon late arrivals, or else the classroom’s discipline is disturbed”.  The guidelines should be reasonable and meaningful, serving actual educative ends.

 

The instructions once explained, might be forgotten, so it is suggested to be reiterated oftentimes until they are internalized. A revealing study of classroom management and organization conducted during the first weeks of the school year by Evertson and Anderson indefies:

 

 

Among the most highly ranked teaching qualities of the most effective teachers have been reported to be keen awareness of the particular importance the first experience with the classroom carries.

 

Hence, students were greeted individually, in an orderly manner, and the most successful teachers established themselves as the instructional leaders of their classrooms.

 

The less successful teachers, who had been noticed to seem inattentive to the new coming students, were occupied with something else and observed to be rather incapable of offering precise instructions; as a consequence, students were confused with regard to what was expected of them.

 

The effective teachers were noticed to exert more effort and energy in explaining the purposes of their guidelines and the goals that each classroom item served.

 

On the opposite extreme, the less effective teachers seemed to ignore important information required to introduce the newcomers into the school. In addition the students’ personal interest and curiosity was neglected or ignored.

 

The successful managers-teachers of the study demonstrated the ability to break down the desired routines and newly- presented tasks into components that students could digest and take into their stride.

 

On the contrary, the less effective managers-teachers would only explain or present tasks and procedures once.

 

The more successful managers realized that rules need to be repeated. Furthermore, they monitored their classrooms to ensure that rules and routines would be practiced. They were able to anticipate what the students’ questions might be, regarding their first assignment in the classroom, break down the assignment into manageable steps, explain it carefully and allow students to practice, thereby maximizing learners’ chances for success (Evertson and Anderson, 1979).

 

 

Concisely, the findings of the study concluded that clear, communicative and proactive teachers were noticed to yield better results in the long run as compared to their less effective peers.

 

Appropriateness of Selected Educative materials and Tools

The selected books and educational tools destined for a class yield the desired outcome if they are compatible with the learners’ background and learning styles. For instance, students with major learning and/or emotional challenges seem to engage more willingly when music, visual props and sometimes physical movement is involved during the lesson.

Hence, the appropriate time point to make a safe decision is after a couple of weeks (if the classroom is new and unknown to the teacher).

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