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15 Decisions TEFL Teachers Make
That new teachers often have no idea they’re making.
Most teachers have no idea why they do what they do.
The best teachers you’ll ever meet are those who take the time to analyse their actions and decisions in TEFL teaching. They consider how each action affects their students and colleagues.
They act deliberately rather than randomly. Every action has been thought about (often many times, for each class or even each student).
I love the autonomy that TEFL teachers have to manage their own time. However, that freedom comes with a price.
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The price of freedom is taking responsibility for your actions and making a vast number of decisions to support those actions. Many unconscious habits build up if you don’t consciously make those decisions.
Look at the decisions below. There are no correct answers; each teacher must decide the right balance for themselves. A lot of these are on a continuum, a sliding scale, they’re not black and white.
Your decisions will depend on you, your students, your classroom dynamics, your teaching assistant, your curriculum, your school policies, and your personal preferences.
Having a deliberate reason for doing what you do is a great start.
Inside the Classroom
Time helping individuals vs helping the class
Teacher talking time vs student talking time vs quiet time.
Co-operate with teaching assistants vs Ignoring them
Individual work vs pairwork vs group work vs whole-class work
Classroom routines vs no routines
Teaching vs facilitating
Instructing vs motivating
Outside the Classroom
Planning time vs teaching time
Inductive vs deductive grammar
Time at work vs time outside of work
Professional development vs time in the pub
Respect and socialise with local staff vs ignoring them
PPP vs ESA vs TTT vs TBL vs Dogme vs Silent Method vs….
Being organised vs a chaotic mess
The Most Important Decision of All
Caring vs not caring (do you want to make a difference in every lesson, every day?)
See you again in two weeks.
Whenever you're ready, there are three ways I can help you:
1. Learn how to plan better, faster and stress-free with my book Lesson Planning for Language Teachers (90 ratings, 4.5⭐ on Amazon).
2. Develop calm students, a relaxed mind and a classroom full of learning with my book Essential Classroom Management (16 ratings, 4.5⭐ on Amazon).
3. Improve your teaching in five minutes daily with my Reflective Teaching Practice Journal (4 ratings, 4.5⭐ on Amazon).