Teaching the coursebook vs teaching your students
A delicate balance.
Coursebooks suck. Most teachers I know don’t like the coursebook they use. Some actively hate it and blame it for making their lives worse. They say it’s irrelevant to their students. Linguistically it’s too easy or too difficult for 80% of the class. If you’re teaching overseas, then culturally, there’s no point of connection for students.
Also, it’s just ‘plain boring’.
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To put it another way, why should you put the whims of some writer you’ve never met above what you know your students need right now?
Talk about demotivating your students.
As a teacher, match teaching the coursebook (because students’ parents get upset when you don’t) with ensuring your students learn something while staying motivated.
So how do you balance the two?
Balancing Teaching the Coursebook and Students
Teach the least amount of the coursebook that you can get away with.
Controversial, I know.
If you have a forward-thinking academic manager, have that conversation with them. How many pages per chapter need to be filled in for parents not to complain? Can you set all of those for homework?
A More Ambitious Approach
Educate your student’s parents about what makes for good teaching.
Not strict adherence to the textbook, but paying attention to what your students need to learn. Finding ways to motivate them, so they use English outside the classroom. Building rapport with them in class, so they want to speak English.
Can you hold a parent workshop? Can your academic manager?
This is a tough sell to your school management and customers, as the coursebook is most likely used as a sales tool to entice the customer to buy.
See you again in two weeks.
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