11 September 2015 / by Rob Wylie
Returning after the summer break!
September has come back around again and the summer holidays are well and truly finished, so that means for most of us it´s back to work and those nice lie-ins are a thing of the past. A bout of the holiday blues is more than likely to be affecting you so how can you get rid of those feelings and make sure you are ready for the new school year?
The first thing to remember is that most of the students will probably be feeling exactly the same as you. They themselves will have had time off and away from learning which may mean that they struggle to get back into the routine. Depending on the length of time without studying, you may find that lots of the students are a little “rusty” and will feel like they have forgotten a lot of what they learnt before the summer. If this is the case it can be helpful and motivational to do some group exercises as a form of recap. This can be a good way to reassure students that they still remember a lot more than they previously thought.
Setting short goals and objectives will ease the students back into study mode and not over bare them from the off. This can also include setting group activities or work in pairs. If done, it is a great way to allow students to feel a little less pressure from the off and allows them to help each other get back into the swing of things. Icebreakers can be used to aid this, and try connecting them to the holidays to provide everyone with the opportunity to explain their holidays and what they did.
It is vitally important as a teacher that you are able to inspire your class. The students will be looking to you for inspiration which you must be able to provide right from the very first class. To this you must first of all be passionate about what you want to teach. If you are able to demonstrate passion to the class then they will undoubtedly become more interested and involved. As well as this showing simple signs of support, kindness and openness is another method to inspire a class or group.
As humans it´s fair to say that we are motivated when we feel excited, so getting excited about something is a great way to get that motivation back and break out of the slump. But how can you do that when you don’t feel motivated? Well, it can start with inspiration from others as mentioned above. It´s important to take that excitement and to build on it, try explaining plans or goals that you have and use others to help you. In the case of an ESL classroom this can be used effectively amongst students whilst allowing them plenty of opportunities to practice speaking as much as possible.