Teaching English can probably best be described as a cutting-corner profession. Teachers have learned a host of strategies to get kids off their backs and live a stress, angst-free existence.
Some of these include using downloaded worksheets in class, or hiring VAs to create these worksheets, introducing pre-made games to students, and using the most masterful multimedia presentations.
At the height of my corner-cutting, I was basically bringing my body to school while the work I had already done worked through me. Lovely, isn’t it? I call it cruise teaching. It would be cooler as Tom Cruise Teaching, but you got to work with what you have.
And yet, we often don’t like to think that some of the best performances a teacher can do are scripted and pre-made in advance for you. Why fight it? If it works for Hollywood, it should work for you.
Actually, if you think about it, the most successful businesses are the ones that are scripted, rehearsed, and delivered on-cue, in exactly the same way other businesses have been doing. And they have been around forever! Think McDonald’s. Disney. Starbucks.
Are you Starbucksifying your teaching? No, I don’t mean pumping your students full of caffeine, then charging them their first-born to keep the effect going.
I had made friends with many colleagues and fellow English teachers who survived doing the same style.
One of the best ways to endear yourself with fellow English teachers (aside from giving your efficiency a boost) is to provide them with the fruits of your cutting-corner labour.
Share your Power Points, worksheets, even the entire semesters’ worth of material that had you covered for roughly the rest of your tenure, perhaps even your life. This will allow you to spend the rest of your time enjoying the country, sipping a coconut under a tree, and celebrating the success of living large as an English teacher. High heels and black ties be damned. Clothes are damned too, get your FULL tan on!
To the victor go the spoils, as I say, and if you share teaching materials, you’re likely to reap the benefits in return, over and over again. It’s the Law of Increasing Returns, in its finest form (Thank you Napoleon Hill!). Think of it as recycling. Then you’re also just doing it for the good of mankind.
Who said teaching couldn’t be fun? Earn like the university system in America and send out those karmic debts today! I promise the investment is much better than what Sally May is getting, at least from me.
Great resource sites
- storytimed.com (allows students to continue stories)
- elllo.org (includes videos and scripts on different subjects)
- linguahouse.com (Great lesson plans, my personal favourite being the Ted Talk series)
- englishforeverybody.org (Great grammar worksheets)
- http://larryferlazzo.edublogs.org/about/my-best-of-series/ (Has great resources here, it’s kind of like a hub)
Note: Todd Persaud’s new book, The Tefl (re) Education Program, has now been released and can be found at www.tinyurl.com/TEFLComedy. The book is a compilation of his articles from all over the net, articles with strategies and tips based on his experience in teaching English as a Foreign Language.