29 Ιουνίου 2020

Don’t be this teacher!

I have this new hobby. I torture myself by visiting teachers’ fb groups, I read terrible things they write and I collect gems for my next workshop, “Don’t be this teacher”! No joke. It sounds presumptuous but honestly, I’m seriously fed up with the nonsense I read. Not only because I read a bunch of unscientific claims about language teaching but mainly, primarily and painfully because I read a bunch of antipedagogical claims. To put it simply, I read lines from teachers who dislike their job. Or who dislike children. Or even, in some nightmarish cases, teachers who hate children. I need to shout out loud: Don’t be this teacher! If for some random reason and by some unexpected stroke of luck, you became a language teacher but you wanted to become a police officer or a tax collector or zookeeper or whatever else, please don’t taint my job with your presence. I need around me colleagues whose heart is filled with warmth every time they enter the classroom, I need to share with colleagues who can’t wait to try out their next idea with their students, I need to be surrounded by inspired, qualified, obsessed-with-learning teachers. You, who writes things like, “is my student mentally retarded and cannot get the difference between Present Simple and Present Continuous?”, you, you are not my colleague. You should get yourself another job.

As a teaser, now, before the new workshop I’m preparing, don’t be this teacher:

  1. The one who penalizes with homework: “you were noisy today, so take extra homework for next time”.
  2. The one who punishes with anything.
  3. The one who teaches the way they were taught.
  4. The one who claims they don’t need CPD because they have a university degree.
  5. The one who holds the key to the one and only truth (of grammar knowledge usually) and is hesitant to share it with learners- well, guess what, your precious key cannot open too many doors.
  6. The one who uses assessment as a power-game tool.
  7. The one who says, “my student doesn’t know the basic rules but passed the exam- how is this possible?!”
  8. The one who thinks that your classroom desk is your stage for your long monologue.
  9. The one who teaches language and needs total silence in the classroom.
  10. The one who asks students to memorize ready-made answers to essay topics.

And one more, don’t be this teacher who stops learning.

Be the one who when thinking of yourself 5 years ago can proudly say, ‘I’ve come a long way.’

More, soon.

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