English teaching is often fun, challenging and rewarding. One of the most rewarding aspects of the job is helping your students to succeed. I must stress here that helping is the keyword, as teachers have a big influence on their students, but ultimately, it is down to them. After teaching for a little while, I started thinking about this question. What makes students successful, and how can teachers help? To answer this question, I put together the 5 C’s of successful English teaching.
Successful students all share similar traits; confidence, driven, focused and motivated. These attributes do not just appear, they are developed. We, as teachers, help develop these attributes by working with students, parents and Progress Advisors. These are just a few key points I have learned since I began teaching.
It starts in the classroom. Some students are not comfortable in a new environment, we teachers breech this gap by designing fun games and hands-on activities that let the student have controlled practice by experiencing new ways to learn. It is, therefore, important to design your classroom with students in mind. Which students are kinesthetic, which are auditory? Are there visual learners who would appreciate videos more than the games?
In my classroom, I often try to communicate with the parents for the positive and negative moments. It can be intimidating to talk to parents, especially when our level of Chinese is low, however, constant feedback and communication with Progress Advisors (PAs) can make parent-teacher conferences less stressful and more productive. Furthermore, PAs and parents are vital to a child’s view of the classroom. If the student is not well informed about the classroom, he or she begins to fear coming and does not want to be involved.
Most students enjoy confirmation of a job well done, those in my class are no different. I have seen such a big change in student’s overall behaviour when you give them a high five or a ” job well done!”, even when the answer is wrong. This encouragement motives a student to try again without fear of failure.
Being committed to student’s development is the most important. Genuinely showing interest in what the student has learned and will learn, helps makes the student more focused and successful. If you don’t know the material to come, how can you expect the student to participate?
Easy to say, this can be difficult, especially as a new teacher. Whether with classroom management or lesson preparedness, trying to keep yourself and students on task and providing a routine that is fresh and new but allows stability for the student to grow is challenging. For my lessons, I try to combine familiar games with a small but challenging twist, or steadily provide autonomy for the student. Doing this allows you as a teacher to monitor progress but give a stable learning atmosphere.
These five C’s are just my ideas on a vast subject, however, having a clear method to help your students succeed is key. In my short time as a teacher, I have learned that there are many techniques available to enhance student-teacher interactions. What is important, therefore, is the method you use and what makes the classroom most productive for your students.
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Marquis Ryan Walker is a writer, artist and photographer who has travelled the world to learn about cultures and people. Now, he continues this idea in China. When not teaching, he is exploring new areas and learning about local Chinese history. To learn more, check out his website Frameofmind.photography