Paul Chan

Dear new teachers,

You may have just gotten an offer from your recruiter, or you may have just gotten off the plane. Maybe you've just finished three tremendous days of Regional Induction training, or you've just passed probation (congrats!). Wherever you are on the new teacher timeline, I would like to share some sure fire tips that will help you ace your first performance review. Doing well on your performance review is monetarily beneficial, confidence boosting, and is a claim for your entrée towards the next promotion!

1. Contribute To Your Team (In A Recurring Way)

Of course the contributions you make need to be valuable, but more important than doing that which helps your team is to make sure that the task you set off is recurrent. There's no fame in a “one off” event, so make what you do observable over time. Even a simple act of helping tidy the office in a bi-monthly manner is a great discussion to be had during your performance review – you should undeniably score high on the contribution metric!

2. Pick The Brains of Experienced Teachers

How do you score high on your performance review in teaching (or in any criteria for that matter)? Find out who's the best of the best and model your teaching and conduct after them. Find what things they do well and how they do them. Once you've learned and put into action what they do well; you're set (and it's on to the next one)! Difficult to find out who are the star teachers on your squad? Ask the Director of Studies who scores highest in their reviews!

3. Take Initiative On Your Development

Ask for support, but contribute to the process! Following on the previous points, now that you've found teachers that are First Class, ask for the support in your development. Seasoned teachers are more than happy to take a new, enthusiastic teacher under their wing – it's a part of their development, too! Ask your DOS to facilitate observations and team teachings on the schedule (that is, if you don't feel comfortable approaching the teachers for support). Your development is important, and the time of the teachers helping you is as important if not more – If you get the support you're asking for, make sure you operate from a state of gratefulness and “give back”. And if you are able to develop quickly towards being a confident, efficient, and effective teacher, the teaching quality metric on your performance review should be sky high!

4. Exceed The Standard Expectation

Ever teach a class and there's that one student that seems to know the day's topic well, far beyond what every other student can muster? This student has better confidence, better engagement, and better production than everyone else. How? He/she did their homework (or had help with a healthy bit of encouragement at home). Thus, when it was game time, the student outshined everyone and instead of going to class to learn the target language and grammar for the first time, they were really there to refine what they've already learned. In your case as a new teacher, find out ahead of time what constitutes average on a performance review – then, exceed it. Once you know that average results look like, it's easier to see beyond them.

So, where do these tips come from? They were gathered from my over 7 years of observation and inquisition of the most successful and exemplary teachers I've ever encountered during my time of teaching English in China! Still puzzled? Feel free to ask me. Here's to you on your exemplary journey in teaching!

All the best,

Paul Chan

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