It is that time of year again. New classes, new students, all enthusiastic to start the new school year, all promising to work really hard, do homework, whatever it takes to pass that so important exam. Small children staring at you as if you were from another planet when you speak to them in English. Adults, starting an FCE course when they are barely Pre-Intermediate level.
But you are back, with all those plans to perform miracles on your learners and not just teach them something but for them to actually learn it, and really learn it, not just remember it for the next couple of classes. Full of enthusiasm, you still believe that you are going to make a difference, be an amazing teacher and all your students are going to love you and thank you for everything that you have done come the end of the year.
Let's be realistic. There is little point in daydreaming about how wonderful everything is going to be. It is not going to happen. However, we may just find that with the right amount of energy and effort, we have a rewarding and productive year, that our students pass their exams, and more importantly (theoretically) that they learn plenty of useful language that they will be able to use to communicate with others and not just do their workbook exercises correctly.
My idea is to use this blog as a way of reflecting on my own teaching and to put down in writing any new activities, methods and practices that I test out in class. Hopefully it will be useful to others as well as myself.
Just a quick quote that I think all teachers and learners should bear in mind when they begin a language course:
"Teachers open the door. You enter by yourself." (Chinese proverb)