The importance of making students feel relaxed
This assignment aims to address the importance of making students feel relaxed and the different ways teachers can go about this. I will discuss this topic using my own experience as well as the knowledge and experience of others who have wrote about the subject. In my experience, the more relaxed a student is, the more confidence they will have in their language abilities throughout the lesson.
This first important aspect I will look at is the professionalism of the teacher.
“Arriving on time to collect the student is essential, not only for the professionalism but because it provides each student with an appropriate model of how to behave” (Mendro, 1998).
If you are late to collect the student, they will know if you are rushing through the lesson and this will prevent them from being able to relax. I always arrive around 15 minutes before to ensure I have enough time to organise everything and go over some of the teaching material. It also gives time for the students to ask any questions beforehand and allows the lesson to flow well. This sets the overall tone; if you are early and prepared and relaxed yourself, there should be a relaxed tone from the beginning.
Another essential part of the lesson that should never be forgotten is the warmer. In my experience, the students enjoy telling me why they want to learn English or about their hobbies. It is a good way to help them practice their speaking skills without them feeling like they are being tested. The warmer helps the student feel relaxed and comfortable in a situation that can be particularly stressful for nervous individuals. The simple gesture of showing the student that you care can have a huge impact on their ability to relax and succeed.
“Sometimes a simple, almost insignificant gesture on the part of a teacher can have a profound formative effect on the life of a student” (Freire, 2000).
I would also like to cover the importance of giving praise to students. Teachers must continue to let students know when they are doing well, not only to increase their confidence but to prevent them questioning their abilities and worrying that they are making mistakes. This should in turn help them relax throughout the lesson. It will also ensure the student doesn’t leave feeling discouraged by their performance, returning next time with more confidence and taking less time to relax than before.
The information discussed above involves the importance of relaxing students within the classroom but an important factor that should also be taken into consideration is relaxation techniques under test situations (Dahbi, 2015). The majority of students that I have taught at the school are preparing for an exam. If you get the student into the habit of relaxing under similar conditions as the exam; for example, during MOCK exam lessons, this should prevent them from making careless mistakes in the exam from their inability to relax.
Overall, there are many factors that need to be taken into consideration when making a student feel relaxed. Based on the information discussed, if a teacher pays attention to each of these factors, it will not only relax the student but it should improve their confidence and language capabilities during the lesson and in future exams.
- Dahbi, M (2015) Training EFL Students on Relaxation Techniques to Manage Test Taking Anxiety: An Action Research Project. International Journal of English Language Teaching (2) pp 1-7
- Freire, P (2014) Pedagogy of Hope: Reliving Pedagogy of the Oppressed, New York: Bloomsbury (2) p.67
- Mendro, L. (1998). Student achievement and school and teacher accountability. Journal of Personnel Evaluation in Education, (12) pp. 257–267.