Tips for tired teachers
EFL teaching is a fun and exciting job, but it can also be exhausting. Sometimes being an EFL teacher can be hard work, especially when you have an endless workload, no energy, long hours and a lack of enthusiasm, so what’s the resolution? Unfortunately, there is no quick fix to this problem but there are a few suggestions that can make your life slightly easier in the classroom.
This diary will reflect on some top tips for tired EFL teachers. Ensure that the lessons are student-centred. When lesson planning or preparing materials for your class have a look at how much the student is going to be speaking and see if you can increase this time. You can prepare classes so that the students will have more control over the topic, examples include debating, problem-solving and discussing. This is better for student learning and provides the teacher with a sneaky break. For example, pick a new topic and encourage discussion or get them to create presentations on their hometowns.
Getting to know your students and building a good relationship with them will help this, as you can learn about their interests and hobbies, things you can use for topics of discussion, presentations and projects. This will make your classes different and engage students in topics that they enjoy speaking about.
Observing a more experienced colleague always helps; take notes, discover new activities and see how they handle the class. This is especially helpful if you have a problem class/student who is not responding very well to your teaching methods as getting a fresh perspective can allow you to brainstorm new ideas. Coming up with new activities will freshen up your classes and students will thank you for it. Swapping ideas with your colleagues is also very useful as they are most likely using the same course books and materials as you, and sharing ideas can help you save time and bring something new to your classroom.
It’s important to remain motivated and de-stress before and after your classes.
Here are some tips:
1) Take a day or few to turn off your laptop and mobile and disconnect from the world
2) Allow yourself plenty of sleep even if it’s just an afternoon siesta
3) Read! Reading cleanses the soul, if you’re not a big reader try magazines
4) Sit down to a nice relaxing meal and eat good, nutritious food, and drink lots of water!
5) Keep a diary; write down your feelings and experiences. This will help you to see how far you’ve come!
6) Try exercising (this doesn’t include running to and from classes)
EFL teachers are the people who hold the classes together, who bring passion and fun to a classroom and create a positive and exhilarating learning environment. Your own enthusiasm and interest in a lesson will inspire and influence students to feel the same. Therefore, it’s important that teachers are full of energy every day in the classroom to ensure students do not lose out on valuable learning time.
- Barefoot Tefl Teacher (2017). 10 tips for tired Tefl teachers. Retrieved from: http://www.barefootteflteacher.com/10-tips-tired-tefl-teachers/