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How to Prepre to Teach and Motivate Students
he tone for your subsequent interaction with them throughout the term. You can follow-up your opening by having students get in pairs or small groups, share their names and something interesting about themselves, and then work together to explore a content-focused question or problem. This could be the question, problem, or case study you pose in your opening (thus combining this and the previous step) or a related follow-up. Given that it is the first day, keep in mind that the question or problem should be open-ended and general enough that everyone can contribute an insight. Depending on your class size, you could also have students introduce each other to the class before sharing their reflections on the question or problem. A variety of ideas for icebreakers can be found here on the TEP website. Additional information about the advantages of active learning is also found on the TEP website.

5. Learn names and exchange information

Students are people, not numbers, and they feel more comfortable and more respect for instructors and fellow students when acknowledged by name. They are also more apt to feel like a member of a learning community if they are known by name and know others by name. Therefore, in combination with an icebreaker activity or as a follow-up, have a plan for learning student names. Before class, read through your student roster several times to familiarize yourself with students’ names. In class, during or after the icebreaker, have students make name tents or name tags. Also, ask them to state their name before sharing any comments aloud in class. [You can use the name tents in subsequent classes and even track attendance by collecting them at the end of each day and noting on the tents the students that are absent that day.] Some instructors

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