Coming together is a beginning.
Keeping together is progress.
Working together is success.
– Henry Ford
In some parts of the world the classes have just begun and here we still have time to prepare ourselves for the coming year. We all have some tricks to begin the new term, some fun ideas to make students eager to start or motivate the unmotivated. Some of us will teach new classes, some of us will continue with the same students.
We all know that although we teach the same class for many years, each term will have its own dynamics as the individuals will be completely different from each other. Thus the techniques that worked last year may not be useful this year.
In short as a teacher you will have a new group to turn into willing learners. You have to have new tactics to handle the new situation.
If the relationship between you and your new group is good, things will be easier. Maybe it will be a good idea to start with some trust forming activities.
Not only the relationship between you and the class decides the success of the teaching and learning process, but the relationship between the peers will also be a very important factor. The students should learn to trust each other. They should also learn to accept the differences that they have, they should learn to respect each other.
When we consider all these things, we can see that teaching grammar or mathematics is the easiest part of our job. We, as teachers, should find ways to communicate with our students. We should find ways to lead them to become individuals who are well aware of their strengths and weaknesses.
When the classroom is a place where all the students trust and respect each other and when they don’t bully the weaker ones, it will be easier for the teacher to help the students to move one step further.
An activity to teach why we should listen to each other:
Prepare role cards for A and B
On A cards write:
You have just won a scholarship and you are very enthusiastic about it. You know your life will be very different from now on and you want to talk about it with your friend.
On B cards write:
Your friend is very enthusiastic and she wants you to listen to her but don’t listen. Try to distract her, avoid eye contact, interrupt and say something else. Whenever she tries to come to the subject, do something to make your friend understand that you are not interested.
This activity usually works well and student As tell their friends how frustrating it is to see their friends not listening to them,while they are trying to tell something enthusiastically.
A boat doesn’t go forward if each one is rowing their own way.
Some sites for ideas:
Team Building Activities for Teens
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trust and respect IS key. this is a fantastic resource – thank you!