How ESL Teachers find joy every time they walk into the classroom
Teaching in an ESL environment is some of the most fun you will have in a professional environment – its active, inspiring, entertaining and you get to engage with some adorable kids! But after a long week it can get exhausting and your patience can’t start wearing thin after the third time Ben has fallen backwards off his chair, and Anna is asking to borrow her fourth pencil of the day.
Finding the resources to enter every lesson with energy and patience can be tough but we’re here for you with some tricks we use to make sure every lesson is bursting with flavor.
One of the best ways to ensure you are delivering great content every lesson is to prep in advance. We find a week to be a good timeframe. Sitting down for one session of printing, planning, and organizing can revolutionize your week and take the stress out of daily admin. You can also do this in your own time when you are feeling energized and can give it your best. This will also help you plan cohesive and connected material with themes and outcomes that will be more beneficial to your students.
On top of this, having a stash of games and tools that you can fall back on when creativity is running low is a must have. Items like dice, sticky balls, flash cards, crafts and buzzers can make even the simplest activity seem exciting. Kids don’t need anything fancy to have fun – just a change of pace, the chance to compete and a little incentive can go a long way.
Beyond this, finding a purpose to your job can also help you stay motivated. Remembering why you started teaching and reminding yourself of what a difference you are making to your students will always bring joy. Notice the small achievements, the little victories of even the weakest of students and you will realize that everything you do has more of an impact than you realize. Sometimes we get so caught up in going through the motions that we forget to take stock of how far our students have come. Acknowledging and noticing this will fuel you through even the hardest of days.