This is the third post in our blog series, connecting with our readers and teachers all over the world to share their ideas, tips and advice. If you missed our first two posts – 6 things to consider when planning your first classes and 5 first day activities from our readers – you can catch up with them now!
The beginning of the new academic year is always an exciting time. Teachers and students alike are a little nervous to meet their new groups, but mostly they can’t wait to get started!
With so many challenges and achievements ahead, who wouldn’t be full of energy and motivation?
Well, we found out just how excited you were, when we asked teachers all over the world what they were looking forward to most about the new school year.
Here’s what you had to say.
It’s time to meet our students
Maira who teaches young learners and adults in Brazil tells us she is looking forward to meeting her new groups.
“What I’m looking forward to most is getting to know more about my students, and what I can teach and learn from them, thus having an exchange of experiences.”
We are sure this is a very familiar feeling – meeting new groups and different personalities is always an exciting proposition at the beginning of the year. We love the fact that Maria wants a dialogue with her students.
Finding out your students’ interests and motivations is an extremely important part of getting the new academic year off to a good start because it can help you understand your students’ expectations and tailor your English classes to suit their needs.
Tran, who teaches adults in Vietnam, agrees. He says, “I look forward to building good relationships with my students, meeting the objectives of the course, and helping my students improve their English.”
Starting as we mean to go on!
Daria, who teaches secondary school students in Poland, is interested in hearing about her students’ experiences over the summer holidays.
“I’m most looking forward to seeing how my students have changed during holidays and hearing their memories from their holidays (they are usually willing to talk about pleasant memories),” she says.
Daria is absolutely right – it’s a great idea to talk to your students about their holidays. Not only are students enthusiastic about their experiences, but you can find lots of opportunities to work on language points and structures in class.
Also, by carefully observing your students, you’ll be able to see areas in which they need to improve their speaking skills. This will help you structure and develop your course over the coming weeks.
She is also interested in seeing all the energy and enthusiasm of the students at the beginning of the new year and how new students fit in with their groups.
“I also look forward to their enthusiasm (which can be observed sometimes only at the beginning of the school year). With new students I look forward to seeing what they are like—I like discovering their personalities and observing their social progress when they are new.”
Daria’s enthusiasm is infectious! We think it’s a great idea to harness this energy and motivation at the beginning of the year to set personal objectives, set classroom rules and also try some team building activities and project work to make new students feel welcomed.
Let’s encourage a growth mindset
Favi, who teaches teenagers in Mexico, is excited about a fresh start with his students too.
“I’m looking forward to meeting my new students and changing their perspective that English is difficult,” he says.
And Maria who teaches adults and young learners in Brazil says she is looking forward to “having some fun but also some serious learning. We can all grow a lot through the year!”
Lacey, who teaches college students in Canada, agrees with this sentiment when she says. “I look forward to working with the students to help them to attain and surpass the pre-established objectives.”
We also like to see the new school year as an opportunity for growth. By instilling a growth mindset in your students you can stop them feeling like they are bad at English, or that it’s too difficult. It’s important to show them that their progress is dependent on their motivation and the amount of effort they are willing to put in.
Read more about a growth mindset in our article ‘what it means to have a growth mindset‘.
Let’s involve the students more
Finally, lots of you were enthusiastic about getting students more involved in their education this year.
Halina in Poland, who teaches adults and teenagers, told us she was looking forward to allowing “students to be involved in the development and implementation of goals.”
Halina explained further that “students will be increasingly engaged in classroom management strategies if you give them collaborative responsibility in the creation and implementation of expectations.”
Giorgiana is a teacher of young learners between the ages of six and nineteen in Romania. She agrees: “I’m looking forward to getting my students involved in all the lessons, in projects and activities.”
What are you most looking forward to this new school year? Leave a comment below and let us know. And don’t forget to keep checking the blog – you might be featured next!