Handling common classroom challenges: Teacher Trainers and a psychologist share their views

common classroom challenges

In this series of videos – Hand in Hand with Teachers: real problems, real solutions – we look at some of the main issues secondary teachers face and offer practical solutions by ELT experts and psychologist – Aleksandra Wilkin-Day.

Teachers everywhere face some common challenges and difficulties in the classroom. From time to time we all struggle to design engaging syllabi and deal with classroom management issues and individual student needs.

For this reason we’ve put together a series of eight videos to help you reflect on your own teaching practice. You’ll learn some key ways to improve engagement and increase student collaboration and solve other classroom management issues. There’s also a PDF handout you can download for each of the challenges and take with you to class!

Watch all eight videos below and let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Cooperative Learning

In this first pair of videos Pearson Teacher Trainer Michael Brand and Aleksandra Wilkin-Day talk about the benefits and challenges of cooperative learning.

The first challenge teachers experience is how to show their learners the value of working together. They advise creating activities that offer shared success.

Another challenge lies in getting each student to contribute to the group. They suggest assigning roles and affecting peer accountability through individual responsibilities. Finally, they show the value of peer teaching and how this kind of cooperation can be useful for learners.

Download a PDF summary here.

Keeping Students Engaged

In these videos international teacher trainer Rob Dean and Aleksandra Wilkin-Day explain how engagement is the basis of effective learning. Without engagement learning suffers, and this can affect a student’s language learning aptitude in the future.

However, by expressing genuine interest in your students and learning about their hobbies, what they’re good at and knowing their strengths and weaknesses, you can give your lessons more focus and hold student attention.

The videos also explain how it is important to give agency to your learners and allow them to make decisions – when choosing certain activities for example, as well as a number of other key ways to increase student engagement in the classroom.

Download a PDF summary here.

Mixed ability classes

In this pair of training videos author and teacher trainer Daniel Brayshaw and Psychologist and Psychotherapist Aleksandra Wilkin-Day introduce the topic of mixed ability classes.

They underline how important it is to understand that our students differ in many ways, not just in language proficiency.

Their practical advice helps teachers improve classroom management strategy and deal with a range of student personalities, maturity levels and cater to different language proficiencies and aptitudes.

Download a PDF summary here.

Student-Centred Teaching

In the final set of videos ELT expert David Kaye delves into the practice of student-centered teaching, alongside Aleksandra Wilkin-Day.

They explain that the first challenge is looking at your classroom practice from the students’ perspective and incorporating relevant and engaging topics and activities. Aleksandra talks about the importance of getting to know your students, their interests, abilities, and motivations – as this will help you tailor your classes to individual learners.

The video also goes into the pillars of learner motivation and autonomy, sharing with you practical solutions to help you balance teacher control with learner independence, and keep your students progressing towards their learning objectives.

Download a PDF summary here.

Are you looking for more help with your teaching? Visit the website and discover a variety of free teaching resources.

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