Donna Hutchinson | TEFL Jobs London

Donna Hutchinson

London based TEFL Teacher, @donnatamara


Posts by Donna Hutchinson

by Donna Hutchinson
London based TEFL Teacher, @donnatamara

I am rather lucky to work in a school within a college, providing resources aplenty. This week I took advantage of that and decided to film my students doing a presentation. I’d seen other teachers use cameras in their classes but had always stayed away because I wasn’t sure if my classes would take to the idea. Fortunately, by the time I got round to it, it all worked out rather nicely. Hooray for me!

Continue reading »

by Donna Hutchinson
London based TEFL Teacher, @donnatamara

Do you make the same effort with unruly students?

I must say I’ve been fairly spoilt when it comes to students. I started teaching over a year ago now (something I still find a little unbelievable) and ever since, I have had lovely students. If ever there was a bad apple, there was always 5 other lovely ones as well. Some students who I met last year, as I was starting out have left the school recently making me nostalgic, new students who arrived over the summer have been and still are a pleasure to teach. For the most part, there are students who make laugh, those who fascinate me and those I am happy to see upon entering the classroom.

Continue reading »

by Donna Hutchinson
London based TEFL Teacher, @donnatamara

Recently I returned from a sun-soaked holiday in the Algarve with three of my best girl pals. It was just what I needed after a hectic summer of EFL. However, I don’t know about you but I can’t seem to turn off my English teacher head completely and when travelling abroad, I am always listening out and analysing English ability; not in a scrutinising way but just out of interest. I am always envious of my students who can speak many languages with ease. My friends and I discussed that we feel inferior merely speaking English.

Continue reading »

by Donna Hutchinson
London based TEFL Teacher, @donnatamara

My goodness, gracious me! I have become obsessed with the Olympics. I did not see this coming. I’ve always enjoyed the Olympics, that much is true, but this year, I am hooked! The coverage is everywhere and constant, so much so that I’m pretty certain I’m more tired this week because I’ve stayed up to watch it, whatever sport it might be from basketball to the canoe slalom. I am fascinated by the fact that there are human beings this good at what they do, it’s incredible.

Continue reading »

by Donna Hutchinson
London based TEFL Teacher, @donnatamara

Be a sport! Inspire your students during London 2012.

By Thomas Brasington from London, England (Athletics 2012) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The Olympics, London 2012. It’s finally here! It’s been a long time coming but here they are and let’s hope they’re going to be an Olympics to remember (in a good way). In terms of London’s summer students, it’s probably an amazing time to be in our town; hectic and at times probably unbearable but without doubt, a unique time to be here in London. 2012.

I’m unsure whether some of my recent students are sick of all the Olympics-related lessons I’ve put together of late but it’s hard to ignore all that realia out there just waiting to be manipulated and utilised. In general though, I think many students have found it interesting and it has made them a little more excited for the games. Documentaries about Olympic superstars such as Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps did get them interested as well as learning about stories of Olympic glory and/or misery. It’s hard to deny that sport brings people together.

Continue reading »

by Donna Hutchinson
London based TEFL Teacher, @donnatamara

Students must not use mobile phones in lessons

By Garry Knight from London, England [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

It drives me CRAZY when students use their phone in class. My blood boils at the sight of a student using their phone when I’m talking or giving instructions. Don’t even get me started on how I feel if I have to repeat said instructions. I mean, I usually don’t mind them using dictionary apps to translate though I’d rather they use a real-life dictionary. Other issues I have confronted with phones are having to stop students taking photographs of running dictations; Googling the answers to a general knowledge quiz; or just plain answering a phone call in the middle of a lesson.  I honestly feel that I am not exaggerating when I say that it is the bane of my existence. …Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating a little bit but let me have this one.

Continue reading »

by Donna Hutchinson
London based TEFL Teacher, @donnatamara

Time’s Up on Reading Exercises!

By Joi [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Reading skills. A tricky one. Reading for gist; skim reading; scan reading; reading for detail. Trying to get students to read how you want them to can be fruitless task. On the CELTA we’re told to set students a time limit in order to encourage them to read in whichever way you desired but I have found that students will read however they please. There are those who stop at every unknown word, scrutinising every little thing; those who don’t really take anything in; those who read aloud… You know how it is.

Recently I have started a new tactic. Inspired by other teachers, I have created my own approach which still gives students some level of independence. My idea isn’t revolutionary and I doubt that I am the first to come up with it but I want to share it.

Continue reading »

by Donna Hutchinson
London based TEFL Teacher, @donnatamara

When I first started teaching, I used to get ever so frustrated that all the material I needed had to be new to me. I would woefully look around at more experienced teachers who had go-to material whilst I was rifling through books and internet resources. Of course, many teachers would give me recommendations or even give me some of their own material which I am eternally grateful for, but I’d still have to familiarise myself with it.

Recently though, dear readers, I have come to discover that I too have started on the path of go-to material and the effects are amazing. For one, I don’t spend hours planning and familiarising, and two, most of it is saved on the computer so no digging around in files or folders. I tell you, it has begun to revolutionise my teaching. I am so glad I have reached this point but at the same time I’m well aware that this is only the beginning, there is so much more I must accumulate.

Continue reading »