Letting Go, Learning and Accepting the New. | TEFL Jobs London

Letting Go, Learning and Accepting the New.

by Donna Hutchinson
London based TEFL Teacher, @donnatamara

Give or take a few students who left or moved up a level, I had had basically the same class for about 3 months and I must say I got really quite attached to them. Last week I switched levels and so am having to leave behind my lovely class. By having a class for that long, you develop your own little world, your own rules and understandings. Everybody in that class gets along, they care about each other, they are genuinely interested in each other and they welcome new students with open arms. I must admit, I’m a little possessive of them and I was somewhat reluctant to let them go. Furthermore, I had moulded a classroom environment that I love and feel as though I will have start from scratch again. However, after voicing this in the staff room I came to realise that I was not alone in this feeling. A number of other teachers were also very reluctant to give up their own little worlds and take on somebody else’s an indication that all the classes must be lovely to work in.

Leaving them behind also meant giving personal tutorials to go along with their usual end of term reports. During this time we were able to talk about what they could do next, where they needed the most improvement and I felt that maybe I was getting a little too emotional because for most, if not all of them I could really see such a huge improvement and I was very proud. The other benefit of course was that they were also able to give me feedback and I was interested on what they had to say.

The fact that I’ve not even been teaching for a year, it is still quite difficult for me to believe that anyone can actually learn from me. I am honestly baffled by that fact so when a few of my students told me how much they appreciated and enjoyed my classes, I was quite taken aback. Learning is evident through improvement over time and this is the first class where I have really been able to see a significant improvement and I think I can attribute that to the relationship I established with that class and the time that I spent with them. When the motivations of students are genuine and sincere it is reflected in their attitude and thus your relationship with them.

It can take a little while to establish this little world and the first couple of weeks with a new class can be a bit tasking especially when they too are used to the last classroom consensus they established. I suppose I have been very lucky with this class and can only hope to luck out once more next term. I hope to use this experience and success and apply that to my next class and I’m sure I’ll be keeping you posted.  Plus, it’s good practice for the summer when students are much more fleeting and the class turnover much higher.

My Top 5 Report phrases

  1. A valid and lively member of the class.
  2. Sound for the level.
  3. Good level of fluency, work needed on accuracy.
  4. Could try to be more punctual.
  5. Puts target language into use effectively.

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