Teachers can fail their students on a few levels.
- They don’t plan, and therefore don’t teach effectively.
- They don’t slow down to help students in trouble. (Not everyone moves as fast as your program says they should.)
- They fail to connect content to reality.
- They fail to engage and hook.
- They are more concerned about their or their school’s program than their student’s needs and interests.
What you can do about it:
- Learn something from business. How To Build a Business that Cannot Fail. What would happen if you found out what your students needed/wanted to do with English and THEN built your course around that? Here’s what I think would happen: engagement would go up. Students would learn faster, and could actually love attending your classes because they can USE what they are learning.
- Engage More. It’s easy to slip into mundane. Fight that! Work hard to be the teacher that everyone wants to take classes with. Let ‘Exciting!’ ‘Intriguing!’ ‘Provokative!’ and ‘Inspiring’ be the adjectives that describe your class. How? Make this happen by figuring out what ’Exciting!’ ‘Intriguing!’ ‘Provokative!’ and ‘Inspiring’ means for your students and serve it up. In one of my corporate business English classes, I brought a kilo of whole coffee beans, a blender, milk, sugar, and took some hot water and coffee cups from their kitchen. Together we worked through the process of making coffee from start to finish – explaining the steps in a process. Active and passive voice. You should have seen the looks on their faces when I started unpacking my stuff. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it also helps students pay attention to you long enough to learn stuff!
- Slow down. As long as possible, and as often as possible – only go as fast as your slowest student. Use peer mentoring and correction to help bring your slower folks to speed. Always talk to your coordinator type person about students who are having trouble as they may just be at the wrong level.
What do you suggest to prevent teacher failure?
Photo by jurvetson