Teaching techniques have been expanding and unfolding with ever-evolving paradigms that make the teaching profession demanding, and, at times, it can be difficult to maintain your passion for teaching. Drawing from my own experiences of teaching for the past ten years, I have compiled a list of ways to help you keep the passion in your teaching.
1. Be a life-long learner.
Sometimes, it’s difficult to remember that you’re the learner in any environment, especially if you’re a teacher. Throughout the years, I have learned to be more attentive and progressive in my teaching. I always aim to create a safe and positive learning environment so that my students feel free to express themselves, appropriately. I encourage them to try, even if they make mistakes. After all, they are in the ESL program to learn from their mistakes and I find that students – including myself – learn more from mistakes!
2. Be compassionate.
We all have bad days for various reasons, but always be empathetic when listening to students, whether that consists of paying attention to them in the classroom or listening to their complaints. We all have a story and there’s more to each person. You don’t know whether someone is dealing with something beyond the lesson at hand, and although it’s easiest to react negatively, do your best to be patient and optimistic and your students will learn from you as you’re one of their most direct examples!
3. Take advantage of professional development opportunities.
There are numerous ways for you to become involved in your students’ lives. I, myself, enjoy attending student events, writing blog posts, researching programs that could benefit students, having consistent dialogues with my colleagues, giving presentations, attending conferences, and participating in webinars and seminars. You can take everything you learn and incorporate it in your teaching somehow!
4. Make your students laugh.
I love a good laugh, and the teachers with a good sense of humour who I’ve had are the teachers I remember most. You should be serious about your job, but that doesn’t mean that you should refrain from laughter and jokes in the classroom. Students tend to pay more attention to you and it makes the learning environment much more relaxing and enjoyable to learn in!
5. Take time for self-care.
Teaching is a very busy job! Although it’s enjoyable and fun, it can be very demanding and stressful. It’s extremely important to take time for yourself and remember to put everything away and simply relax. One of my problems is that I constantly feel the need to be busy because my brain is always on, but sometimes, I, too, just need to sit and watch my favourite TV show, read a good book, or spend time with family and friends. Taking a break from your job doesn’t mean you’re being lazy. It means you’re not afraid to live your life and take time to enjoy things you love doing!
Do you have ideas and ways to keep the passion for teaching alive?