Among the various Smith’s materials that we have I find that two stand out above the rest, the Phrase Cards and the Routines. Smith’s has constantly redefined itself in the way it does things both in the classroom and out. The Routines have been with us since the beginning and I believe a great tool in building up students’ confidence especially for the lower level students. They’re another deceptively simple item but it really depends on how the teacher chooses to use them. Simply seeing them on a piece of paper doesn’t do them justice. Even an experienced teacher might not see the true value in front of their eyes. To many it simply looks just like any typical story found in a textbook that can be done in just 15 minutes. But over time I have seen how effective they are at aiding Japanese students’ progress and confidence. I use them constantly in the lower level classes and love to be able to hear them saying perfect English for at least a few minutes each lesson, mistake-free. While there are many good teachers out there and many good textbooks out there I’ve found that it doesn’t depend on what you use or who you are as much as does the system that’s in place work. In the end the results speak for themselves. Are your students learning as fast as they should be? Are we pushing them to be the best they can be? Do the materials suit their level?
Sitting across from my students hearing about their achievements on tests or success in using English outside of the classroom I know I’ve done my job and Smith’s has done theirs. Hearing my students’ appreciation is just icing on the cake. I aim to please and I’m proud to say that I’ve done everything in my power to do just that. However that doesn’t mean it’s time to get complacent, in fact, just the opposite – I will push myself even harder to help my students accomplish more.
Are you getting the most out of your materials?