One of the biggest challenges teachers face is dealing with students that have spent many years learning our language, along the way achieving varying levels of success in the English language tests (Eiken and Toeic to name just a few.) I ask that not only my students, but my staff as well, push themselves to be the best. If a student is just starting out then I push them to master the basics while with a higher level student I push them to learn more descriptive verbs and adjectives as well as more advanced grammar and idioms. One of the things I have found that higher students have difficulty with is phrasal verbs such as “take off” or “take on”. Despite “take” being a simple verb adding a preposition such as “on, after, in, apart, etc” can make the meaning drastically different. Deceptively simple but they take years to master.
Just as my students have to work hard, I demand nothing less out of my staff. Pushing them all to be the best they can be, to the point where they actually feel uncomfortable. While some people stay away from discomfort it is actually how we learn. Once we have master certain points we need to push ourselves outside what we know, striving to reach the next level. Learning is tough just like dieting but the secret is simple – take things nice and slow and stick with it. While it isn’t easy at first slowly but surely our mind begins to accept the new knowledge and then we need to push ourselves to go even further.
While my students are busy working hard to master the intricate of the English language, my staff and I push ourselves, too: Having training sessions to focus on new teaching techniques, brainstorming new ideas & creating new materials to aid our students in the learning process. Sometimes people ask me why I spend so much time on creating new ideas and techniques when I already have an ample amount available to me. The answer is simple – if you’re not moving forward then you’re standing still and just like my students’ desire to improve I push myself to be better each and every day.
What are you doing today?