Saturday, 28 February 2009

Beginning Teachers-some tips for you

Salam and hi,

I believe the first five years of a beginning teacher's career is the most important. This is the period of time when you try to put your theory into practice and need to learn the ropes to become a good teacher (bruises, hard knocks, aha!, oic, bumps, included )Here's my two cents worth of what beginning teaches should know:

1.Know your content
if you are an English teacher, by all means be equipped with the relevant knowledge and skills. Get the content correct and to do this you must invest in some good grammar and reference books. Use the BISP allowance wisely. Get a good, current dictionary not an old dictionary you used in college please! If you need to look up a grammar point, do so. Do not assume you know everything. Build a strong knowledge base on you subject matter and this will serve you well when the need arises. Remember, students will be able to sense if you are out of depth.

2. Be resourceful
Start building your resource books,reference books, cds, lesson plans etc. Get to know the senior teaches and learn from them. Look out for ESL conferences and make an effort to attend them. You will develop your confidence and networking too.

3. Be Proactive
Find out early who or what you need. Show some initiative. Network with senior teachers and befriend the office staff. Share materials and, depending on the culture you have in your school, some teachers will willingly hand over their handouts and lesson plans to help a first year teacher. Collegiality will help you a long way.

4. Know Your School's Processes
You have to know the bureaucracy in your school. Find out the essential services and resources you need such as resources like photocopying, the library and TVs/dvd players, the booking system etc..

5. Be organised
Make your job more manageable by oranising your work. Clear all that clutter on your table. Deadlines need to be met so you need to differentiate between what is urgent and what is important. There's nothing wrong in keeping a 'to do' list. It helps!If you develop this habit in your first year of teaching, you will find it something natural to do.

6. Vary Your Instructional Techniques
Vary the way you teach so that your students will learn in a variety of ways too. By all means use the blackboard,lecture a little, but you knwo that teaching needs to be so much more than just chalk’n’talk. Try new approaches and be surprised with the results. Teaching is all about trial and error . What works for one class may not work for another. So be adventurous (after considering the pedagogical aspects of course). Dare to teach what you believe will work and accept students' feedback readily.

7. Have a sense of humour
You create the climate in the classroom! Your attitude directly influences your students. Be it a headache you're experiencing, a cold etc. your students will behave accordingly. Try not to be moody because more often than not it spoils the class. Show enthusiasm and show your students that you enjoy teaching English.

Finally, be positive! Happy Teaching!


  1. Salam

    Great blog. Very informative.
    Well I totally agree with you. teachers have to be always one up.We have to be prepared just like the boy scout's motto. Keeping up with new technology and willingness to change is also essential.
    Teachers also must have beliefs, values and principles. These are the elements that will shape your character and teaching style.
    Finally I'd like to share what a very wise old man told me:
    To succeed we must have three 'D's

    Bye and cheers.

    Kuala Langat

  2. well said indeed teachuhman. Welcome to blogging! u get addicted i tell u :)

  3. Salam and hi dear teacher,

    My parents were teachers (May Allah bless their souls) and my father in-law was a teacher himself and I'm married to a teacher, English at that, hahahah! Since you spent a good 21 years at SMSJ, I guess you must have taught the likes of Zainal Alam Kadir, Zainal Abas and my cousin Rozhan Zainol Zabir! Your blog is educational and I would suggest my wife to drop by or make it a point of reference!By the way I am proud to say I was born in Kluang!

  4. hi rizal,
    tell u what. i jst missed Zainal Alam kadir and his clan!! (the same as saying am not that old :))But met him at the old boys meeting. I know his brother too. tx for the comments. my blog is simple i like it to keep it that way. not so IT savvy. Which part of Kluang btw?

  5. oh you just missed them, cikgu! My late Atok's house at Jalan Dahlia, Kampung Melayu. Are you a Johorean?

  6. Definitely! think i know where Jalan Dahlia is. used to stay in Jalan Md Salim Kg Melayu :)

  7. And look what have I done now.
    brought to people together.
    Is that nice or what?
    Love you guys!
    That sounds gay doesn't it?
    Anyway, great to have you on my list of people I know.

    Bless Allah almighty

    And look what have I done now.
    brought 'two' people together.
    Is that nice or what?
    Love you guys!
    That sounds gay doesn't it?
    Anyway, great to have you on my list of people I know.

    Bless Allah almighty

  9. yes naim,
    the more the merrier!

  10. Just like you, as sweet as ever

  11. Salam and Hi,
    A very nice & resourceful blog you have here cikgu. Thanks for sharing! This will surely be in my must-visit blogs because there's loads for me to learn here(new teacher, non-optionist, need to teach english..duh!)

    Keep it up! Really love to read on your teaching ideas. I've just read on "I like you slips". Very interesting. ;).

    btw, I got your link from my gay senior teacher, Cg. Naim. (psst.. gay means happy, right?)

  12. hi norshafiza,
    thanks for visiting my blog. i hope you don't find teaching English so daunting. Will try to update with teaching tips when time allows. Meantime, welcome :)

  13. Salam Cikgu,

    I am not a teacher but I am the kind of guy that loves languages and your blog is very-very informative! I was born and raised in Kluang, went to SRJK Chong Eng then to SMS Muar and end up doing my A-Level at SMSJ (1st batch). Pick up German and Tagalog while working. I remember you Cikgu but you might not remember me.. Who does not know Zainal Alam He the way Cikgu, Rizal is my dear cousin and our arwah atok speaks 4 languages. I will certainly come back!:-)

  14. hi rozhan,
    thanks for ur comments. i just notice it sorry. been really bz lately. i remember that batch of students yes..welcome to my blog :) am making changes to it so many links are lost but will get them done as soon as time permits. thanks for your positive comments!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...