Archives de catégorie : Trivial considerations

Work ethic and routines

Goodwill is only the first step to make an effective teacher. You also need to build up strong working habits.

 

When we conduct a training session for the young teachers, we emphasise big or generous ideas, such as constructivism or critical thinking. They sure are important considerations, and require serious explanations.

But when we follow up the teachers in the field, we find out that their difficulties depend much more on very basic work ethic and routines. I’m not questioning the goodwill of the Cambodian people. You’re not reluctant to perform the required tasks, unlike the French who go on strike for nothing. What many Cambodian teachers lack is habits.

Here are some common issues I’d like to discuss a little bit:

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Discipline

Even if they like you, they can become violent.

It’s normal to have difficulties with students during a career as a teacher. Those who pretend to never have any discipline issue are probably liars. But there are teachers who are never overwhelmed because they are ready to act. Don’t underestimate the possibility of failure. Your lessons cannot be interesting all the time for all the students. And the students cannot pay attention all the time in all the subjects. Don’t feel ashamed because some students misbehave. Don’t be ashamed because you have tough times. Act!

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Giving explanations

After my first series about games in pedagogy, I would like to share some trivial considerations. An army seldom collapses from a very tough battle, or because the enemy has been very smart, but rather from a lack of supply. In most cases, disease is deadlier than bullets. A lesson does not fail from a lack of fun and does rarely fail because the teacher hasn’t worked enough. It fails because of very common and uninteresting issues, such as a broken LCD projector, a lack of rituals, bad weather and so on. A teacher suffers much more from chatter than from true violence. There is no glory in it, but it hurts all the same. In my next articles, I would like to discuss those seemingly boring matters, because they are essential. So let’s get started with

Explanations

One major rule: keep them simple.

The trick is that you’ll probably make the lessons more complicated by trying to explain them. First, make sure that the students are in good condition before you give an explanation or a set of instructions. Partial explanations are confusing as well. The main strategies to give an explanation:

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