Teachers’ Weekly Self-Assessment Guide

Screen Shot 2016-04-15 at 6.35.02 PMVia Twitter, Facebook, and Skype, Act 2 Educational Consultants LLC asked experienced teachers around the world what they would advise new teachers to include on their weekly to-do list. This certainly wasn’t meant to give those new teachers more work, but was meant rather to help lighten their loads and increase their effectiveness as educators by borrowing from the valuable experiences of their senior, global colleagues.

We are fortunate to have received twenty-five responses so far, and the poll is still open for others to add their thoughts. The suggestions deal with academics as well as with relationship building and avoiding teacher burnout.

I am happy to pass these suggestions on to you in hopes that you will share them with your colleagues, both new and seasoned. These suggestions can benefit all teachers, and, in turn, their administrators, and their students.

Do you have an idea that has helped you be more successful in the classroom?



What Adult ESL Students Want in a Teacher-Part 2

Today I polled my advanced adult ESL students as to what characteristic(s) they thought good teachers possessed.  The results are published on the following website:


By far the majority of the comments centered on the personality of the teacher rather than on the teacher’s knowledge of the content or teaching strategies.  The students look for patience, kindness (“a kind heart”),  fairness, encouragement, enthusiasm, good humor,  someone who is a good listener and can be trusted with confidential information.

As for pedagogy, according to my students, a good teacher is innovative and knows how to teach while not making the students too anxious,  teaches clearly so students can understand, controls and challenges the class, is not boring, and is passionate about her subject and capable of teaching all the students  (“thinks about how to teach this student and another person”).  A good teacher imparts as much knowledge as possible including new vocabulary and information about the American culture.

This is valuable information for reflecting on myself as a teacher of adult English language learners and for examining my interactions with my students both inside the classroom and out.  While I expected more criteria from the students regarding a teacher’s daily classroom habits, I am not at all surprised or disappointed that they focused more on their teachers’  gentleness of spirit.

I will poll the students again at the end of the semester to see if/how their assessment of “good-teacher” characteristics changes, and I will ask the students to anonymously evaluate me and my teaching performance on those essential qualities my students value in a teacher.

You might also be interested in reading 10 Characteristics of Highly
Effective Teachers by Tamas Lorincz (@tamaslorincz).

Fear of Failure

“Failure seldom stops you. What stops you is the fear of failure.” Jack Lemmon

How often fear holds us back from trying something new and even more so, from achieving success in something new!  Once we realize that a failed attempt at something new is not only fleeting, unless we give up, it is one step closer to success and certainly nothing to be afraid of.  It is simply part of the process or journey of learning.  Never trying anything new or challenging ourselves to improve or increase our potential and just maintaining the status quo…now that is something to fear!

Congratulations to all of us who took classes this summer and who now are going to put what we learned in those classes into practice with our students.  It is great to be modeling for our students what we preach, ourselves as life-long learners.

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Teaching with Technology This Summer?

Are you teaching with technology this summer?  What are you using?  Are you experimenting with anything new?   How is it working for you?   Do your students seem to enjoy learning with these new technologies?  Are they excited about coming to your class?  Do they know you are learning to use them together?  Have they given you or their classmates a hand with any of these new technologies yet?  Do you recognize them for this?  Are you modeling patience and tolerance with your own learning and willingness to try new things?   Have you shared your excitement of learning  these new skills with any of your colleagues?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, congratulations! You and your students are probably have a great summer teaching and learning together…as it should be in adult ESL!.

“The teachers who get “burned out” are not the ones who are constantly learning, which can be exhilarating, but those who feel they must stay in control and ahead of the students at all times.”  Frank Smith

May you continue to have an exhilarating summer!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Are You Teaching with Technology?“, posted with vodpod

Special thanks to Sue Lyon-Jones (@esolcourses) of The PLN Staff Lounge for introducing me to Blixy!
For further thought, read: http://edorigami.wikispaces.com/21st+Century+Teacher

A Thought-Provoking Study: What Makes a Good Teacher?

Marisa Constantinides writes in her blog, TEFL Matters, about a study she conducted a few years ago comparing what younger learners (11-13 years old) and adult learners would designate as important qualities in a good teacher.  Read What kind of teacher are you?  Are you in your students’ Hall of Fame?” for some thought-provoking information.