What my Naughty Dog taught me about Students.

Building relationships with students

I have a very naughty dog. He was adopted from the SPCA in Singapore when I was teaching there and was about 2 years old at the time. For the first few days he was quite tentative and unsure of me, but that did not last long. By the end of the first week he would race gleefully to the door to meet me when I got home in the … Read More

Where Are They Now?

Teaching is for the long-term

One of my earliest Facebook memories was receiving a friend request from a past student. A wonderful message followed thanking me for being the teacher I was. I won’t brag and go into details, but we don’t get this feedback often and when it comes it is treasured. It helps so much when we are beginning to doubt we are making a difference. And we all feel that from time … Read More

The Reasons I hate Book-Hire Schemes for English

No more Book Hire Please.

When it comes to text books for many subjects, hire-book schemes can be really helpful. Many of these books are expensive to buy and as they are used year after year it makes sense to ensure that all students have access. However I think they are deadly for English classes. Here are some of the reasons. Good English teachers do not teach from ‘text-books’ as such. They teach from texts. … Read More

How to Manage the ‘END.’

End of Semester workloads.

This is always a strange time of year for me. Colleagues in the Northern hemisphere are in the process of winding down and preparing for their long break, while down here in the Southern regions teachers are up to their eyeballs in the busiest time of their year. Emails, FB posts and Tweets can leave my head spinning as I try to work out which messages come from where. You … Read More