Published 27th June 2018

EFL Classroom

If you’re starting out as an English as a Foreign Language teacher, you probably want to be the best teacher you can be. So you read all the methodology books you can get your hands on and you spend time planning engaging and effective lessons. If you’ve been in the game for a while, however, you might feel you have lost your mojo somewhat. You might feel you are not giving the best of yourself in the EFL classroom.

This is normal for any occupation. Once you’ve done something for a while you can start to feel like you’re not being challenged and so you can fall into a rut. This can affect you emotionally and result in poor performance in your job. If you reach this stage, you may think you need to totally reconsider your teaching strategies in order to revitalise your lessons for the EFL classroom.

How to rethink your approach to teaching in the EFL classroom

What if we told you that you don’t need to think big, but you should rather think small?

That’s right, in order to better yourself as a teacher it can make more sense to focus on small changes rather than the big ones. This will be much more manageable for you, not as daunting and will reap the same if not better results.

7 small changes you can make to your teaching to reap big rewards

Here are 7 small things you can do to shake yourself out of your funk and revamp your EFL classroom:

  • Arrive early. Don’t just plan to arrive at the same time as your students. Make sure you arrive before they do so you have time to collect your thoughts and prepare the classroom and your materials. This way your lesson can get off to a good start as soon as your students arrive.
  • Learn your students’ names. Rapport is an essential part of any effective learning environment and knowing your students’ names is necessary for this. It will make your students feel valued and comfortable in your class.
  • Keep records of your lessons. We’re not talking about the compulsory paperwork you need to fill out for your school. Keep notes on your different classes and their lessons. This will help you prepare for your lessons and help you think on your feet if necessary.
  • Read every day. Whether it be a teaching blog, an EFL magazine or a grammar reference book, set aside a certain amount of time every day to read. Even if it’s just for 10 minutes, taking this time every day will ensure you keep up to date with trends and you are always inspired.
  • Organise your resources. When you find amazing worksheets or online resources, make sure you keep them where you can find them easily again. This will cut down your planning time massively.
  • Share your resources. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Maintain a good relationship with your colleagues so that you can share ideas and lessons.
  • Look after yourself. Avoid burnout at all costs. This can be done by maintaining a healthy work-life balance and taking a break when necessary.

Sometimes you don’t need to make massive changes to liven things up. All it takes are a few smaller changes to effect greater change.