5 Tips on How to Productively Manage Your Time as a TEFL Teacher

By Monika Salita
@monikasalita or About Monika

This post was inspired by Inc. Magazine’s recent article, “7 Things Highly Productive People Do.” Whether or not you agree with its points, I believe that there are some worthwhile tips mentioned, which can be easily transferred to the life of a TEFL teacher.

Some points that have helped me to effectively manage my time, and thus become a better teacher include the following:

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Teach What You Know Best – Your Hometown and Your Hobbies – To Expose Students to a New World

By Monika Salita
@monikasalita or About Monika

For many of us teachers, stepping foot on foreign soil, in a country located thousands of miles (or kilometers) away from home, possibly even on the other side of the globe, can be a shock to the senses. We must readjust ourselves – our thinking and our ways of living – in order to now be successful in our jobs. Use this shocking experience to rock the world views of your students. Show them where you come from and what makes your hometown unique, who you are, and what truly defines you.

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Holidays: Inspiration for Teaching about Cultures and Diversity

By Monika Salita
@monikasalita or About Monika

les 3 graces, the xmas tree, and l'opera :)No matter which cultural background you come from, each one is brimming with holidays throughout the year that can serve as great teaching tools with which to teach about a culture, its history and diversity.

Major holiday celebrations on the docket in December for many people around the world include Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and the arrival of the new year. With these winter holidays alone, one can teach about an important Jewish holiday tradition, Christmas traditions from around the world, and heritage celebrations, with the people and objects involved in many stories serving  as vocabulary sources.

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Raising Classroom Engagement and Learning via Game Play and Creative Instruction

By Monika Salita
@monikasalita or About Monika

Colorful comments boardLearning through playing games and other fun activities, rather than reading books and listening to lectures, is a welcome change of pace for many students.

Incorporating music into lesson plans can be a good way to learn creatively. Many types of music work well, although I caution you to think twice before teaching with rap and R’n’B music. Aside from music-related activities, many of my students enjoyed interactive games that pitted teams against one another.

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Note to Self: Lessons using Rap Music generally aren’t Best at Teaching English

By Monika Salita
@monikasalita or About Monika

As a teaching assistant, you’ll find yourself ‘testing the waters’ so to speak time and time again: figuring out which lesson plans work for you and which ones don’t.

I’ll try to save you some grief by mentioning that rap songs (like Estelle and Kanye West’s “American Boy”), although hip and cool for most, aren’t the best teaching tools. I learned this through one big flop of a lesson plan.

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Too Many Teachers in the Classroom?

By Monika Salita
@monikasalita, About Monika

Too Many Teachers in the Classroom?: How to Effectively Apply Your Skills in the Classroom while Working With Another Teacher

As a native English speaker in a classroom full of students clamoring to learn the nuances of the language, teaching these students the intricate facets of formal and not so formal English should be easy. That is, unless you are working alongside a senior, non-native English speaking lead teacher who is consistently dominating lessons.

Does this lead teacher, who spends considerably more time with the students, fear your infiltration into a precisely structured lesson, throwing it off course? Perhaps. It’s up to you to prove your value in the classroom.

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Young and in Charge: How to Keep your Cool and be the Authority Figure in the Classroom

By Monika Salita
@monikasalita or About Monika

Top of Space Needle- Aug 2008I was 23 and 24 years old while I was teaching high school students in France. The age gap between me and the students I taught wasn’t huge, yet, establishing one’s self as the authority figure in the classroom, especially as a young teacher, is a facet of the teaching experience which must be dealt with.

Right from the start it is important to do some of the following:

1. Set ground rules for interactions in your classroom.
It’s easier to loosen the reigns later on than to tighten them back in. Tell the students what you’d like to be called, expectations for completing in-class work and homework, and so on. If you’re working with a co-teacher, consider their wishes as well.

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Quick Top Tips for Solo Travelers

By Monika Salita
@monikasalita or About Monika

Monika outside Lisbon airportI traveled Europe with a backpack during my eight month teaching séjour in France and I came home from my adventures unscathed.

Here are my top tips for being prepared and traveling intelligently, while making the most of your time in a new location, and doing all this alone.

 

1. Travel with copies of your important documents such as your passport, residency card, travel tickets and debit or credit card. Keep the copies in a safe location of your bag, separate from the originals. Keep another set of copies at home as well. These copies can be invaluable if you are ever faced with the unfortunate situation of being pick-pocketed.

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Uncover Southern France: Basking in Sunshine, Steeped in History

By Monika Salita
@monikasalita or  About Monika

Carcassonne old and new city viewMontpellier itself is a beautiful city in the south of France, centrally located between Paris, Nice and Barcelona, Spain – all of which are about four or five hours away by train.

Nestled even closer to Montpellier, only a few hours away, are a handful of outstanding UNESCO world heritage sites. Some of these historical cities and sites include Nîmes, Carcassonne, Avignon, St. Guilhem-le-Desert and Sète.

The aforementioned Paris, Nice and Barcelona are easy to research and learn about, so, let’s dig deeper into some lesser known gems.

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Discovery Afoot: Taking Full Advantage of Montpellier’s Cultural Resources and Leisure Activities

By Monika Salita
@monikasalita or  About Monika

When I first arrived in Montpellier, France, one of the most valuable things I did for myself regarding learning more about my new home base (thanks to the guidance of some kind souls at the prefecture) was to visit the Pôle Universitaire; otherwise known as the student center for the city’s three main university campuses.

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