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.

First off, it is smart to ask the teacher if he/she has any specific ideas in mind regarding how you can aid students in the learning process. Continuing the discussion to find a compatible solution in which both teachers are affective in student learning can yield fruitful results.

Additionally, I suggest consistently circling the classroom, not being afraid to dive into student conversations and group work. Although some students may be too shy to share their work, fearful of sharing imperfections, it is your duty to help them realize and learn from their mistakes.  Providing your expert listening skills and constructive criticism will benefit students in the long term. Don’t be afraid to be proactive in their learning.

If the teacher does not ask for your opinion, as a native speaker, on materials or work presented in a lesson, you can always respectfully offer it.

Furthermore, be sure to discuss the teaching setup with your fellow teacher outside of the classroom. Express your interest and enthusiasm in being more involved with the teaching process in the classroom, offer to meet up before or after class to become well-versed in the teacher’s lessons and objectives. Hopefully you will be able to eventually find common ground on how to share the workload.

Also, don’t be afraid to share your friendly demeanor with students outside of the classroom; they just may be more relaxed and apt to interact with you outside of the confines and rules of certain classrooms and teachers.

In the end, civilized and structured communication is key to achieving the goal shared with the other teacher – that of constructively teaching English to the students.


I adored teaching English in beautiful Montpellier, France during the 2008-09 academic year. I am an avid learner and have finished two professional certificates in public relations and social media technologies.