Helpful German teacher hints, advice and tips
The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.
Jim Becker- BA, Cornell College (Iowa), MA, La Sorbonne (Paris), PhD-ABD, The Ohio State University (Foreign Language Education).
William Arthur Ward, American Writer (1921-1994)
I know from my own experience that being on a continual path of self-improvement is an absolute necessity toward be a good teacher. Hang out with other educators that you admire. Watch them closely and learn from them. Imitation is the greatest compliment! Join your language association (AATSP - http://www.aatsp.org) plus two foreign language teacher associations (state and national: ACTFL- (http://www.actfl.org) and attend their annual meetings on a regular basis. Get involved anyway you can with each. Rub noses with people at the TOP. Get to know the officers personally. Keep in contact with them. Use these association offerings, suggestions and resources.
Whenever you can in your own environment, ask to observe colleagues in action in their classroom. Pick up ideas that work for them and adopt and adapt them to you own classroom. Always be on the "lookout" for new ideas, new means of teaching, new ways to incorporate things that work for others into your own methodology. Don't hesitate to ask questions of teachers who have had much success as to how and why that happened. I used to observe elementary teachers and how they interacted with their young students. Always something to learn. "Learn from the mistakes of others. You'll never live long enough to make all of them yourself." Another that I always loved is "If you think you're green, you'll grow - if you think you're ripe, you'll rot." All true. Don't rot! That's an axiom that will never grow old. You may think that you are the best, but you're not. There is always someone better than you. (I learned this playing basketball) Learn from them. Know what the best practices are and be aware of the current online resources that can be of great help to you and your students.
Keep your classroom presentations FRESH. Keep up with innovation and the changing needs of your students by incorporating technology such as computer use, iPhones, iPads, e-mail and a host of other innovations into your routine classroom activities to communicate with others in the target language and to access authentic resources. Stay current with options and trends in the field such as the National Standards and know how to incorporate them into your daily plans. Hopefully these few ideas will aid in your growth and success. Stay with it. Don't throw in the towel like many have, but again as I point out above, whatever new ideas you discover, you must first adopt and then adapt. Not everything you see elsewhere will work for you as I have personally learned. You must adapt those ideas to your own classroom. There are a host of great ideas available on all these sites, but they are only as successful as you will make them. And perhaps most important of all, do ask your students often how they feel about what they are doing and learning and what they enjoy the most and the least in your classroom. Most of all, do enjoy your students and share yourself with them. They don't care how much you know until they know how much you CARE] I hope that you picked up some ideas here that will aid in your total success. Have fun in your classroom. (ps I picked up these ideas in a recent dream and wanted to share with each of you) I'm 72 but never too old to learn and never too old to share ideas. Best yet, why not be learning another language yourself? Check out one of the sites above. It is a great means to experience first-hand what your students are feeling. Now you are "walking in their shoes." Don't hesitate to enjoy doing it.