I teach English as a second language in UAE. The technology and other myriad factors have rendered today’s student’s attention span shorter. No question about it! To ensure to keep our students’ attention and engage them in the teaching materials we have, we always have to step up our teaching game. To do so, I turned to Tom Cassidy’s course about how to teach effectively, which my colleague has been raving about and I loved using it.
The course uses the 13×4 tool, which is really about figuring out 13 things you would like to accomplish and dedicating a week to each of them and repeating them four times. There are mainly three sections in the course, with the first section containing nine lectures, which are primarily focused on having confidence that radiates in the classroom, knowing what you are teaching, being energetic, thinking outside of the box, and others. I found all the nine lectures extremely useful, and repeating the exact same lectures in section 3 was like an icing on the cake, and has helped me hone my skills further. The next section also contains nine lectures, which are more or less about the teaching and planning process itself. This section zeroes in on how the content that the teachers, us, we will be delivering has to be well-planned, clear, engaging, and accessible, and otherwise students start not to pay attention. I especially loved the lecture on managing students effectively, as I had real problems of keeping their behavior in check during classes. Apart from the lecture managing students, the course also contains a lecture dedicated to teaching how to manage g resources effectively with a view to achieving the delicate balance in the classroom. The last section is a repetition of the first section lectures, which is quite useful if you want to be able to remember the lectures over the long haul.
The sheer clarity, the easy-to-follow organization, and the smooth flow of this course makes it suitable for aspiring and established teachers alike. As an EFL teacher, I have learned a great deal from this course, and I am 100% sure that the tools and strategies this course has helped me acquire will enable me to become a better teacher. Overall, even though the course might seem a bit daunting to take on given its length, it does wonders if you bear with it! Highly recommended to any teachers of any subjects, who want to hone their teaching skills, and be able to create a better learning environment for their students.
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Audio Program by: Tom Cassidy | Review by: Mark Vernik