The importance of a positive learning environment

It helps to think back to my own past school experiences.

Call me an idealist, but each time I see a teacher whose negativity and/or negative reinforcement tactics are obvious, the Pink Floyd music video plays in my mind. “Hey! Teacher! Leave those kids alone…”


Overjustification

Is there a place for rewards in the classroom?

Having classroom management problems? Try using candy as a reward for good behavior or good grades. Kids love candy, so it works great as a reward. Or does it?


A better way to deal with class disruptions

What to do when students misbehave

This article is for teachers like me who don't have formal training to do what they do, but who nevertheless want to do the best that they can to enrich and improve their own lives as well as those of their students.


Thai education and TEFL class management

A look at three practical examples to use in your classroom

Class management, although employing techniques, isn't so much a process as a mind-set requiring a separate skill set from that of delivery, a point often missed in progressive education orthodoxy.


‘Sanook’, games and the Thai EFL classroom

Should teachers be entertainers?

One would think that the Thais' love of ‘sanook' would make the EFL classroom an inviting place for new EFL teachers, but the situation can be frustrating.


The system is a mess!

Postbox letter from Wilf

In my time teaching in Thai schools in the Thai system, I could manage to control most of my classes, but some were simply impossible. The reason for all of this is not always the teacher's fault. Nor is it really the pupils' either. It's the system as a whole.


Triggers in the classroom

How to grab attention

Now classroom management is a complex thing, and identifying the reasons for the students' lack of attention is sometimes hard to do while things are descending into chaos. The real issue is what to do about it when it happens.


Discipline in the classroom

The 800-pound gorilla no one talks about

On more than one occasion last semester when I was teaching at the local high school I walked out of classes because I wasn't able to control an unruly crowd of 35 teenagers.


Trump gives himself a 10

The subtle art of self-evaluation

Not a lot of teachers I know use self-evaluation, and perhaps for good reason. There's a worry that students aren't qualified to self-evaluate, that it's the teacher's job (and duty) to allocate and distribute scores in some objective way.


Cheating or helping?

Is it better to simply observe students and not try to fix things?

I learned a long time ago to not expect Thai people to think or behave the way we do in California. I've come to realize the futility of trying to impose Western values on this ancient culture.


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