Cheats and copycats

Text messages and talking dics

It is a problem when students are more technologically advanced than you. They can figure out ways to outsmart teachers on tests. In one particular incident, one of the smarter students text messaged the answers to another student from the hallway. However, I often switch the order of questions on my exams so, unfortunately for them, the answers didn’t match.


Person of odd jobs

Let's hear it for the good old head teacher

Why is the head teacher the topic of this month’s column? Because I became one at the beginning of this year, CE* 2006, at a newly opened branch of the language school I work for. Instead of giving a mission statement in this article and explaining in detail what my job involves and what the difficulties and the perks are, I have tried to make it a little more interesting and easier to read by putting on paper what others say about me.


Teaching the kiddies

Do they learn anything at all?

Although weekend courses have to be fun for everyone involved, meaning both children and teacher, I think that fun and learning should be balanced. If the parents pay good money to get their kids on a course, the least a teacher should do is make sure that they learn some English. This can be done using fun and games, but not exclusively.


My TEFL career

The ups and downs of over fifteen years 'in the game'

It's a been a long and often painful journey, but here's an account of 15 years in the Thailand TEFL business. My careers officer never once told me that it might turn out like this.


The negative interview mindset

Is it sometimes too easy to get a teaching job in Thailand?

A growing number of foreign teachers (particularly male) think that it's so easy to get an English teaching job in Thailand that all you have to do on interview day is turn up. Ajarn.com looks at a common mindset behind interviewing for TEFL jobs


Boredom in the ESL classroom

What every teacher, student and administrator should know

When I hear of students complaining that they're bored, my first response, at least to myself is, "So?" My next response is, "I really don't care." Which is true. I can't see why I should. I can't see why anybody should care. Education is the solution to boredom. Education offers opportunities for the student that staying ignorant doesn't. It's that simple.


Preparing for school (part two)

How to start your semester with a bang

Teacher introduction. Introduce yourself to your new students. Tell them who you are, what you do, and what you expect. Things to include are where you are from, your qualifications, your likes and dislikes, hobbies, and maybe a small, personal anecdote.


We're not just another brick in the wall

Hey teacher, leave those kids alone

I'm learning that ESL teaching is a useless endeavor unless there's a special student in your class. Someone who makes you care and feel. I'm learning that a wall around you, although useful at strategic times, is dangerous when students are relying on you to connect with them and deliver "the goods."


Preparing for school (part one)

Welcome to April! - school is definitely finished

For all teachers, the school break can be used for self-improvement. Self-improvement is easy and can be done from the comfort of your own home.


ESL teachers as mentors and heroes

ESL teachers as linguistic imperialists and neo-colonialists

ESL teachers should be viewed as mentors and heroes, selflessly taking the time to improve the lives of our students. People like Julian Edge and Larry Smith should be ashamed of themselves. They spit in the face of every dedicated ESL teacher.


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