The staffroom

Why do so many schools not recognize the importance of a good teachers' room?

It's in the staffroom that teachers grow their own skills, expand the range of the school curriculum, coordinate their efforts, and construct a coherent school culture. School administrators (who don't teach) are not aware of the power of a good staffroom.


A year in Ubon (part three)

The concluding episode from a first year teacher in Thailand

After work, late in the afternoon - back in my bungalow having packed my saggy suitcase with the few items I was going to need. I sat on one of the two chromed chairs in my compacted kitchen and couldn't prevent myself from thinking about the possible impending events of this coming evening.


Excuse me, haven’t we met before?

A satirical look at TEFL personality types

If you’re just an average teacher struggling along in a sea of two legged sharks trying to do your best give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back, because you sir or madam are gold dust.


Get it down on paper!

The secret to managing office politics

Conflict in a workplace can pop up unexpectedly. This is why it’s necessary for you to write things down. This way, when it comes time to defend yourself or to shed light on the matter you can look back to your notes and bring up exactly what happened


Handling hostility in the EFL office space

The single best political strategy

Managing the politics involved in teaching requires you to just admit that you know nothing. Pretend that you are an alien from outer space. You have no idea how to teach. You have no idea how the system works and you need help at all times. If you don’t do this, then people want to use your sense of importance against you.


Sharing the classroom

Working with another teacher

I've come to believe that putting two teachers in the same classroom needs careful planning, and even then, the clash of egos is a minefield. It only takes one wrong step. With the cultural dimension added in, especially for a newcomer, things can become noxious frighteningly quickly.


The worst kind of teachers

Postbox letter from Jim

In my opinion, the worst teacher is the one that doesn't want to be there, but says nothing - and does nothing.


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…”


A first lesson disaster

I mean, seriously, how many other teachers pass out in their first class?

when I awoke, I was on the floor slumped against the wall. I looked up to see at least 30 faces looking down on me, and yes, the smartphones were out in force. I could only wonder how much of the event had already been recorded.


What you can learn working with colleagues from different countries

Everyone has something to offer you

Overall, I really enjoy having a true international environment at work. The chance to work and meet people from so many countries has improved me as a teacher and allowed me to learn a lot about other cultures.


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