Teaching …

Teaching is like …….. acting
have you ever thought of how many professions overlap? When teaching, do you ever feel like you are an actor/actress? Of course my title is not a sweep statement nor do I believe that teaching is exactly or simply like acting, but in this blog post you will find a few reasons why I believe being a teacher is like being an actor/actress minus the Oscar nomination. So, here goes….

  • No matter what is going on in your personal life, you got to put on a smile:
    • You can’t dwell on any hardships you are facing on a personal level, you have to teach, and teach well cause otherwise your students will not learn, enjoy themselves, be happy with your teaching.
  • Your classroom is your stage:
    • When you need to be the center of attention, you need to grab your learners’ attention. Your classroom is your stage. If your teaching, like acting, is boring, you have lost your audience; your learners (I am not saying that teachers should be the ones talking all the time and learners should just listen. Just saying that when teachers talk, they got to be interesting).
  • You need to sing and maybe even dance:
    • Isn’t singing and dancing part of your teaching especially when teaching young learners? Don’t you teach your students songs that will help them learn the alphabet, the vowel sounds, the colors? Aren’t you the one who shows them the moves to heads, shoulders knees and toes? That is some serious dancing and singing (you tap into the Fred Astaire you never knew you had in you, fellow teacher).
  • You use props:
    • You use everyday items and they are part of your setting (also see the stage bullet). These items help you get your message accross, make your lesson more lively. They are like special effects in movies. The only difference is that they make a ‘special impact’ on the learning process.
  • You add drama, laughter, surprise to your sessions:
    • In order to make your lesson more exciting you may resort to making jokes, being dramatic or adding a surprise element to your sessions. Aren’t all good actors/ actresses versatile? As teachers, we are not one trick ponies. We add a variety of elements to keep our learners engaged.
  • You cannot ‘perform’ well if you do not plan:
    • You need to know what you are going to teach before you go into class. You may even rehearse some of the things you will do to make sure everything goes according to plan. If you are a new teacher or teaching something new, you may even resort to learning things by heart!
  • You role play or… help them rehearse for plays:
    • In order for your learners to learn very often you get them to do role playing activities. This makes the target language often easier to learn. Then there is the end of the year event which very often is a play! You, of course, are responsible for costumes, rehearsal of plays etc.
  • You make your learners think, you broaden their horizons (self explanatory).
  • You get letters. messages, flowers, gifts….:
    •  You get lovely little cards from your students. You may even get a small gift or flowers as a way of showing that they enjoy your teaching.
  • Paralinguistic features matter:
    • You use your facial expressions, your body, your gestures to convey meaning, to get the message accross just like an actor or actress does.
Of course, you will not get an Oscar nor will you make big bucks, but then again who cares? You affect people’s lives and you equip your students with something exceptional: you help them communicate their thoughts!
Picture taken from here
Till next time….

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