How to be a good classroom helper, in and out of the classroom

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In church-based language classes, volunteers often want to help out without doing formal teaching. How can we make a difference without feeling in the way? How can we have a positive impact without the burden of lesson planning?

Description

In church-based language classes, volunteers often want to help out without doing formal teaching. How can we make a difference without feeling in the way? How can we have a positive impact without the burden of lesson planning? How can we help the students to learn, and also get to know them more than just as students?

This is a new practical session for those volunteers who genuinely want to help, without standing in front of the class to teach. We will help you find the confidence to be yourself and to reach out to the students. We will talk about the best ways to help with English: how to help students find the answers without simply telling them; how to help students when they make mistakes; how to work with a small group of students; and other possible scenarios.

We will also talk about the holistic side of English classes, how to build friendships with students that might go beyond the classroom, how to make small talk with students that can lead to deeper conversations and genuine friendships. Please come with questions you have or scenarios from your own experience that you might like to discuss with others.

  • Kathy Baxter

    Kathy Baxter first started teaching English to Bosnian refugees in Chicago in the mid-90’s, and then completed her MA in Intercultural Studies and TESOL. After 4 years of working with Bosnians in the US, the doors opened for Kathy to move to Sarajevo, Bosnia, in 2000 as a worker with International Teams. During her five years there, she helped establish a language school in the heart of the professional community in Sarajevo, teaching general English and business English to professionals and government workers. Since moving to the UK in 2005 she has worked in pre-field training for cross-cultural workers and coordinated English classes at a local church in Southall, west London. She first became involved in teacher training through International Training Network in 2008. As a freelance teacher trainer, she loves equipping volunteer teachers in churches to serve in their communities, and often conducts training seminars for churches.

    When Kathy was learning the Bosnian language during her time in Sarajevo, she found that she learned best when drinking coffee in her neighbour’s kitchen, listening to this Bosnian “auntie” tell stories from her own childhood. Coffee chats and language study are a perfect combination, in her opinion.