Thursday 13 June 2019

The Importance of Being Extra

Teaching style depends on personality type. Some teachers are quiet and cool, they speak slowly, get their point across and manage to keep the students interested. My goodness, I’ll never know how they do it, they are the real MVPs. You see me, I am extra. No, scratch that- I’m extra- extra LOL. If you pass by my class you’ll hear a lot of productive noise and above all, lots of laughter. My class has to be fun; otherwise, I’d bore myself to death, not to talk of my students. In my opinion, to successfully get young people engaged in learning, you’d have to be crazy, humorous, cool and innovative all at once. Let me tell you about my typical lesson.

In real life, to those who do not know me well, I seem introverted and shy but I kid you not, the moment I walk into the class the let's-run-this-show spirit comes upon me and I immediately transform into this energy goddess no matter how bad I was feeling before class time! I walk into the class mouth first, chat the students up, and sometimes I dance to invisible music in my head as I set up my computer. Note that the class hasn’t started yet, the students still have about five minutes prep time so, they’re looking at me and already laughing, wondering what this crazy teacher has in store for them today, I make sure I never disappoint. I try to bring in something new that they’ve never seen before. 
One thing that has worked for me this week has been the use of Bitmojis to spice up my lesson. Bitmoji is an app owned by the same company that runs the Snapchat app, and it allows you to create a Bitmoji character that looks like you, just like the "so extra" picture in this post. Imagine the excitement and surprise when “I” showed up on the screen LOL. You can use Bitmojis to spice your lessons in any imaginable way and I'm thinking of making stickers from them too. Sometimes I use hilarious GIF images that move around on the screen when I’m running my slide show. I can’t stand “normal” lessons, you guys.

Today I wore extra big, star-shaped glasses that made the kids laugh out loud, they didn’t see it coming. Amidst good mornings and laughter, the students who bumped into me at the entrance tried to make comments about my glasses in English. While teaching the grammar point “What do you think of ….?” / I think (that)…”, during the introduction stage, after several examples using pictures, I turned my back to the class for a minute then I put my glasses on, turned around, struck a pose and asked: “What do you think of my glasses?” ”Ha-ha, I think they’re crazy”, “I think that Lola is cute” “I think it’s funny”. See? Target language used, lesson aim achieved, we all laughed, end.of.story.  Look, a little silliness never hurt anyone.
Sometimes my silliness is spontaneous, in response to the tempo in the class; most times it begins at the planning stage. I have a good time planning my lessons, especially when creating resources and visuals. I imagine how it’ll play out and make necessary adjustments. By the time I’m done, I’m so pumped up and excited and this translates into my lessons. I know I’m blowing my own trumpet but hey, it’s mine!

Oh, I enjoy my students, genuinely laugh at their jokes, and I am very generous with praises, and sometimes I get so emotional when they have done very well as a group and I put my hand to my heart and tell I love them. Of course, there’ll always be those naughty ones who try to hijack your lesson, I dramatically roll my eyes and bless them with a look that says “really!” and they adjust immediately. Balance is very important.

I realise that not everyone can be energetic and extra like me and I’m not asking you to become who you’re not but no matter your personality type, enthusiasm is one ingredient that you can never do without. Don’t be dull and never sulk no matter what you’re going through at that time; nobody likes a teacher who shows up in class sucking lemons. Do all you can in the best way that agrees with your personality to let your students know that you’re interested in them and that you’re happy to be their teacher.

Phew, this week is almost over! Tomorrow I'll tell you about my bloopers, all the many things that didn't go so well this week and how I handled them. 
Please leave a note and let me know which part of this post resonates with you the most.

Thanks for stopping by, see you next post!


  1. Your post reminds me of me, i really love goofing off with my kids when teaching and describing things. It makes the class to come alive and brings out creativity. Thanks for this.

  2. Your post reminds me of me, i really love goofing off with my kids when teaching and describing things. It makes the class to come alive and brings out creativity. Thanks for this.

    1. Yayyyy a fellow goof ball! Thank you for your comment. Keep being awesome!

  3. It's my first time here!!! Yipeeeee! Okay, I think I'm more extra, extra, extra than you Lola😁. I'll be back to read previous posts.

    1. πŸ˜‚ the more extra the better! Thank you for reading! Please come again soon!


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