The UN defines a child as anyone up to the age of 18. As many of us know only too well, teaching children of any age can be stressful and exhausting, and it’s not always easy to keep focused on why we love our jobs so much! At times, it can also feel an overwhelming responsibility or delusion to think that we can transform our students’ lives. In the first part of the talk, we’ll explore how to survive and cope with the multiple demands and challenges of everyday teaching. A toolbox of practical survival strategies and classroom techniques to conserve energy and avoid burnout will be presented. However, surviving does not necessarily mean thriving, in other words, blossoming and flourishing in our roles. This is, in many ways, more intangible and harder to achieve. In the second part of the talk, we’ll explore the reasons for this, and focus on the influence of teacher and children’s wellbeing in creating a positive climate for successful learning. We’ll discuss what wellbeing means and why it’s crucial for both teachers and children. This will be followed by the presentation of a range of flexible ideas and procedures to improve teacher and learner wellbeing, sustain motivation and achieve high quality teaching and learning outcomes. The conclusion will stress the value of combining practical, classroom survival strategies with promoting your own and your children’s wellbeing, in order to achieve the most effective and rewarding results and become the transformative teacher you wish to be.
How to survive and thrive as a language teacher of children
About Carol Read
She has over 30 years’ experience in ELT as a teacher, teacher trainer, academic manager, materials writer and educational consultant. Carol has taught students of all ages and levels, from very young children to adults. Carol’s main specialisation is in early years and primary language teaching. She has run numerous teacher education courses and worked as a consultant in many different countries in Europe, Latin America and Asia. Carol has also published extensively in the field of teaching English to children, including course book series such as Footprints, supplementary materials, online storytelling and CLIL projects, book chapters, and articles on pre-primary and primary ELT methodology. Carol’s publications include the award-winning titles 500 Activities in the Primary Classroom, as well as the primary course book series Bugs and Tiger Time (or American Tiger). Her latest publication is a new, global pre-school course, Mimi’s Wheel (or Ferris Wheel). Carol is a former President of IATEFL.