Five common teaching mistakes to avoid with Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector courses


Five common teaching mistakes you can avoid by comming on the Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector course (PTLLS).

Following your numerous queries about the most common teaching mistakes I have decided to list some of them and advise you what to do to avoid them. The below mentioned mistakes are made not only by candidates delivering their micro-teaching sessions (Practical Assignment 3) on ‘Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector’ (PTLLS) courses but also by professional and more experienced teachers.

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To start with – poor time management, which means not starting and finishing on time as well as not following the lesson plan and amount of time primarily allocated to each task or part of the lesson. You are asking, what could be easier than the time keeping –you just need to watch the clock. Believe me, for some teachers it is not as easy as it sounds. So, what should one do in order to accomplish this skill? First of all you have to be well organised and control the time when you are teaching. This will help you start and finish your sessions on time as well as allow appropriate amount of time for each activity that you carry out in your lesson. Also, make an effort and prepare detailed lesson plans (including an exact timing for each activity) and follow them as much as you can. Your tutor will cover all this on the PTLLS course.

Another worth mentioning teaching mistake is called Teacher Talking Time (TTT). This one seems to be committed by even most experienced teachers. Some teachers simply cannot resist talking and converting their sessions into `me, me` me` tales. `Lecture` is known as one of the most valued and popular teaching methods and we should never underestimate its importance. However, you need to bear in mind that too much talking and lecturing is boring and easily changes your lessons into the three Ts.

Talking about teaching methods brings us to yet another teaching mistake – not engaging students enough. In order to keep away from this problem you should always choose such teaching methods that address your student needs and let them participate and be actively involved in the lesson. Variety of different tasks and students` activities will help your students learn more effectively and enjoy their learning experience better.

Too much information- very often teachers try to cram too much information into one session and fail because of not meeting the objectives of their lesson. As an excuse they use a limited amount of time and number of lessons or extensive syllabus to be covered on the course. While planning your lessons you should always remember that the amount of information to be delivered in the lesson has to be realistic and achievable, otherwise you won` t succeed.

Last but not least is walking or standing in front of the projector. As the PowerPoint Presentations become more and more popular these days such a mistake is made more often. Teachers seem to forget that when they walk or stand in front of the projector their students can see neither slides nor information displayed on the screen. So please remember that your PowerPoint Presentation is successful only when all information is disclosed and accessible to your students.

To conclude this entry I would like to wish you all the best in your teaching career and please stay away from: talking too much, walking in front of a projector and cramming too much information into your lessons. Engage your students by using an interesting range of teaching methods and work on your time keeping Good luck!

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