ALTs and Their Utility Belts: 3 Practical Tools for the Classroom

Source: Gaijin Pot
ALTs and Their Utility Belts: 3 Practical Tools for the Classroom

We are ALTs, but let’s stop and use our imaginations for a moment. Let’s pretend that we have slightly different occupations, OK? Let’s all be Batman.

Batman? Sounds like fun, but why?

Because Batman has something that every ALT should also have.

A cape? A really cool, fast car?

No, a utility belt! Batman has an awesome yellow belt with a variety of pouches and cylindrical cartridges containing batarangs, batlines, parachutes and other tools integral to his fight for justice.

So… I need a batarang and a parachute?

Not necessarily. There are a few essential “tools,” though, that every ALT should carry with them at all times in our “fight for English education.”

1. Extras

First, there are the extras for the students.

We should always carry some extra pens, pencils, highlighters, erasers, notebook paper and everyday necessities of that sort. From experience, there’s always at least one student who isn’t properly prepared or equipped. As ALTs, we can plan ahead for times like this and bring extra general stationery supplies so that everyone can participate during our lessons.

I also make a lot of extra copies of handouts and worksheets. I think it’s best to be over-prepared (like Batman) than to realize part way through my lesson that I didn’t make enough copies. Often, especially with younger ones, the students will tear or spill on their handouts and worksheets and will need a second copy of them, anyway.

Then, there are extras for you and your team-teaching partner or Japanese teacher of English (JTE).

We should always carry extra magnets, chalk and red pens for checking student. When using technology during lessons, it’s also not a bad idea to bring extra copies of CDs or DVDs, as well as extra cables or extension cords. It’s not a good situation to be in when you turn down the lights, queue …continue reading