What to do instead of rescheduling classes
One of my greatest achievements this year has been finding a way to turn a class a student has missed into a useful teaching opportunity that doesn't have me available for them another hour in the future.
Here's what I've been doing:
I have started creating tasks with facebook videos. If a student misses a session and doesn’t give me enough notice or we can’t find a time we’re both available, instead of finding another slot, or sitting around doing nothing, or sacrificing my personal life, I create a special vocabulary/listening task I call eclass for them to work on. Then the following class we discuss the topic and the new vocabulary.
I have found several nice pages that have motivational/funny/business videos with dialogues and presentations with people from all over the world in bite sizes, with most of the editing job done for me. It's wonderful because they use language clearly and naturally, and it's all really well-made and easy for them to follow.
Here's a list of my favorite ones:
I select the videos that have subtitles and purposely choose people from different countries. With that, I have managed to expose my students to a broad range of different native and non-native speaker accents so far. I feel like this takes the learning experience far beyond Received Pronunciation and Standard American English, which is what books usually offer us, and I have been receiving lots of positive feedback from my students who need to do business in English, went abroad on holiday or to study English and love to watch movies an series. Definitely, listening to so many different accents is really helping them!
What I love about this is we're past the first half of the year and I have ZERO classes to reschedule and I am also left with the feeling I have offered my learners an out-of-class opportunity worthy of their time and mine. I honestly believe by doing so I am giving students a genuine experience to learn English as it is nowadays, a global language, while also putting them in charge of their own learning process!
I'll make a post with more details and ideas soon.