Changing your English teacher… or not.
It is healthy to have a good relationship with your teacher. You will learn more if you feel relaxed, confident and feel that you can trust them. Whether you have been with a teacher for weeks, months or years, building a strong bond can be the difference between learning a bit, and learning a lot!
So, what do you do when it finishes? Many students find it difficult to accept when they will no longer have the same teacher that they know, like and trust. But, as with all changes in life, I believe that this should be viewed as an opportunity, instead of a crisis.
A strong teacher – student relationship is great.
I have previously argued that strong relationshoips in the classroom are key to successful learning. Students are more likely to learn if they feel engaged in their classroom setting, in which the teacher is the leader. If there is a lack of connection between teacher and student, this may impede the learning process itself. A student must have the ability to ask questions without fear, and a teacher must feel confident that their students are listening to them.
However, this relationship cannot be a make-or-break factor in learning.
Perfect doesn’t exist!
If you have a teacher that isn’t your cup of tea, try to make the most of your lessons anyway. After all, there is no right way to teach or learn, and so perhaps this teacher just uses methods that are unfamiliar to you. In the long-term, this may even have some benefits you can’t yet see.
Remember, you are the one who is responsible for your learning. If there is something about your classes that you don’t enjoy, try telling the teacher, in as nice a form as possible. It may happen that others in your class feel the same way as you, and it may be greatly helpful for your teacher.
Change is good
If your favourite teacher leaves the school or leaves the country or simply can’t keep teaching you, don’t worry. Although this person may have guided you well, try to see the upside to change. Perhaps your next teacher will bring new methods that will help you improve even faster. Perhaps they will have a focus on accent that you didn’t have before. Perhaps they will know how to explain some difficult grammar problems in a more simple way. Perhaps they will use a fun game that helps you to learn vocabulary faster than ever.
There are benefits to having one teacher for a long time, such as them understanding your needs, your abilities, and how you learn, however, just as much good can come from the experience of learning from different teachers.
Life isn’t black and white
The worst possibility is to fall into the idea that you are only able to learn English under specific circumstances, such as with a specific teacher. This isn’t true. Your brain is a completely incredible learning tool. It will allow you to adapt to all kinds of situations, if you are willing to.
We humans love routine, and get easily attached to them. Of course, this can mean a moment of sadness and nostalgia when you are going to change teacher. That is great; but don’t let it impede your learning! Your learning should be independent from your relationship to any teacher.
Your teacher holds the map, but you hold the steering wheel, so keep the engine running, and keep enjoying the ride.