Not only am I a private English teacher, but I’m also a new mother. I have a limited budget and high expectations. I have created a small but effective arsenal of tools that suit all my needs. For those familiar with Food channel’s Alton Brown, his kitchen equipment philosophy is no uni-taskers. He doesn’t own anything that can only do one thing, with the exception of a fire extinguisher. Everything must be versatile and useful. I very much follow this philosophy for teaching tools.
1 White board and markers
This is my equivalent to a teacher’s blackboard. There is nothing I do that can’t be explained using a whiteboard. I use it for games. I use it for exercises. I give it to my student and say you must only talk to me in English. If you don’t know the word you can draw your idea. I show grammar on it. I keep notes.
2 Computer with internet
Seems to go without saying. This is all I had in the beginning. There’s a wealth of resources on the internet and so many of them are free. Youtube is enough to create lessons to last throughout a child’s entire childhood. My two favorite :
Super Simple Songs
I went years without a printer. It’s doable, but there are so many possibilities that open up with even a cheap black and white printer. Coloring pages, worksheets, games, books. Don’t worry about the lack of color. I color in my own worksheets. Has a nice homemade feel ) I’ve created and printed many games that use many sided custom dice to 3D buildings and books to create.
I don’t subscribe to the notion that more is better. More is clutter. I have wasted hours to days of my life sifting through large amounts of material to get to the few great resources I have. Now I spend my time teaching, not revamping worksheets or hunting a decent video, or creating an entire lesson from scratch.
I have added a few toys to my room to make my lessons a bit more fun. Again, these are multi-taskers that I reuse in many of my lessons:
- plastic fruit
- wooden blocks
- plastic shapes
- toy cars
- stuffed animals