By Zarela Cruz
When it comes to preparing our class, our main frame is the Teacher’s Guide. There is a point in which we wonder if it is helpful or if, eventually, it restricts our creativity.
Let’s analyze the facts.
Novice vs experienced teachers
For novice teachers, a Teacher’s Guide is like a bible: it contains all pedagogical aspects to be taken into account; it tells them what to do step by step so it is an excellent back up.
Tailor-made or ready to use?
The information in the Teacher’s Guide does not necessarily fit our institution’s goals. However, it may be helpful and supportive.
Below, a list of pros:
- It definitely saves time.
- It explains how activities can be used since they are suggested by their own authors.
- It describes the methodological approach of the textbook.
- It supplies extra materials such as exams, exercises, handouts, CDs and even an eZone!
And now, a list of cons:
- It restricts your creativity.
- ·You may feel that the sequence of your class is imposed by what the book states for a specific unit or chapter.
- You do not have the chance to create your own examples.
- You may not include your own experience or know-how.
Do any of these reasons sound familiar to you? There has always been a debate about the usefulness of such a guide: some teachers are convinced that they bring not only variety to class but also invaluable help. On the other hand, there is also a number of teachers that think it is a good start, but it should not be definite.
How do you see the teacher’s guide?
Has it always meant the same to you?
Zarela Cruz graduated from Ricardo Palma University as a translator. She also finished her master’s studies in Linguistics and took some specialization diplomas in the Teaching of English and Spanish. She has also completed some online certificates: Teaching the Working Adult, Online, Hybrid and Blended Education, among other self-study courses. She has taught different courses, programs and levels and has been a teacher trainer, a lecturer and online instructor for more than 25 years. She is currently studying a master’s degree in Translation. This article aims to reflect on the convenience of using a Teacher’s Guide.