Colonel Craig's Hints and Kinks for Teachers

This page is always under construction, and is organized as follows:

I. The Profession of Teaching
II. Eleven Guidelines for Teachers
III. Resources for Language Teachers
IV. Using the Internet in Language Teaching

I. The Profession of Teaching

Teaching is a profession of critical interactions, of working with others in a calling where theory and practice go hand in hand. At the base of it all are my contentions that teaching is a profession, not a job, and that teachers have great influence on the lives of their students.

Students see how their teachers speak, dress, and act. They notice their teachers' commitment to learning, to their community, and to their profession. They watch their teachers for fairness and honesty.

And while students may appear to be harsh judges, they are also impressionable, and are busy modelling themselves as future adults. Besides subject matter, the students are learning about living life.


II. Colonel Craig's Eleven Guidelines for Teachers

My Eleven Guidelines for Teachers, which follow, have been developed through careful and systematic observation of successful, respected, dedicated and memorable role models. I would like to claim original authorship, but cannot. The formative ideas, and in fact structures, came from a number of sources, to which I owe much.


  1. Know yourself and seek self-improvement.
    Learn about yourself, your preferences, strengths and weaknesses. Take advantage of your strengths, work to overcome your weaknesses, and share your preferences, which are based on experience and thoughtful observation.
  2. Be proficient in your discipline and in pedagogy.
    Be as conversant as possible with your discipline through continual self-study. Look to the several methods, approaches and strategies for teaching your subject matter. Experiment creatively but thoughtfully; learn from other teachers; use what works
  3. Seek challenges and take responsibility for your actions.
    Teaching always involves challenges. Welcome them; look to the new for fresh perspectives. Develop a "can do"attitude, and meet each new challenge with cheerful optimism. When you succeed, be modest and share the glory. When you fail, be ready to admi t your error and look forways to correct what went awry. Never shift blame onto others or "circumstances beyond your control."
  4. Make sound and timely decisions.
    Rapidly assess learning situations and make adjustments; delay is frequently a bad decision in itself. Indecisive teachers cause hesitancy, loss of confidence and confusion among learners. Gather the essential information quickly; make your decision p romptly; announce your decision in time for the students to adjust. Consider the short-range and long-range effectsof your decision.
  5. Set the example.
    Be a role model in your deportment, dress, language, honesty and concern for others. Expect preparation, competence, candor, commitment and integrity from your students; demonstrate them yourself. Set high, but attainable, standards.
  6. Know your students and look out for their well-being.
    Get to know each student, where he or she is from, what is important to each, and what makes him or her "tick." Show genuine concern without dropping standards. Correct those who fall short; reward those who produce results. Respect, but don't worship diversity. If you are successful, your students will go on to become your friends, not out of favoritism, but from the bonding which results from respect and shared achievement.
  7. Keep the students informed.
    Students do best when they know what they must do, and how to approach doing it. They expect logic in your requirements. Explain not only the task, but the reason for requiring it. Let them know that what they are doing is important.
  8. Develop a sense of responsibility in the students.
    Students feel pride and a sense of accomplishment when they successfully manage a new task you have given them. Give them challenges and responsibilities they can handle. Suggest enrichment activities and reward those who show initiative.
  9. Ensure that requirements are understood, supervised and accomplished.
    Let students know what you want done, what manner you think appropriate for solving the problem, and when their work is due. Let the students try. Give guidance where necessary. Accept performance which meets your standards; reward performance that ex ceeds your standards; correct performance that falls short. Hold students accountable for their performance, but look for the cause of problems and help the student find a solution.
  10. Teach to the appropriate level.
    Make sure the tasks are at the level which is both challenging and possible. Each student and each class has a personality. Recognize each student's capabilities and limitations, as well as the particular "chemistry" of the group.
  11. Build a love for the discipline.
    Develop a spirit which helps the student look willingly and confidently into more advanced aspects of the discipline. Show where, how and why knowing what you teach can make the students' lives better. Look beyond the text, the classroom, and the sch ool to bring in outside stimuli. Make maximum use of the limited resources available to you.

Plenty good guidelines, don't you think?


III. Resources for Language Teachers

Listed here first are World Wide Web links according to languages. Click on the language name to start surfing literally thousands of sites dealing with foreign languages and cultures. Below the little "WWW" symbol, you can find sites dealing wit h teaching, language, resources for teachers, and more.

Resources for Teachers of Languages

  • Teachers.Net - THE TEACHER WEBSITE with (almost) everything for the on-line teacher
  • Intercultural E-Mail Classroom Connections
  • Penfriends and Penpals - The Language School Exchange
  • Discovery Channel Smart Viewer
    A page with Copyright Information
    Human Languages
    Study Abroad Information
    Pen Pals via Email - Tandem
    Pen Pals via Email - IECC
    Teaching FL to Students with Disabilities
    "The Agora" - FL Products and Services
    Spanish Books
    DAAD Syllabus List for Germanists
    AATG Center for Teaching Materials
    The CIA Maps &c
    Univ. of Sussex Language Center
    Dept. of Foreign Languages at Idaho State University
    WWW Teaching Resources from FLTEACH

  • IV. Ideas for the Internet in Teaching

    This is always under construction. These ideas for student activities come in no particular order. Although they are here oriented to German, a teacher should be able to take the structures and concepts and apply them to another language without great difficulty.

    Have your students start at the Web Page http://www.isu.edu/~nickcrai/ and find responses to these, or similar questions. The student will begin to browse, curiosity will come into play, and s/he will learn a lot more than was required!

    Ideas for Student Activities

    The "answers" can sometimes be arrived at over several "routes" on the internet. For this section, use my home page for German (http://www.isu.edu/~nickcrai/german.html) and go to the section in brackets [below] for starters.

    Click on the button to send me an email message ... I'd appreciate your comments, suggestions, and even other URLs which I should include!


    Many thanx! Until next time ...


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