Saying goodbye to your students. Is it better for students to have a new teacher?

Some days ago I said goodbye to one of my groups. We agreed to have tea during the last lesson. I planned some relaxed speaking activities and students brought a cake. Before the lesson I had been thinking about some kind of present for my students since I wanted to leave them with something pleasant. In my view, some material things are not appropriate in such a situation, so I came up with an idea to write some wishes and motivating words for them and made it look more or less presentable.


My motivating words for my students

My motivating words for my students

This is what my 'presents' looked like.

This is what my ‘presents’ looked like.

What do you leave your students with? What do you prepare for last lessons?

There is also a profound question of carrying on with the same group. I have recently been convinced that students should be taught by different teachers since they have different styles of teaching and their pronunciation varies that leads to improving students’ ability do understand. I have never thought of that before my DoS pointed it out to me. After that I became interested to look deeper into the topic.

When students have one and the same teacher

Thinking positively we may suppose that students feel less stressed with a person they are used to and therefore they are more eager to take risks and use some difficult language without being afraid of producing bad impression.

The teacher knows students’ strengths and weaknesses and may effectively make assumptions and anticipate problems.

The teacher knows which techniques work better with the students and which of them students dislike. Therefore lessons may be planned more effectively and students may achieve higher results.

At the same time the teacher has to come up with new ideas and activities which have never been used with the group because students might get bored with one and the same usual tasks.

When teachers are covered by others and change after each course

As it was already said, students don’t get used to one and the same accent and may have less difficulties in understanding other people. This issue alone seems to be able to outweigh some others.

Students see different styles of teaching and maybe even polar personality types. In some time students may figure out what kind of teaching style and what kind of teacher is better for them, so they may be able to give feedback to their teacher saying what works best for them, I mean, kind of moulding a teacher to their learning needs. Does this idea sound stupid to you? I am not sure that it may happen like this, but my gut feeling says that diverse ways of teaching (I’m not speaking about frameworks and approaches here, but teacher’s behavior) do students good.

There might be a point of motivation to produce a good impression on a new teacher, but I’d rather say it may influence more accuracy than fluency and risk-taking (that doesn’t mean that students’ striving to sound more accurate isn’t important!).

Some students may tend to do more homework with a new teacher. Or just do it)

A new teacher also wants to produce a better impression and get on with students, so they might want to find some outstanding activities. Also a new teacher won’t think that students may excuse something like being badly prepared, not knowing a word, being boring, being late or other things a teacher may allow themselves relying on their good image.

I have some other ideas as well, but I don’t want this post be very long. I’m also more interested in reading your point of view? Which side would you take?

Let me know the reasons of your answer. May be you have some other crucial issues in mind which I have missed.




5 thoughts on “Saying goodbye to your students. Is it better for students to have a new teacher?

  1. Sorry, I have no idea why that comment was suddenly published before I got past the first two words! I know I didn’t click on “post comment”…anyway, what I was going to say is that your post reminded me of several situations, both when I was (just) a teacher and later on a school owner, when students would get very attached to their teacher and insist that they not change teachers. Some of the situations were quite dramatic and took a lot of smoothing of ruffled feathers! My view of the topic has changed quite a bit over time…in brief, I would go with the “it depends on the group” option, but the reasons why would probably take a whole post. I’d probably have to include a disclaimer: “This account is fictional and does not depict any real person/event.” 🙂 Thanks for the idea! In any case, I’m sure your students had a very enjoyable end of semester – I like the motivational messages idea.

    • Hi Vedrana,
      It must be much more difficult from the point of view of a manager to satisfy clients’ needs and interests so that they could reap the greatest benefit possible.
      Thanks for your comment.

  2. Hi Kate!
    What an interesting topic! This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently. It’s a cool idea to create a questionnaire as part of the post. However, I need to sort out ideas before I answer the question. I remember the time when there was a lack of English teachers and almost anybody could become one. Thus the quality was not exactly high in those days. What was worse, teachers came and went after relatively short periods of time (sometimes they only stayed for a week), which was obviously not good for the students. The situation has stabilized since then and I, for example, have a class which I’ve been teaching non-stop for four years, and I can’t complain. On the contrary, I feel that we have done a lot of work and some good results are starting to emerge. Plus I believe there’s still a lot I can offer. I can only hope my students feel the same way. However, if I felt I’m not giving my students what they should be getting, I would intercede for a new teacher. Or, as a parent or a student, if I wasn’t satisfied with the teacher, I would also wish for change. So my answer is: it’s neither option 1 or 2, nor entirely depending on the group but it mainly depends on the quality of the teacher and if he/she is accepted and perceived well by the students. But as I believe in systematic and consistent work, I would choose to have one, good teacher for a longer period of time, so that we could get used to each other and exploit the positive aspects of our symbiosis.

    • What a sound comment, Hana! You often look at questions from unobvious angles. I haven’t thought about the teacher’s personality and professionalism. Thank you for contributing into the topic!

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