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Days When It All Goes Wrong

There are days when teaching goes really well: Your explanations of tricky points raised by students are clear and helpful, the jokes you make are funny and each part of the lesson flows seamlessly into the next part as you adroitly guide and facilitate the students' learning.
Then there are other days: You feel dull headed and uninspired, the students yawn continually or look out the window, you can't find the one resource you desperately need when feverishly searching through your desk back in the teachers' lounge and then the copier breaks down just when you were about to do some last-minute copying of a fun activity for that tricky class you have last thing on a Wednesday afternoon.

I well remember the day that I knew I was under prepared and would have to pull something out of my 'emergency resources' to copy last minute and a new teacher to the school managed to melt plastic transparencies on both of the department's large and expensive copiers. She did it on one machine and then went and repeated it on the other. As well as causing an expensive repair, she seemed oblivious to the other teachers silently glaring at her. I remember desperately wondering what I could teach instead and thinking that yes, it was typical that it would be the day when I had that class of particularly sleepy and unmotivated students. I can't remember what I taught. I expect it went okay but I still dream of that feeling of frustration from time to time.

We're asking you to tell us about those days: The ones when something went wrong in the classroom or staffroom.  What happened? How did you feel? Please email to editor@english-to-go.com with "May Competition" in the subject line and tell us in less than 120 words what happened. We'll publish the best stories and the winners will receive a refund of a month's membership if they are already members of ETG or a month's free membership if they are non-members.

In the meantime, we hope you'll enjoy our latest resources. There's a great story in the latest Elementary Instant Lesson (Knock, Knock ... Who's There?) about police who dressed up as doctors in order to test people's gullibility. You will be surprised at the results. After doing the Upper Intermediate Instant Lesson " Use It or Lose It" everyone at ETG is out exercising madly and while the recession is still gripping parts of the world, pet owners spend more money on their pets. (Lucky Pets - Pre-Intermediate Instant Lesson). We also have worksheets on conjunctions, crime vocabulary and an online Instant Workbook with great listening exercises on the Internet and health information.

We hope that your teaching is smooth sailing this month.

Best wishes
The English-to-go team

Newest Resources

Click here to access the newest resources
Newest resources in the Teachers’ Room include:

- Knock, Knock ... Who's There? - Elementary Instant Lesson
Be careful when you are opening your door! This is what police in Turkey are telling people. Police wore doctors' white coats and stethoscopes. They knocked on people's doors and said they were doctors. Home security, police, truth or lie game.
- Lucky Pets - Pre-Intermediate Instant Lesson
Americans may be trying to spend less money, but when it comes to their pets, they're spending more than ever. Pets, costs, economy, benefits of having a pet.
- Use It or Lose It - Upper Intermediate Instant Lesson
Experts say for those 65 and over staying active and fit can spell the difference between independence and frailty. "It's all about moving." The phrase 'use it or lose it' works here."Aging, exercise and health.
- China To Age Before It Gets Rich?  -  Advanced Instant Lesson
The harsh logic of China's one-child policy is starting to unravel... Demographers worry that without change, China will become the first country in the world to age before it gets rich. Aging population, one child policy, China, family size, census results.
- Will You Marry Me? - Weekly Warmer
Getting married? Take the quiz first. A British family law firm is urging couples to take a "compatibility quiz" before getting married or deciding to live together. This warmer is an enjoyable way for students to practice brainstorming, discussion and crafting questions.
- Max Vocabulary Worksheet - Crime - An Upper-Intermediate Vocabulary Worksheet
A vocabulary worksheet looking at words to do with justice, crime, law and order.
- Web Doctor - An Upper-Intermediate Instant Workbook
Online medical help means people are now becoming more proactive. But who uses the Internet for health information more - men or women? Do some people use it too much and imagine they have diseases? Listen to Lucy - a "cyberchondriac", someone who searches intensively throughout the Internet for health information. There are 7 online exercises.
- But, So & And - Elementary Anna Grammar Worksheet
Try this Elementary Grammar Worksheet which looks at 3 of the most common coordinating conjunctions: and, but and so.

For access to these and more than 1,800 other resources

Win, Win, Win!
"Ever had one of those bad teaching days? What happened?
Email us with "May Competition" in the subject line and tell us in less than 120 words about your bad day. We'll publish the best stories.

You and English-to-go! Any questions? Email Editor@english-to-go.com

Our resources are used by more than 55,000 teachers in 190 countries reaching over one million students worldwide.
Fun, engaging, up-to-date resources based on Thomson Reuters® news articles.

Featured lessons

Click here to access resources on World No Tobacco Day, May 31 2011.

Featured Resources include:
- Smoking in the Movies - Intermediate Instant Lesson
Young children may be influenced to start smoking through exposure to movie characters who smoke, researchers suggest. Hollywood,children, movie stars as role models, smoking, marketing, predicting, choose the best answer, crossword, verb + to + infinitive or verb + -ing, 'what would you do?' quiz about lying, expressing opinions.

Brainstorming Debate - Weekly Warmer
An activity to encourage students to debate current issues and to provide them with the steps to achieve this. .

Free lesson

Click here to access this month's free lesson
- Meeting & Greeting - Intermediate Instant Lesson
In business, the first thing we do when we meet someone is shake hands. While it seems simple enough, this "first impression" greeting sends a powerful message about you and your respect for others. Matching information, business, cases studies, word search, role play.

This month's Point of Interest

This Month's Point of Interest comes from our free resource, the Intermediate Instant Lesson, "Meeting & Greeting":

"CHINA - While the western handshake is accepted, it is performed with a lighter grip and a pumping motion. Chinese also lower their eyes slightly as a sign of respect when meeting someone. Staring into their eyes can be perceived as a sign of disrespect.

JAPAN - Both handshaking and bowing are accepted forms of greeting in international business circles so take your lead from the person you are meeting. If shaking hands, do so lightly. If you are greeted with a bow, respond by bowing in kind.

RUSSIA - Russians usually use a firm (sometimes very firm) handshake when meeting a guest. If you've met the person before don't be surprised if the greeting includes a hug. Russian men customarily kiss their guest's cheeks (men and women alike) while women reserve such intimacies for other Russians and simply shake hands with foreigners.

FRANCE - Shake hands with one brisk stroke upon arrival and departure and make sure to shake hands with everyone.

LATIN AMERICA - Latin Americans use a light, lingering handshake (about twice as long as an American handshake) and pulling away too soon is interpreted as rejection. A man may offer his hand to a woman, and he may "kiss" the top of a woman's hand.

EUROPEANS - While their handshake is the western style, eastern and western Europeans re-shake hands whenever they are apart for a period of time. For example, it is considered polite to shake hands when you leave for lunch and when you return.

ARAB COUNTRIES - Male friends may embrace and kiss each other on both cheeks following a light and lingering handshake. They also stand very close to one another when talking. If you are a non-Arab woman traveling to an Arab country, let the man offer his hand first because some Muslim men do not shake hands with women. Many Arab business women who often travel to Western countries shake hands with men and women. Let her offer her hand first."
Thomson Reuters 2011

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