I’m not much of a soccer player anymore, had my day and that’s that. However, I’ve always admired the success and uniqueness of Guus Hiddink – the coach who propelled Korea to the World Cup semi finals. He coaches like we should teach (and I submit, an English language teacher is more a coach – getting his players to play well than “instruct” preaching at his players.
He is famous for his motivation. Park Ji-Sung, then a very inexperienced player says, “Coach Hiddink made me believe.”. And now the student is the great one, as earlier as this past weekend scoring Manchester U’s winning goal. Hiddink has had success, we should — as teachers we should “hit it like Hiddink”. Here are the 3 things he professes to believe.
1. Keep the game simple.
The goal is the goal. For us teachers it is that our students “communicate”. In whatever shape, form, manner or means. That’s what it is all about. Not memorizing, test scores, sitting up straight, parroting ….. Keep it simple – get your students to “use” English in a way that is meaningful. That way, they will score and everyone will win.
2. Communicate not with words but by doing. Hiddink was famous for “showing” his players. No charts and diagrams. Just taking the ball and showing how it should be done. As a teacher – model. Model correct language, model how the activities will be done. Show and go. Don’t explain – you’ll only lose the game.
3. Demand others work as hard as you. If you as a teacher don’t work hard, if you as a teacher don’t show passion towards the language, if you as a teacher don’t show you care, your “players” won’t. Demand that they work and at the same time, show that you work hard too. Your students will rise to the occassion through your leadership.
That’s it — teaching 101 from none other than Guss Hiddink. Now get coaching and report back the goals you’ve scored!