Recently on Tokyo Real I interviewed Australian Kevin McNamara who runs the online platform “ Get out of your comfort zone “. Kevin is an ex-policeman, cancer survivor, self healer and now an online educator. Many of the things we talked about could well be applied to our field of teaching and running small businesses. You can watch the full interview video on the link below :-
Most of us like to exist within our comfort zones, however the problem with this is that very little personal growth occurs. Growth happens when we step out of our comfort zone and challenge ourselves, or as Kevin likes to say “ push, grind and grow “. This goes for our students also. So many of our students progress so slowly because they don’t study from lesson to lesson, thinking they can become a good speaker by attending our classes once a week, and we know they can`t !
In addition to them committing to self study it’s a good idea for us to set our students “challenges” that take them out of their comfort zone, something that makes them feel a little uncomfortable, raises the pulse rate and stimulates the senses to promote greater learning. I am sure you as teachers have many great ideas for challenges. Just to give you an example, a challenge could be to approach a native English speaker ( a stranger ) and strike up a conversation, this builds self confidence and reduces shyness, a common problem for our students. Learn to accept rejection and failure and not to fear it, failure is how we learn. Take action and book that study abroad trip you have been meaning to do. Set study goals and find an accountability partner, make it achievable, break it into “chunks”. Upgrade your peer group and start hanging out with native English speakers, frequent the bars and cafes they go to. All these things take effort, so don’t allow your students to say “ I don’t have time ! “ or “ I am too shy ! “
The same goes for those of us looking to become better teachers or start our own English classrooms or full on schools. Get out of your comfort zone and start growing and learning. On the Tokyo Real Academy, we help people to develop in four areas :- 1. Take Action – for example, rent a small building and set a date to open your small school ( set SMART GOALS ) 2. Self Belief – apply methods of positive thinking, prepare thoroughly and start learning your new trade inside out ( make it achievable by “chunking”). 3. Body and Mind – a healthy body = a healthy mind, so get yourself in shape physically by working out and mentally via meditation for example. 4. Environment – If you want to open your own school, updgrade your peer group and start hanging out with other successful school owners, they will soon pull you up to their level.
Overcome your fear – video:- https://youtu.be/UbJEEO03xV0
In addition, its really important to make our students and ourselves accountable for our actions and challenges. A good way to do this is through the power of video. Set up your own private facebook group, You Tube Channel ( using “unlisted videos” ) or a members only homepage and encourage your students to upload video feedback of their challenges and get your staff or other group members to make constructive feedback comments online. Create a “Tribe” of likeminded people. As a teacher, a good starting point is to join the Language Teaching Network, http://www.ltpnetwork.com/ Forms of feedback can include video, written, photos or any other media method.
Its time to get out of your comfort zone and stimulate growth, remember, “you only regret the things you don`t do !!” – who said that ? – me !
Link – Get out of your comfort zone- platform – http://getoutofyourcomfortzone.com