as most of my students are Very Busy People (VBP) ;-), quite often I experience a feeling that some of them “are not quite there” – in this case meaning they can be physically in the classroom, and mentally in a boardroom, still worrying about what they have to do, so basically feeling negative and nervous. So what I am often urged to do is to help them make that switch: from their business routine to our lesson, from fidgeting and stressing out to relaxing and enjoying this very moment. That’s why different “lesson starters” work well to grab your students’ attention and to make them tune into a better mood (which in its turn will make them more perceptive and responsive, which will in the end make you feel good, too.)
Such “starters” don’t really require any special preparation, and you can decide to use them quite spontaneously, in case you sense you need to make the atmosphere in your class a bit more positive and engaging (remember NLP here!).
One of the most productive starters would be “if today was a perfect day, …”
To make it more NLP-like and focusing on the positive side, you can refer it to the present moment, and then move on to dreaming, like this:
“now it’s 8 a.m., dark and cold, and I am already in the office, but if today was a perfect day…(e.g.I would now be sleeping in a villa at Mallorca).
After class I am joining my boss and other colleagues for a very boring meeting, but if it was a perfect day, …(e.g. I would be heading to the airport to fly to the sea for a weekend)
In the evening I have to study for my tomorrow’s exam, but if it was a perfect day, I (e.g. would be visiting my best friend instead…)
the exercise can be modified and adjusted in different ways to suit you and your students, but anyway what you will get is a couple of smiles, better mood in class and people’s readiness to (almost) forget their business, at least for a short time!
Please share some other things that help you start your lessons in a positive mode!