In this workshop, we will consider how centrally important the teacher is for what happens within the classroom, not just in terms of the practicalities of teaching but also in terms of the classroom atmosphere and learner motivation. If the teacher is not engaged and motivated, then it is unlikely their learners will be. I argue that we need to become a little more teacher-centred and talk more about teachers and their professional well-being. For teachers’ own sakes as well as for their learners, we need to focus on what teachers need to ensure they flourish in their jobs. To this end, we will consider practical steps that teachers can take to protect their motivation and ensure they take pleasure from their jobs despite challenges they may face. We will also examine the social and emotional competences which teachers can develop to help them promote positive relationships with and amongst their learners.
Sarah Mercer is Professor of Foreign Language Teaching at the University of Graz, Austria, where she is Head of ELT methodology and Deputy Head of the Centre for Teaching and Learning in Arts and Humanities. Her research interests include all aspects of the psychology surrounding the foreign language learning experience, focusing in particular on issues of self and identity. She is the author, co-author and co-editor of several books in this area including ‘Towards an Understanding of Language Learner Self-Concept’, ‘Psychology for Language Learning’, ‘Multiple Perspectives on the Self’ in SLA’, ‘New Directions in Language Learning Psychology’, ‘Positive Psychology in SLA’, ‘Exploring Psychology for Language Teachers’ (Winner of the Ben Warren Prize), and ‘Teacher Psychology in SLA’.