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I was reading some of the ideas that other teachers had written and had to disagree with what Ms. Canning-Wilson wrote in her 10 commandments of the classroom. Although I would agree with her about keeping accurate records and not getting angry, I have to strongly disagree with her comments about not sharing information about yourself with the students and keeping your personal life out of the classroom.

Perhaps it's because I train adults, not children, but some of the best classes and conversations have come when I let the participants ask me questions. They always have a chance to ask the other participants your basic small talk questions, but they rarely get a chance to ask the trainer. The connection between you and the class improves dramatically when they can see you as a person, not simply as an English resource that visits them for 90 minutes once a week. Of course, you shouldn't go into the class and use it as a sounding board regarding the fight with your partner last night, but your viewpoint and background is in some cases an excellent example of cultural differences and I feel is something that can be used effectively in the class.

Andrea MacLeod
Business English trainer,
Munich, Germany

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