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utter failure?

 
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fantail



Joined: 11 May 2011
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2011 3:05 am    Post subject: utter failure? Reply with quote

I've been teaching in China for just over two months. It's the first time I've ever taught English - the only training I have is an online TEFL course.
Some parts are fun, but to be honest, I've found it all pretty stressful. We teach a few classes on weeknights (adults) but most of our classes are crammed into a 16-hour weekend.

I'm teaching kids aged from 5 to 12, and also some beginner adults. So far, things are going ok with the kids between 8-11 years old. It's the young kids (5-7 years old) that I'm having real trouble with. The parents have complained that I am not an adequate teacher and that they don't want me teaching their kids... which has been a real blow. However, my school doesn't have any other teachers to replace me, so they've told me just to 'keep trying'.

It seems no matter how much effort I put into preparing my lessons, things just go to rubbish during the actual lesson. The kids are hyperactive and won't listen, and even the assistant Chinese teacher can't seem to control them. The parents sit in on these lessons, so they get to see everything.

I'm getting help from another foreign teacher, and I'm putting in a lot of extra effort to prepare my lessons, but I'm pretty miserable about it all... I feel like a complete failure. It seems I'm the only one who struggles with these classes - everyone else finds them easy!

Teaching just doesn't come naturally to me - I have to work really hard at it. Just wondered if there's anyone else out there who has/has had a similar issue... would be great to know I'm not the only one...

cheers
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unionjack
Site Admin


Joined: 04 Jun 2004
Posts: 505
Location: UK

PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2011 4:19 pm    Post subject: TAKE IT EASY Reply with quote

Hello Fantail

Welcome to the forum.

You are not the only one. It happens to most of us, especially at the beginning and you are only two months in.

You have little experience and so you have nothing to fall back on, so it is just a matter of suck it and see. In time you will gain the experience necessary to enable you to handle most situations.

Once you have prepared your lesson plan and materials, go into that classroom, as if you don't care what happens; your subconscious mind knows what to do! Consciously stop worrying.

I've never taught children and so I can't advise you there but take a look at the 5th post of the following thread; I think this is brilliant:

http://www.esl-jobs-forum.com/viewtopic.php?t=28

There are other suggestions, in this thread, for teaching children. See if you can use any of the material.

For the moment though, take it easy in the classroom, otherwise you will make yourself ill.

UJ
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JamesAtRealize



Joined: 09 Sep 2010
Posts: 118
Location: Kobe, Sanomiya, Japan

PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One thing that really helped me when teaching younger hyperactive brat kids was taking things away.

Whenever they did anything that I remotely disliked, I took something away, a hat, a watch, a phone, whatever they have on them really, books, pencils etc.
You can even establish a point system with rewards and take points away.

Another thing that really helped me was;

Do not try to be the kids friends, do not even try to be cool or fun, be mean and strict and they'll fall in line, once the clear roles are set, then you can have more fun.
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JustMe



Joined: 11 Oct 2009
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 7:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used to take the opposite approach. I'd reward good behaviour and ignore the bad. I'd bring huge numbers of colourful stickers into the classroom. When the children did something good, I'd give them one. For example, if three of them sat quietly and waited for the next activity, I'd give them a sticker, but I wouldn't give anything to the ones that were running around madly. The good children were always pretty quick to tell the others that they'd been rewarded, so I didn't need to say anything about the bad behaviour. After a while, there'd be competition to see who could get the most stickers. For little children, I'd stick them on their clothes, but for the older ones, I'd put them in their books. Once the children had a habit of good behaviour, I would cut back on the stickers and only give rewards to good work.
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JamesAtRealize



Joined: 09 Sep 2010
Posts: 118
Location: Kobe, Sanomiya, Japan

PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

that's a great idea if the bad behavior isn't too bad.

the students I taught sometimes opened the windows to throw their books etc outside, or drew on the walls, or quite violently hit each other, or opened the door and ran outside

Japanese kids... man... what a royal pain in the ass to teach them haha
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TutorVanessa



Joined: 09 Jun 2011
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 4:41 pm    Post subject: ESL to Young Learners Reply with quote

I'm not sure if you are still in this job but I just want to say ...

"Don't get too discouraged!"

These are just trying times and the best way is to stay positive and enthusiastic for your kids. If they see you are genuinely enthusiastic about something they'd go by your example. Also, I find with young children, it's best to play games where they are highly involved in so that they don't get bored and restless. Also, keep in mind that at that age, not every child is developing the same way. Some will be more ready than others. Rather than forcing them, ride the waves with them!

I hope that all goes well!
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lipofootoo



Joined: 03 Dec 2011
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2011 4:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Parents in the classroom su&*!. I have experienced that too in China and a bit in Taiwan. That can be pretty uncomfortable, especially if you're working for a school that really wants to please the parents. I couldn't work for a school like that again.

The parents don't really know either, so you can't take their poor attitudes too seriously. Do your best and please yourself first.
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