was fishing on ko lanta a few weeks back. did a bit of trolling
So if I should be teaching, then what should you be doing?
"Having sex is like playing bridge. If you don't have a good partner, you'd better have a good hand."
- Woody Allen
100-200K How do you get a job there? For what it's worth, remembering my school days the teachers who commanded most respect and managed the class properly were those with a military bearing. They had a serious and stern expression and never used the cane, they didn't have to because everyone was well behaved. I wonder whether the happy happy laughing bouncing EFL teacher (that's what's emphasised on TEFL cert. courses) is asking for trouble. The kids know this one is going to be a pushover. Just a thought.
Last edited by martyboy; 9th September 2008 at 16:35. Reason: Spelling mistake.
Excellent point right there. The lack of basic discipline in a lot of English programs is directly down to the training that a lot of the teachers receive which promotes everyone to go into class from day one and be the happy happy smiling friendly lets do a warmer and play games every class teacher. There has to be a greater emphasis on discipline training for new teachers fresh off the plane. I think I learned this the hard way when I first started teaching English and have now adapted my style to try and find a better balance.
Reward systems are good for lower grades but can be spoiled by snotty over privileged children from Grade 5 and up depending on the school. My previous school any candies were greeted with delight where as this one some chocolate or whatever barely raises a thank you.
Best thing is just to lay down the law from day one and only break from it for particular occassions. I think another thing TEFL does to their teachers is to make them want the kids to like them too much instead of just being a teacher that the kids respect.
You are the master of your own classroom. Thai kids need to be trained to listen, to think, to work at a sensible noise. We are trying to teach kids in a country where 95% of them fail miserably to attain basic English. For me positive rewards are the way to go. You don't have to bribe them, just deliver to them the feeling of success and achievement.
I'm quite strict on my students (grade 3 and 4), but I also know when to have a laugh (at a time where it won't distract the students). They listen to my instructions (most of the time - kids will be kids afterall) and the lessons go pretty smoothly. There are times when the kids try and push the boundaries, but I just fall back on my behaviour plan and things work themselves out quickly.
If you go into a class acting too friendly or like a clown, your chances of having a successful year or semester are very low. The best thing to do is go in strict, have a good behaviour plan, and most importantly, be consistent. Students yearn for a structured enviornment and you will thank yourself down the road when you see their English progress.
I had to learn from past mistakes when I first started teaching in Asia, but now I think I have a pretty good system.