Have high expectations from them and let them know. Let them know what they will be able to do or know by the end of the class.
Follow through on everything you say you're going to do.
Positively reinforce good behaviour, and where possible, don't get caught up in endless battles that deny the good kids their education.
You are the teacher, you are the adult in the room. If things aren't working in the classroom then it is ultimately your fault.
Try a behaviour management system like Golden Time used in most British schools -it works best as a whole school policy.
Taught Year 2 last year and it's a tough age but great fun when you 'get' them.
Is doiligh an drochrud a mharu.
^ Good points.
The only time to really get control of your class is from the first day.
On day one...be a friggin' bitch. Establish your rules. Tell the students there will be no exceptions. If necessary, because students have low level, bring in a teacher who speaks their language.
Put those rules (5 max) on the board in simple (not pidgin) English. Continue this at the beginning of every class until students know them by heart. Refer to them whenever one of them is broken.
As time goes on and you and the students establish a rapport you will learn how much to relax the reigns.
Classroom control begins on day one.
If you don't do it then...you are screwed until the beginning of the next semester.
1) Only English (for lower levels, I don't care if their English is bad...talk about face...speak in English).
2) No Writing (only write when I say, Ss with their heads and minds in writing everything aren't learning from the teacher when he/she is doing his/her Presentation)
3) No dictionaries. (I encourage them out of the classroom but in I want students to focus on my Presentation and doing their best to discover vocabulary in context than burying their heads in a dictionary at every opportunity).
4) No phones/MP3s (I tell them if I discover them using in the classroom then they become mine...it only takes a couple of confiscations - which I generally give to homeroom teacher or have student come to me at end of day to make this rule gold)
5) No gum or food. (If you are having problems making good pronunciation in a new language, it's doubly hard withe something in your mouth.
I have a 6th rule that doesn't need to be 'boarded', because I always wake up students that the previous teacher has put to sleep...you can't learn if you are asleep.
Last edited by MisterStretch; 9th September 2008 at 23:07.
I like the sound of that Stretchy.
I might just be weird though.
Nar you're not weird.
I don't think you can make a standard set of rules that will work in every class, every age group and level of English. A lot of things depend on the employer/admin. and how much autonomy they are willing to extend their teachers. Moreover, when the student is the 'customer,' you must bow to the students' every whim (so says the powers that be). On the other hand, there are a few rules that I try to keep standard in every class:
1. PAY ATTENTION at all times (or I will embarrass you).
2. Everyone must speak English in the class and everyone gets an equal chance. It's required to speak English in my class.
3. Homework must be done at home, never in the classroom, and it must be done before you come to class. Yes, I check everyone's homework in the class and you lose credit if it's not done. Moreover, my classroom assignments are oftentimes centered around the homework, so you can't participate unless you did your homework.
4. Toilets: use them if you are dying; otherwise, wait until the break. Don't disturb me while I'm speaking just because you need to use a toilet. If you are about to die, then disturb me, please. Don't die in my classroom, okay.
5. Cheating (i.e. copying) equals an F grade.
6. Be on time to class. Anything more than ten minutes is marked late. If you are over fifteen minutes late, the door is locked and you are marked absent. This applies to university students.
7. Fighting will not be tolerated even for a second. I get very angry when students fight in the classroom. They will be punished. This applies to primary and secondary students.
8. Bring your books to class along with a pen or pencil or I will mark you absent for class and I may even ask you to leave class immediately in order to get your books. This rule applies to the very lazy and irresponsible college students who think they can get away with not buying required books for a whole semester.
9. Do not speak Thai/Korean/Japanese/Chinese/Arabic/Spanish or whatever the L1 is in the country where I'm teaching or I will give you extra homework, deduct points etc. It all depends on the situation, but sometimes I have a vote for the penalty of speaking the L1 while in pairs or groups. It could be money towards a chairty or party etc.
10. In classes where there are over 20 students at various different levels, I strongly advise my students to bring a dictionay to class as I am not hired to be a walking talking dictionary for every word they don't know. Morever, they are too shy to stand up and ask in large classrooms. Dictionaries help them to save face and enable me to get on with teaching the conversation, speech, pronunciation or grammar that I'm teaching for the day. I especially like the electronic dictionaries and I encourage my students to bring them to class. Rarely, if ever, do I have any problems with students who are using them. It's the ones who don't use them who don't understand and they begin speaking in their L1 to their buddies to get answers that I have the most problem with because too many ss are talking while I'm talking.
Then I tell them to close their notebooks as we move into Practice, there are generally some practice sentences for them to write, in their books or an exercise sheet, as well.
So, even for a lesson with Speaking as my production, there is sufficient writing for those students who learn as you do. I incorporate some type of activity to address the different learning needs and styles of all of my students.
I've had good luck sending kids out in the heat as a means of punishing extream offenders, and now I rarely have to do it. On the other hand, push-ups, and running laps was a complete failure. A few of the students really seemed to enjoyed it, and began acting up for a chance to drop and give me twenty.
I agree to all that. I also think problems arise because TEFL training has always been controlled by, or at least heavily influenced by this new breed of 'lefty' namby-pamby progressives. We are living in a world where kids can't play conkers or climb trees for God sake. I remember when I did the distance course element of my TESOL we had to read and digest a TEFL theory book and answer questions about it, a kind of comprehension test. One of the questions was - "I think the book was rather sexist, what do you think?"
I can imagine the rather obese, long tent-like dress, sandles, greasy haired lefty educationalist who thought that was an important question.
I like the cut of Martyboy's jib.
Dude, you should see the people working in the UK Polytechnics (whoops...Universitiz, innit.) They are so funnily, fucking horrible with their half-digested opinions on sex and race it's unreal.
Oh, and the fucking latest 'cult' of the tosser: Man-made Global Warming.
"Take this, brother; may it serve you well."
Last edited by jonny danger; 13th September 2008 at 10:13.