On the first day of school in Busan, South Korea, I stood at the front of my class five minutes before the bell rang waiting to greet my new middle school students. After seven minutes had passed, I was about to go and search for my class when I heard a loud rumble coming from the floor above. Suddenly, three dozen pairs of feet came running into the classroom attached to three dozen pairs of flailing arms and three dozen shouting mouths. Stupefied, I stood frozen and looked on, wide-eyed, as my classroom was ripped apart by thirty-six wild monkeys.
Teaching Villagers rock! I’ve shared two problem situations with you recently, and the advice has been superb. Both teachers really appreciated your shared wisdom. I have another teacher with another fairly common problem. I’m sure you’ll be able to provide some excellent ideas for this situation, too.
What do you do when you have a student who just doesn’t want to be in your class? Young learners don’t often choose to study English. They are in English class because their parents think it’s a good thing for them to do.
I have kids that just shout for no reason other than to be loud and annoy other kids. One kid broke all the lead in my mechanical pencil for no reason other than it was there. Then he (the pencil lead breaking kid) snuck upstairs after asking to go to the bathroom. (I teach at home.) I know he doesn’t want to be there. His mom is definitely sending her boys to English class to get them out of her hair (the younger brother is in kindy class and he doesn’t want to be there, but he’s not *too* disruptive or destructive). She has a 9-month old and a husband that doesn’t live at home right now. I don’t really want to tell anyone not to come (I need the money!) but … *sigh*. This is my elementary class–he is in 3rd grade. The class isn’t very demanding, we review what we’ve learned, we play games, and sing songs. It’s hard because the student doesn’t want or understand why he is in English class.
Can you help? Have you ever had a student who acted this way? What suggestions can you give this teacher?
I had a recent reminder of the power behind this blog’s simple motto: We’re better when we work together.
To get some guidance in preparing for an upcoming webinar about working with large, small, and mixed-ability classes (part of OUP’s Let’s Share project), I put a request out on my facebook page. The webinar is only an hour long, and I want to be sure I touch on the topics that matter most to teachers. I really hate wasting anyone’s time (more…)
Note from Barb: A few days ago, I wrote a short post for the iTDi blog about teaching large classes. I was fascinated by the Englishometer that Valentina mentioned in her comment, and asked if she’d consider sharing more of her ideas in a guest post here. Lucky for us, she agreed!
About ten years ago (when I graduated), if you had told me I would spend a significant part of my life teaching English to young people, I would have been surprised, a little shocked. To be honest, at that time teaching English was not my dream. I always loved the language, the culture and the literature, but never before had I thought I could be a teacher.
It didn’t have anything to do with the language, I was just afraid of managing thirty young boys all together, only me and them in one room. So I started working in a big international company. My role was to implement communication plans and run workshops for managers.
After two years I realised I was not getting anything back. In terms of values and human relationships, I mean. So I decided to go into teaching. Basically it was moving from an impersonal environment into a strong human-focused one. (more…)
Creating a positive learning environment with few discipline problems is a goal of any teacher. We all want to give our young learners the best opportunity to succeed, but sometimes we forget that building this type of environment, much like tending to a garden, takes planning, effort, consistency and a fair amount of time and patience. Any missed step can lead to a reactive environment, or a garden full of weeds. (more…)
Part of the series: Lessons Learned from Students
2008, I returned to the 7th grade Social Studies classroom after a seven-year hiatus in Computer Applications and the Media Center. I wanted back in the classroom where I could work with a smaller number of students and develop a long-term relationship as a teacher and mentor to those who chose to see me this way. (more…)