The #1 Rule of Teaching is Adaptation
My first day of teaching went very well. Though I am still at school as I type this (don’t judge me), I am looking back on how my first three classes were conducted.
If I’ve learned anything, it’s to adapt.
For my first lesson, I introduced myself, showed some pictures of Kentucky, and presented the class rules. All of this went well, though there was some chattering in the class. When I started student teaching last fall, I did not tolerate chatter in the slightest. However, during Orientation, our instructors invited us to “embrace the chaos” that is involved with English language education. As it turns out, much of the chatter was from students helping each other figure out English words. A few students even asked for my help throughout the activity.
For classroom management, I’ve employed a countdown system where I countdown from five. When I reach “0” the students should be silent or listening closely. For rowdier classes, I’m using the the ever-popular “clap once if you can hear me” method.
Today, I learned that sometimes, English language learners learn best through fewer words and more pictures. For the rest of the week, I will learn to eliminate “verbal diarrhea” and learn to speak in shorter, more concise sentences. On a more positive note, I have slowed down my speaking pace. This is a landmark achievement for me, as I speak very rapidly in English. For my class rules, I added pictures instead of just words on the slides. When I was in my Korean language classes, I often felt overwhelmed with long strings of Korean words. I can only image how my students might feel when confronted with long strings of English words.
Yes, if I’ve learned anything today from my teaching, it’s to adapt and use pictures.
geon bae from a different kind of south,
PS- Also, have I told how good it feels to come home tired from a job? It’s great.