Teach English in Caowu Zhen - Jingmen Shi

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Stress is something that everyone is made familiar with in their lives, and one of the earliest places it can be encountered regularly is in school. Teachers have the stress of planning, maintaining order, and giving lessons that will help their students to succeed. While it is important for a teacher to manage their own stress to improve their performance, another aspect of teaching that should be highly considered is the stress levels of one’s students. Students are burdened with the task of drilling, practicing, learning, and memorizing a plethora of different things. A student who is learning to use English has an especially hard task of memorization, with thousands of sounds and words that they have probably never heard before. Being faced with the sheer amount of things that must be learnt to be considered fluent in a new language, and then being tested on it, can be very stressful on students. This heightened level of stress can affect their ability to remain calm and focused. This will impair their learning abilities, which then causes them more stress because of the struggle, much like a domino effect. In their role, teachers have the power to either make a more stressful learning environment for the students, or a less stressful one where students are made to feel comfortable and like they are moving at a pace they can handle. I believe that this should be one of the teacher’s primary roles just behind that of making sure that the course content is learned and retained. There are many ways that a teacher can achieve this, and one of the major ways is not to over-correct their students. When students are put on the spot to read, answer questions, or perform any other task in front of their peers, there will be an inherent level of stress that comes with that. If the student makes a mistake, the teacher has the responsibility to let them know the correct answers or pronunciation, but it should be done tactfully, and in a way that will not make the student feel reprimanded or embarrassed by the mistake. You could let them know that their answer was close, and then re-state the question to the classroom to attempt evoking the correct response. If a teacher is not tactful about handling corrections, this will make the students afraid or ashamed to try being involved in the class, as they fear that they will be embarrassed again. Another thing that teachers should make sure of is that they are totally confident and knowledgeable of what they are teaching. If a student feels that their teacher is ill-prepared, unprofessional, or uninterested in truly helping them learn, they will feel stressed, as they might not think that the teacher is truly well-suited to helping them pass the course. Teachers should enter the classroom with all possible things planned and prepared, while giving room to different activities or changes of pace that might occur. This tells the students that you are not only skilled at English, but have a serious desire and intent to help them learn it, which will make them feel more confident about asking questions or getting involved. The last point that I will mention is that of establishing a rapport with your students. It is not enough to simply be the one with the knowledge and answers, but you must be willing to establish good classroom relationships with your students to help them feel as comfortable and open to class involvement as you can. They should be encouraged to interact, congratulated for succeeding, tactfully corrected when making mistakes, and otherwise be treated like you are genuinely concerned with their English learning and their future, which you should be. Balancing positive reinforcement with constructive corrections will help to make your students far more confident in their abilities and more willing to learn, rather than stressed and afraid of getting things wrong or being unable to improve their abilities. While this is a hard thing to master completely, performing any aspects of stress reduction for students will gradually improve the speed and quality of learning within the class.