Teach English in XizhAngcun Zhen - Sanmenxia Shi

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I have learned that it's important to be adaptable, as well as to take risks. It is important to be willing to take risks in the classroom - sometimes things work out as we'd hope and other times they'll fail miserably. That is to be expected but it is important to try new things because that's how we will grow as educators and that's how we'll find the things that work best for our individual classes. Adaptability goes hand-in-hand with risk-taking. While it is critical to have a plan or vision for what we want to achieve, it is equally important to know when to deviate from the plan if it is not being met with success. Sometimes we'll need to "change gears," speed up or slow down, etc. I have also learned that it is crucial to consider context when teaching EFL learners because there are so many factors that can act as barriers or challenges to their success. Cultural norms and mores are of great importance, as is the structure of the student's native tongue. Of course, there are other factors that all teachers must consider when teaching, regardless of whether it's a student's native tongue or not; these things include home/personal life of the student, learning disabilities, health, etc. Unless these factors are kept in the forefront of a teacher's mind, I think it is impossible to maximize one's potential as a teacher. Because I have been teaching in korea for about two months, I have already had the opportunity to implement these things. I teach very low-level high school students and I was not given any sort of syllabus or textbook to teach from, nor was I given a realistic idea of where the students are at in the language abilities. While I was given an indication that many students would lack motivation, I didn't realize just how large the problem was until after a few weeks. So, all of this has meant that I've needed to experiment to see what the students respond to and what they don't. I've also have to be adaptable in my plans because in some cases, I've realized after teaching a lesson a few times that the students are not at a level to understand it fully. So, I have to change plans mid-week or make a second lesson plan for the classes that are particularly low level. So I have had to continually adapt and experiment, and I am still in the process of figuring out exactly how to teach them. I have also had to consider the context of most of my students. While they're in high school and have been studying english for many years, the reality is that most cannot write or speak basic sentences, and many do not even understand me when I ask, "How are you?" On paper, these students should be at a certain level but in truth the majority are at an elementary, or very low beginner, level. The challenge here is that while I have realized that I need to create very basic lessons for the students, they are teenagers who tend not to be interested in a lot of the very basic material. It is also a challenge to create lessons that are basic enough that they can understand, but engaging enough that their teenage minds will be intrigued.