Teach English in Siyang Nongchang - Suqian Shi

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Now that I have completed my Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages course and a supplement course in Teaching English to Young Learners, I embark on finding my first opportunity to teach. But once I get this this opportunity what challenges will I have? What are some of the things I should be aware of in my first year of teaching? The first year of teaching will be challenging no matter how prepared I may think I am from the teachings provided in the courses I have taken. I have looked at what some suggest for first year teachers to do or prepare for on-line. But before I share some of those ideas I look back on my previous experiences with a new career. My first employment straight out of college was working in the equipment lease finance business. I had no idea what equipment lease financing was when I took the job, I had only the brief explanation from a friend that had worked in the business. I relied heavily on the other sales people in the company and my manager, and I asked a lot of questions. My second career change was moving from finance into facilities maintenance, all I had some basic knowledge of electrical, plumbing and general carpentry. Again, I relied on the staff at the facility for training and asked a lot of questions. As I move into another new career in teaching English, I have confidence in my abilities to learn and be a successful teacher. What tips and suggestions did I find on-line? Well the best article I found was from Thought.Co.com (1). The following is synopsis of their survival guide to teachers begin their journey into this incredible and rewarding career path on the best possible foot. Experience Is the Best Education As mentioned, experience really is the best way to learn. No formal training can replace field experience, including all the failures that come with learning to teach. Arrive Early and Stay Late Contrary to popular belief, teaching is not an 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. job and this is especially true for first-year teachers. Stay Organized Being organized is a key component of successful teaching that takes time to master. Go to more experienced teachers in your building for advice on how to organize materials and lessons. Build Relationships Early and Often Building healthy relationships with students often takes a lot of hard work and effort, but it's more than worth it. Solid relationships are a vital component of successful teaching and harmonious classrooms. For teachers to succeed, these relationships must be forged with administrators, faculty and staff members (including other teachers), parents and students. Have a Backup Plan Every first-year teacher carries their own unique philosophies, plans, and strategies for how they are going to teach. More often not, these change dramatically, sometimes very quickly. In as little as a few hours, you might realize that you are going to have to make adjustments to a lesson or plan. Because of this, every teacher needs backup plans when trying something new and even for any routine. Immerse Yourself in the Curriculum Most first-year teachers do not have the luxury of being picky with their first job. They take what is available to them and run with it, and sometimes that means being handed a curriculum you're not overly comfortable with. Keep a Journal for Reflection A journal can be a valuable tool for a first-year teacher. It's impossible to remember every important thought or event that happens throughout the year, so don't put that pressure on yourself. Writing down and organizing important information makes a lot more sense. It is also gratifying and helpful to look back and reflect on events and milestones throughout your first year. Keep Lesson Plans, Activities, & Materials You probably learned to write lesson plans in college and got used to a certain template and approach to these prior to having your own class. Once you are in the classroom teaching, you will quickly realize that the lesson plans you learned to make are very different from the ones you need. Whether you have to overhaul your lesson planning methods or simply make a few small adjustments, you will find that authentic lesson plans and lesson plans for college courses are not the same. Prepare to be Overwhelmed Frustration is natural in your first year. If you, like many other first-years, hit a wall during this demanding period, remind yourself that the job will improve before long. As time passes, you will naturally grow more comfortable, confident, and prepared. What feels like an overwhelmingly fast academic year will begin to slow down and you will start to feel settled the more days you put behind you. Use Lessons Learned Moving Forward Your first year will be sprinkled with failures and successes, curveballs and opportunities—the first year is a learning experience. Take what works and go with it. Throw away what doesn't work and keep trying until something does. No one expects you to get everything right all the time, and they especially don't expect a first-year teacher to have it all figured out. Teaching isn’t easy. Not knowing what level of student or type of class I will be teaching for my first position as an ESL teacher, it helps to know as I read through their guide a lot of the same points were made in the courses I just took. This gives me more confidence in what I have learned and studied, as well as my own past experiences, that I will have a success in my early career teaching English as a second language. (1) Thought.Co.com article by Derrick Meador