Teach English in Menggendaba Muchang - Tongliao Shi

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As a classroom teacher for approximately thirty years, I have had experience working with learners from age five through fifty-five, from Kindergarten to Adult Education and online to students in the United States and the United Arab Emirates. Most of my career has been teaching French and Spanish as second or third languages to native English speakers, but recently, with more and more immigrants coming into the US and migrants moving into the Palmetto State for work opportunities, I now have a mix of students who speak one or two languages other than English and who are dealing with the challenge of learning academic French or Spanish as well as survival English. The dynamic has definitely changed over the past three decades. Beginning my teaching career straight out of college in 1990 at 22 years of age, I learned most of what I know from trial and correction and from veteran teachers who offered me guidance along the way. My first job was mainly teaching middle school children who were generally 11-15 years of age. Initially, I had some difficulty with classroom management due to the lack of a significant age difference between the older students and myself. This preteen and young teenage group is known for their developmental stages of hormonal changes and bodily growth that is oftentimes scary and unsettling for the children as well as a unique challenge for the instructor. In order to teach my students most effectively, I had to do research on what they were going through physically and emotionally so I could reach them academically. By far, the most effective activity I have done with every student from the start of my career until now, was conducting a survey of their demographic details, their daily habits such as times for going to bed and times for waking, their after school activities, their responsibilities at home, their favorites and their reasons or purposes for enrolling in my classes. These simple two-sided sheets have provided me incredible insights into who my students were and what would spark their curiosity and motivate them to learn most readily. This knowledge has helped me to plan lessons focused around their interests and given me the tools to initiate communications between the home and the school. Establishing early contact with parents and guardians demonstrated to the family that I was genuinely invested in the success of their child in my class and willing to take the necessary steps to make sure everyone was aware of my expectations. Every year each new class brought its own unique challenges, and that still holds true today. In order for me to be an effective teacher, my first priority is to get to know my students, to establish rapport with my new class “family.” I believe in creating an atmosphere of community to welcome students, to allow them to feel a sense of belonging, and to experience encouragement from their peers. This is another of the most effective practices that has marked my successful 30-year classroom teaching career. Humans need to feel a part of something to become fully involved. As a classroom “family,” I encourage peer tutoring, pair and group completion of projects and a team spirit of support for each other. Negativity is not allowed and positivity is paramount to cordial, beneficial classroom management. In addition to the “family” atmosphere, I seek to allow students to showcase their strengths by giving them classroom responsibilities that bring out their best and train them to continue developing skills that will help them to be successful in their future endeavors. I allow students to fill out an application for certain roles to help the day-to-day operations of the classroom run more smoothly. These positions include a technology advisor who aids students with creating computer documents, emailing attachments and researching topics; an attendance supervisor who makes sure each student signs-in daily and informs me of those who are considered tardy or absent; and a personal assistant who runs errands as needed, passes out and collects items and answers the phone in a professional manner. Other jobs are added as needed and if there is more than one person qualified for a position, time is divided between the candidates. The final key to my successful results as a classroom instructor has been my ability to plan ahead and to organize materials for easy access. It’s is essential to any type of instruction to plan a variety of activities for delivery of instruction, for practice and assessment of concepts. It is always a good idea to have extra worksheets or activity sheets available for students who need additional practice or those who finish early. If we are creating products, I always provided all materials we would need because often students forget to bring items or could not afford to purchase supplies. Having craft items such as paper, scissors, glue and markers or crayons, let students know I was committed to their completion of requirements and took away any frustrations of not having access to needed materials. To sum it all up, through my experiences in the classroom, I have discovered that for myself and my students, three main factors contributed most to my overall success: establishing rapport with students by conducting surveys and establishing open lines of communication with their families, building on the strengths by providing opportunities for them to continue to grow and learn, and planning ahead for lessons and organizing materials. This is what I have learned from thirty years in the traditional classroom working with students of various ages.