Teach English in Guhe Zhen - Yancheng Shi

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At some point during your teaching career, you will find yourself teaching classes to groups containing a wide variety of ages, and teachers must prepare for this properly. The way a teacher approaches his/her students will affect the way in which the student will learn, either in a positive or a negative form. This is something that might be difficult for newer teachers since they lack the experience that teachers with a longer career already have in teaching kids, teenagers, adults and some having even taught elders. Some groups will require more patience, playfulness or seriousness from the teacher; this will depend on the ages of the students and the type of lesson that is being taught. The types of traditional groups you might encounter along your career are as follows: Kids Kids tend to be way more curious and more enthusiastic to learn than other age groups but they may get bored easily if the classes are not entertaining or fun enough. When teaching kids a teacher must really work hard to keep their attention on the class as well as keeping them entertained at the same time, sometimes a teacher might have to be able to make a clown of himself/herself to help the students understand a more serious lesson. Something very important that must be kept in mind when teaching the youngest ones is that there has to be a balance between making themselves be seen as an authority figure and someone to be respected, but also, you must allow yourself to be seen as a friend and someone they can trust. There has to be a balance here, you cannot make yourself be seen as too much of an authority figure because the last thing that you want is for them to feel intimidated by you, but you also don’t want to be too friendly and playful because they may not take you seriously at all. Teenagers In the case of teaching teenagers, the approach is quite a bit different. A sometimes true stereotype is that teenagers have a lot of angst in them during these ages and feel like they do not belong, they also seem uninterested most of the time. So as a teacher, you have to be strategic when dealing with these students, you must be careful in not making the classes too simple to avoid making them feel like they are being treated like little kids when being taught the basics or the first simpler lessons of English, you can try presenting these as “something you might already know, but let’s go over just it to reinforce what you already know” to them. On the other hand, you also do not want to make you classes too sophisticated since you might come off as standoffish to them and you do not want them to feel intimidated by you and your knowledge. Try showing interest in what they want to say and encourage them to participate and lose their shyness without making them feel like they are being pushed, try making a friendly environment from the start. Remember that teens might be more informed than you when it comes to hot topics since they are constantly on social media so take that to your advantage and use it to make them speak about it in English and start dialogue within the group. Adults When teaching adults, you may realize that you do not really need to find many ways to motivate them since they are usually motivated already. In most cases when an adult attends to an English course it is willingly and because they usually need it for something, whether it may be getting a job promotion, finding a different job, moving to an English speaking country or applying for a masters degree. The only issue you may encounter when teaching groups of adult is their schedules, usually adults have jobs with fixed schedules, sometimes they study and work, and some have families, so you must be prepared to have some students be absent or to arrive late to class from time to time. There is a possibility that you might find yourself at some point teaching other teachers (although from a different subject) but teachers in the end, and you might feel intimidated but try not to let it get to you and focus on seeing all of your students as that, your students. It does not matter if they may be doctors, engineers, teachers, housewives, you must be able to see them all as equal and try to make them treat each other as such. Adults are more mature and you don’t really have to be worrying about attitude problems and things of that sort although there are exceptions so be prepared for that as well. Elders Teaching elders can be a walk in the park, these people tend to be quiet and attentive, in many cases they are retired people who attend class because they have the time to spare and want to learn anything. The only issue that may arise when teaching to elders is that since in most cases they are attending to English class just to learn something is that they will probably just want to listen to you and talk with each other, making your classes a bit more informal but quite nice. You might only have to work on how to incorporate some actual teaching into these classes and not just having regular conversations for every class, you can try correcting them along the conversation, jumping into the conversation to add something educational, and such. You can try to provide them with modern conversation topics and use it to introduce them to some new words to expand their vocabulary but be careful to not choose something too modern or complex, you don’t want to make them feel alienated, you just want to spark their interest in something different than the usual topics they might have on a daily basis. Remember, they might not be willing to do extensive activities and a lot of writing, so reading and chatting could the best options for these kinds of groups. There will be some cases in which a teacher might find himself/herself teaching groups containing a wide variety of ages, this means having groups with a mix of kids, elders, adults or teens. This usually occurs when working in English institutes where people are assigned to a group depending on their pre-existent knowledge, sometimes after doing some kind of a diagnostic exam. In these groups you may notice that you have 3 adults, 1 elder, 2 kids and 5 teens in one group, here is where you have to figure out what kind of demeanor you will have when teaching this kind of group. In the case of having kids with older people, you must be careful with making the class simple enough so the kid can follow but not too simple so the adult gets bored. You must be prepared to deal with a kid being a kid and just playing around, not letting you teach your class properly, making the other students laugh and things of that sort. A teacher must find a balance with his/her teaching skills when it comes to these groups, and normally this ability comes with experience, naturally, more experienced teachers have had plenty of different situations with people of all ages, so, if you’re a young teacher, feel free to ask another fellow teacher to give you some advice if you ever feel like you need it. The best thing a teacher can be is confident and kind to his/her students, having these qualities will certainly help students feel more comfortable and eager to learn. Teaching groups containing a wide variety of ages can be a true challenge, but is definitely fun. It is something you are likely to have to do at some point in your career, so better prepare yourself beforehand and just trust your skills!