Japan is a great place to live for 9 months of the year. Then comes summer. July, August and September are pretty much unbearable for a pasty Englishman such as myself. The temperature is hitting 33 degrees+. I no longer have to turn on the gas when I want to boil the kettle – I just put the water in and wait for it to boil (note: maybe not be technically accurate).
Teaching in Summer
Summer presents a unique challenge when teaching. Keeping the concentration of your students despite the heat can be difficult. I usually turn the air conditioning up to the ‘Antarctica’ setting in the classroom well before the start of a lesson.
I was surprised when one student complained of being hot even in those conditions and insisted that the air con be taken to the next level – the dangerously cold ‘Mr. Freeze’ air con setting.
TEFL Summer schools
In England, summer is perhaps the peak time for English instruction. Hundreds of summer schools are run throughout the country. The summer camps are an ideal way of getting your first bit of experience, although they are said to be very hard work with high student numbers are a very lively atmosphere.
Some other tips to maintain concentration levels in adverse conditions:
- Use a well-lit classroom – your students should need sunglasses when they enter the room
- The teacher should move around a lot and use a loud voice – give their eyes and ears something to focus on
- Keep the students moving and thinking – mixing sessions and interactive tasks are ideal in the summer
- Have a 5 minute break – depending on the running time of your class, a short intermission may be refreshing for everyone including the teacher
- Cold drinks – stay well hydrated and allow cold drinks in the classroom
Part of the fun of living abroad is adapting to a new climate, and I hope the tips above will help you to enjoy teaching throughout the year.