Yesterday, I wrote about the preparations for a two-day job, and the first day of work. I was still in throes of jet lag yesterday, but overall Day 1 went well. I had a nice group of students, and was looking forward to Day 2.
Day 2 of teaching
There is one thing you need to be a good teacher; it’s not a PGCE, or a CELTA, or even a blog about your life as a teacher… it’s sleep! A good night’s sleep makes you feel lucid, sharp, and invigorated – ready to teach for another day. Plus, you’d be surprised how much your legs hurt after you’ve been standing up teaching for one day.
Last night, however, I got a mere 3 hours sleep. Damn you, jet lag! I briefly thought about backing out of the course when I woke up, but that would be a coward’s way out, and I ain’t no coward. Well, I am, but I need the money.
Disaster struck further when I got to the teaching center. My top student had lost her voice overnight! This wouldn’t be so bad but today’s material was mostly about making presentations. We could get her to stand up and try to make the presentations, but 5 minutes of silence could get a bit awkward.
Plus, there was a lot of pairwork to do, and without this student we were down to three people! 3 is most definitely not the magic number when it comes to TEFL, no matter what De La Soul might say.
Trooper that she was, the voiceless lady still attended the lessons, albeit with a minimized role. It also meant I had to be creative in coming up with ways to keep her involved in the lesson. In case any of you have a student who loses their voice I would recommend the following to keep them part of the lesson:
- Answers can be written on a piece of paper, which can be read by you or a student
- Don’t ignore the voiceless student – make sure you include them in your field of vision when speaking
- If there are presentations to be given, get them to write the presentation out in full, which can then be read out by you or another student
At the end of the day…
Aside from that challenge, some of the other problems of the day included helping the students to learn some presentation skills, some work on pronunciation, and a lot of work on vocabulary – always an issue at this level.
I was so pleased at the end of the day, though, when we each of the students got up in turn to deliver their presentations. The English was far from flawless, but it was delivered confidently, logically, and clearly. Success!
So, nothing left to do know but kick back and enjoy an Asahi Super Dry after a long two days of teaching English.
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