Taught my first class ever!

Sunday April 6th, 2014 at 7:09 pm

Holy crap, I made it through teaching my first class. As someone who is really shy and has plenty of stage fright, this is a big accomplishment for me. It’s a great motivation boost to know that I can do it. Ample preparation and working with really helpful people make all the difference in the world!

Overall, I felt like the class went pretty well. Learning how to teach a class and actually teaching a class are two completely different experiences. I feel like a person does need both but you learn so much from just being able to teach at least one class. I still have 3 classes left this month so I can’t imagine what I’ll learn in the weeks to come.

The students were very pleasant to work with, which is great for someone who was super nervous. They were pretty tentative and engaging in the lesson. Once I got started, most of my nerves went away. I was pretty hype when I felt like they were getting the hang of the lesson but come practice time, all of them wanted to resort back to using language they already knew instead of using what we were learning in class. This is pretty common and one of the jobs as the teacher is to try to draw their attention back to the target langauge. I wasn’t able to do this as well as I should have but I feel next class I will know how to better achieve this.

They also had a hard time doing the activities on their own. I don’t feel like I made the activities too hard but this is one area where experience comes in handy. What I think may be too easy might be perfect for someone who doesn’t know/understand the language. In the future, I’ll keep the activities simpler. The goal is to learn the language and as long as they do that, it doesn’t matter if the activity is too simple or complex.

I ended up receiving a B-/C+ for the class, which isn’t too bad. I did disagree with the marks a little bit but most of it was my fault. The class ran over and I had to rush the ending a little bit. It caused me to leave a few things out and I wasn’t able to explain the homework assignment very well. However, one reason why the class ended 10 minutes late was also because i started 5 minutes late. We were told to wait a few minutes for latecomers. I don’t disagree with the feed back that I received but the grading scale may have been a little too harsh. We’ll see what happens next class.

The next lesson I’m teaching is a vocabulary lesson on computer terminology, which I think will be fun. I haven’t decided what I plan on doing for the context yet but I need to have the rough draft of it done tonight. We have less time to work on the lesson plan this time around…one week as opposed to the 1.5-2 weeks we had for the last one;

I can see why some people really like being a teacher. I always said I never wanted to teach but it really depends on what you’re teaching and who you’re working. A lot people think English isn’t too hard to teach (as did I) since you already speak the language but that is untrue. Since we’ve been exposed to the language for so long, we all know what sounds right or wrong. We also know what words mean and how they can change a sentence. Vocabulary can be a lot easier to teach because you can have pictures and items to help facilitate the meaning but it can be very hard to teach certain grammar and function words/phrases. A lot of what we use has such minor differences that it can be very hard for someone who has limited concept of the language to understand when to use what language. I don’t really enjoy trying to think of context and examples for lesson plans but once I have those figured out, the rest of it is pretty fun. I’ve had a great time making and creating certain activities. It’s also a great feeling of achievement once an entire lesson plan is finished. Teaching the class is actually the easiest part by that time and the most fun.

I’m applying to a few more jobs this weekend, hoping to hear back from at least one soon. It’s sometimes irritating to see the types of people who are doing the jobs that I want and I know I can do so much better than them. This is not to say that I’m better than a lot of people but there are people out there that I honestly don’t know how they landed the job.

It’s going to be another long night for me: finish applying to a couple jobs, work on graphic designing (I said weeks ago I would have it done but have been way too busy to get started), finish up a rough draft of my lesson plan, and watch Game of Thrones!

Posted Under: ESL - teaching

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