Anyways, I know what you’re going through. You’re going through hell.
Oh, you can argue that the pay is good and you have materials and you have a set schedule and all the rest of it. But gosh darn, getting those kids to talk is a pain, isn’t it?
I’m going to be frank with you in this article, and I hope you’ll forgive me, or at least not hold it against me.
Here we go.
I know you’re not used to being assertive or pushing yourself forward or really having an idea on what you want to do with your life. Great…that means you’re just like your students and they’ll view you that way.
You’re their friend, and because you’re their friend they’re going to walk all over you. Yes, they will make your life a living hell.
How can you fix this? Be assertive, be authoritative, be a boss. You are the teacher, and you are setting an agenda. That agenda is your two-hour lesson plan and they will stick to it, they will adhere to it, and God damn it, and deviation from that will not be tolerated.
You are the boss – act like it!
Thought #2: Do What You Want
You know how EF gives you all those materials, like books and PDFs and worksheets and game ideas and flashcards and pre-made lesson plans? Isn’t that great?
No, it sucks. It sucks because you’ve got to take this system and learn it, and then every time you want to do something you have to plan it all out. You have to figure out the grammar for that unit, figure out the materials you need, figure out the tests and homework.
Shit, that sucks.
Why not just go in with the book and your teacher materials? Do your lesson, play the audio, and watch the videos. Go in short blocks of time. Get it done. But don’t sit there and plan, plan, plan.
Kids at EF want to be entertained. Their parents want them to learn English.
You only have to deal with parents a little bit. You have to deal with students a lot. Who are you going to listen to…especially when results aren’t really expected at EF? Yeah, as long as those kids keep paying, everyone’s happy. And guess what, nothing’s going to keep them paying more than a lack of improvement.
Thought #4: Be Honest
When you get in a room one-on-one with a student that’s younger than you and doesn’t know about life and is not confident, I know it might feel like you’re looking in a mirror to the past, so gosh, why not tell them that?
Be honest with people one-on-one and you can sell them anything. Be confident, because you know more than they. And just keep things moving, because no one likes dicking about with lots of ‘ums’ and ‘ugh…now what’s.’
What are you going to do when your contract with EF English First is finished? Are you going to sign another contract because it snuck up on you and you have no idea what else to do?
Err! Wrong answer!
Figure out what you want to do in life. Chances are it’s not listening to screaming kids for 9 hours on Saturday and another 9 on Sunday.
Enjoy your two days off this week and good luck next weekend...and please, think about these things!