Yeah, many times students will have to go back to school on a Saturday or Sunday in China. The school year nearly always begins on September 1, and that’s a Sunday this year. Hopefully all you foreign teachers out there won’t have to start teaching until Monday.
And if you’re in a training center, stand up and cheer! You’ve made it through the arduous summer school your training center no doubt loaded you up on. Now you can get back to your less-demanding schedule.
So what are some things you can do to make your upcoming ESL school year more comfortable? Besides taking a lot of headache medicine, try some of these things:
- Rules: Set up a rule sheet somewhere in class during your very first class. It doesn’t need to be fancy, just a piece of notebook paper. And you don’t even need that many rules; perhaps just 3 to 5. Mainly it’s something to show you’re serious about discipline, even if you don’t enforce it all that often.
- Rewards: Yeah, if you’re going to have rules you might as well have rewards. Buy up a lot of that cheap candy you see in supermarket bins. Pass it out to the good students. Do the same with stickers; kids really love those. Or even make the reward homework. You could give less or walk around and do the students’ English homework if they’re good.
- Punishments: Yep, the coin’s got two sides. When those unruly students, you know, the ones that you hate and hope are thwarted somewhere along their school career, well, when they get unruly you need to punish them. Make them write lines, stand in the back of the class, clean the board, sit next to a girl, sit next to a boy, or even speak in front of the class. Whatever it is, follow through.
Hopefully some of those simple ESL ideas will get you through your first week or two as a new teacher. Remember, it’ll only go down hill further, but eventually you’ll find a way back up.
Hey, this is ESL; no one said it’d be easy!