first year of TEFL teaching...feel a bit overwhelmed

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first year of TEFL teaching...feel a bit overwhelmed

Unread postby trainee » 25 Nov 2012, 01:50

Hi everyone,

I´m in my first proper year of TEFL teaching in Spain and I´m struggling.

I´ll give you a bit of background-
June 2011 - finished my degree in Modern Languages and Business
Sept 2011 - Started working as an English assistand in an official language school in northern Spain. My duties included helping the adult students with conversation practice. I was the assistant but I was expected to plan and deliver lessons myself. I only had 30 minutes with each group.
Nov 2011 - began to feel overwhelmed and like everything was out of control.

July 2012 - Started a new job in the south of Spain teaching adults doing an intensive summer course. Expected to prepare Trinity ISE 1 and 2 exams for November sitting.
Sept 2012- Renewed this position, but was also given additonal primary and secondary classes, from primary 2 upwards.
I don´t have experience with primary or secondary and this is where I´m struggling.

I have a hard time with classroom management. I work 6 hours straight and find it difficult to switch off when I come home at 10pm. I´m starting to have problems sleeping too.

Can anyone give me any advice?
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Re: first year of TEFL teaching...feel a bit overwhelmed

Unread postby kaithegreene » 30 Nov 2012, 08:06

It's a bit like being thrown to the wolves, isn't it!

If you do nothing else read Sarah Phillips book "Young Learners" OUP - great introduction and lots of great ideas for the classroom. Take a look at the British Council's "Learn English Kids" and "Learn English Teens" websites: http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/teaching-kids

Good luck!
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Re: first year of TEFL teaching...feel a bit overwhelmed

Unread postby Bluey » 08 Jan 2013, 20:06

I am in a similar situation in my first year as well, I currently have 35 teaching hours a week and feel massively overwhelmed by it all. I too am having problems sleeping, which I think is probably because of stress. The only thing I am currently thinking of is that I am putting the hours away in the 'hour bank' and at this rate will have completed by contracted number of hours by April/May.
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Re: first year of TEFL teaching...feel a bit overwhelmed

Unread postby jtjohnston » 28 Jan 2013, 03:23

Point system. Kids love a point system. Stickers, whatever rewards you want to give them ... create a point system. Use a point system in groups. Groups police themselves.

I had a 3 chance system. Write the name on the board. Two ticks next to your name and you get a consequence for your actions: expulsion, extra homework, whatever.

Talk to other teachers. Ask them how they deal with these students. Adopt the classroom management styles that others have. Walk in their shoes until you develop a style of your own.

We had school agendas. Students hated me writing in their agenda because that meant Mom & Dad would see they had misbehaved.

... There is so much more.

As for stress: E-X-E-R-C-I-S-E - run, walk, jog, bicycle, swimming, snuggling, whatever it takes - be active.

But be practical, teaching primary and secondary is not for everyone. Don't accept work just because you are hungry. Is this a job or a vocation for you?
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Re: first year of TEFL teaching...feel a bit overwhelmed

Unread postby inbalp » 19 Mar 2013, 17:32

Hi, can understand exactly what you are been through, I am doing my practice at school – junior high, 35 pupils in class, most of them have learning difficulties - I try very hard to bring materials that moves them, but sometimes I feel like it wasn't worth the hard work I put into it, but on the other hand it is a challenge to keep them quiet so I think that next time think of the following things:
1. They should be engaged all the time, like giving them instructions before activity like: underline the words… / think of something while watching this movie/reading this passage.
2. Maybe the material is too difficult for them.
3. If you see that they are not with you, go next.
4. Bring to the class things that they will find interesting.
5. I have a recommendation of a good book that may help you: Handbook of Classroom Management by Weinstein & Evertson.

Inbal
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Re: first year of TEFL teaching...feel a bit overwhelmed

Unread postby petervo » 12 May 2013, 15:01

kaithegreene wrote:It's a bit like being thrown to the wolves, isn't it!

If you do nothing else read Sarah Phillips book "Young Learners" OUP - great introduction and lots of great ideas for the classroom. Take a look at the British Council's "Learn English Kids" and "Learn English Teens" websites: http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/teaching-kids

Good luck!


thanks for the resource, looks helpful :)
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