any tips on teaching for the first time

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any tips on teaching for the first time

Unread post by lil_nisi » 08 Jan 2014, 12:23

I did a celta course and failed because of stress. Throughout the teaching practices I always choke because I panicked. I just didn't have time to prepare and they're really picky with how I taught. I can't seem to explain and instruct things. I don't know if it's because I disagree with the celta procedure or if it's just nerves. I got a volunteering opportunity at a school. They don't require the celta procedure, they just want you to teach informally. I've not had any teaching experience before so my nerves will kick in again. Any tips for first time teaching a class of 15?


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Re: any tips on teaching for the first time

Unread post by KazakhToon » 14 Jan 2014, 17:12

If you're affected by nerves, I think it's best to give yourself a fixed amount of time to prepare for the lessons. One early colleague of mine advised 15 mins planning for every 45 in class. Keep it simple, use a book if they have one, you don't need to generate all your own materials or lecture them on grammar if the school wants an informal class. If no materials, I would advise finding an out of the box lesson, film english is a nice website which provides everything.

If confidence is your problem, your main aim should be surviving a week in the job, then 2, then a month. At that point, you can look back and say I'm still alive, the students are all alive, no disasters happened. And you'll chill out and start teaching more confidently. Good luck in your career!

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Re: any tips on teaching for the first time

Unread post by becki » 17 Jan 2014, 08:40

Stand at the front, take a couple of deep breaths, smile, and say "hello". Students are usually forgiving of the teacher if they feel that you truly care.

On a side note, I think you should try another TEFL course. The courses offer a lot of advice for first-time teachers.
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Re: any tips on teaching for the first time

Unread post by doomer » 04 Feb 2014, 16:58

Becki is right, students are more forgiving if you care. They'll sense it without you saying it. We've all been students, and we've all known which teachers have cared or not. I strongly recommend learning all students' names in the first class - it always has a positive effect.

Students may be equally nervous: they'll have a new teacher, and may lack confidence in their own English ability. More so if the students don't know each other. Always incorporate SvS interaction.

Channel your nervousness into paying attention to & assessing your students, reducing their nervousness, & increasing their confidence. Let your own feelings take a backseat to theirs, & focus on your students. Teaching is helping students grow - which helps teachers grow.

The teacher "explaining" things should likely be used sparingly: let students try to explain as much as possible. For me, teaching is asking questions & having students think, work, & arrive at answers. The 2 questions I ask most: "What do you think?", followed by "Why do you think that (or X)?" Like the kid always asking why. But I also teach kids; too many questions to adults may appear condescending.

As for "instructing", perhaps start with simpler activities, tasks, concepts, & lessons. This simplifies & reduces instructions, increasing student practice time. Gradually complicate in stages (not all at once), if needed. Baby steps.

Personally, I prefer repeatable tasks that also develop non-language skills. For example, when I say, "Tell me a fictional story," they improvise one. Of course, you first have to instruct them how to do that, but in later classes, no further instruction is necessary - only the command. For me, innovation is at the heart of teaching, and TEFL isn't just about TEFL.

Best wishes.

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