In my time teaching in Thai schools in the Thai system, I could manage to control most of my classes, but some were simply impossible. The reason for all of this is not always the teacher's fault. Nor is it really the pupils' either. It's the system as a whole.
How to grab attention
Now classroom management is a complex thing, and identifying the reasons for the students' lack of attention is sometimes hard to do while things are descending into chaos. The real issue is what to do about it when it happens.
The 800-pound gorilla no one talks about
On more than one occasion last semester when I was teaching at the local high school I walked out of classes because I wasn't able to control an unruly crowd of 35 teenagers.
The subtle art of self-evaluation
Not a lot of teachers I know use self-evaluation, and perhaps for good reason. There's a worry that students aren't qualified to self-evaluate, that it's the teacher's job (and duty) to allocate and distribute scores in some objective way.
Is it better to simply observe students and not try to fix things?
I learned a long time ago to not expect Thai people to think or behave the way we do in California. I've come to realize the futility of trying to impose Western values on this ancient culture.
Should teachers be entertainers?
One would think that the Thais' love of ‘sanook' would make the EFL classroom an inviting place for new EFL teachers, but the situation can be frustrating.
Extra cash and more teaching experience for starters!
Teaching at an after-school has been a worthwhile experience. If you are willing to build your endurance and self-discipline then you will gain the rewards of more experience and some extra cash to boot.
These ideas have all worked for me!
If you have something the students want then you have a big asset in keeping your class under control. I have developed a few games and props that the kids love and I will use them when they start to tire or lose focus on a more testing part of the curriculum.
Encouraging learners to be more responsible for their own progress
There are various ways to speed up the learning of a language. First of all, students should try to develop the habit of using the language they’ve learnt in the classroom outside the classroom.
My goal is to not frighten the lives out of my students
I'm stepping back from the serious, academic approach and working on making my classes something that kids look forward to - even if they aren't learning as much.
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