September 21, 2017, 10:45:17 AM


Author Topic: Having trouble with the job as a first-timer  (Read 2699 times)

Offline piamca

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Having trouble with the job as a first-timer
« on: July 17, 2017, 01:07:50 PM »
Hi,

I started teaching in a seoul public school with EPIK this March and these days I'm finding it pretty difficult in terms of what to do in my lessons. Like most first timers, I never taught before but I've been willing to learn. They threw me in the deep end from the beginning, with no guidance. I have to teach the whole lesson while the co-teachers just translate (sometimes they just leave) and I was aware this might be the case but what makes it harder is that I can't teach anything from the textbook because they want to save all the activities for their classes. The textbook is pretty rubbish anyway, but as someone who's never done this before it's been hard constantly coming up with activities to fill the class. Most activities I find are game-based but I've come to hate my class just being a "game" class and the kids are really badly behaved these days and the fact that they clearly see it as a play class is making it worse. I've asked my co-teachers for advice and suggestions several times and all they say is "do whatever you want". For some people who have experience this kind of freedom might be welcome but I hate it and no one else I know has this kind of situation so I don't know who else to ask for advice.

It doesn't help that my main coteacher had an accident and has now disappeared (I don't know if she's coming back, I only learnt she was gone because I understand enough Korean to eavesdrop) and no one else will speak to me which means no one tells me anything anymore and I have no one to reach out to for problems I'm having with  my apartment, phone, health etc. so I am just really stressed these days.

If the work situation would get better I think I'd be a lot happier. If you have any suggestions for teaching as a newbie with no guidance or textbook to 700+ kids I would appreciate it. All my friends have great setups at their schools so i can't really ask them. I know my situation is probably not bad compared to most but I feel like I'm not doing a great job and I don't know where else to turn for how to make this better.

Thank you.

Offline jddavis7

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Re: Having trouble with the job as a first-timer
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2017, 01:47:46 PM »
You definitely need some kind of reward system. This requires some prep and you'll probably need someone to translate a bit, but it may help with the behavior. You can give students a sticker/stamp for different things, like if they answer a question, win a game, or good behavior. You can make individual sheets for each student or just a class reward sheet. When they collect enough stickers/stamps, they can get a prize. For example, for every 10 they could get candy.

I would try that first and if that doesn't calm them down, you'll need to also implement a punishment system. To me, classroom management is what can make or break your experience here.

Also, you may have to wait until the new semester to implement these things. Once exams are over, it's hard to control the kids unless your COT is always present and good at disciplining the kids.

Offline kriztee

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Re: Having trouble with the job as a first-timer
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2017, 01:54:47 PM »
I attached some ideas for games/activities. You can mod them to your lessons. Try to get some kind of reward system in place for next semester. What one of my schools does is put the kids in teams. If the team wins a game, give them points, if they answer a question, give them points. If they're being arseholes erase points. The team with the most points at the end of the class get a stamp on a stamp card. If they get 5 stamps they get a prize.

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Re: Having trouble with the job as a first-timer
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2017, 03:06:21 PM »
Yo!  So others have covered the behavior part, I'll focus more on what to do for class. 

I'm in a similar sitch-- my elementary coT doesn't allow me to use the books/CDs because those are for her classes.  They're kinda dry/weird anyway, so whatever.  I am also expected to come up with activities to fill the time.  However, I am also instructed to focus on the relevant vocabulary from the current lesson she's teaching from the books.  A suggestion--

try a few minutes at the beginning for a warmup/lead in (maybe some physical exercise using English or a short video or brief activity like Pass the Ball).  Then do a PPT presentation to introduce the vocabulary and practice.  This part could take 5 - 10 minutes.  Then the rest of the time could be games/activities (20~ minutes). 

Even though you can't directly teach the book, consider using it as a guideline for what groups of vocabulary words/ key expressions to focus on.  They're pretty helpful in that respect.  Or, choose a different book that's on here so you can borrow and modify the games/activities that people have posted and still have a guideline for lesson planning. 

Hope that's helpful!  Most of us are pretty much thrown into the deep end when we first start out, so you're not alone!  Best of luck~

Online yirj17

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Re: Having trouble with the job as a first-timer
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2017, 03:11:49 PM »
Also, the less disciplined they are for the vocab introduction and practice part, the less time they will have for games/activities.  Try to stress that part.  And if they misbehave terribly (like if you want to do a strike system or something), then they lose the privilege of getting to play a game and have to do busy work instead. 

Lastly, I hate when people say, "do whatever you want."  Zero direction is not helpful.  Over time you might prefer that over being told explicitly what to do but at the beginning it's understandably daunting. 

Offline MayorHaggar

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Re: Having trouble with the job as a first-timer
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2017, 03:31:48 PM »
Behold the Korean educational system, giving a coveted EPIK job in Seoul to a new teacher when thousands of experienced teachers would kill to get your job. I'm NOT ragging on your abilities as a teacher, just pointing out the usual illogical Korean attitude towards organization and planning.

I did two years with EPIK. Seriously your entire experience is based on the helpfulness of your co-workers, and whether they want to help you and make your classes professional.

My first year the school was a "big" school in a very rural town. The teachers were generally pretty organized and passionate. They let me teach my classes however I wanted as long as I followed the textbooks. If the kids behaved badly or if I had some kind of issue, they'd always help me. The kids were inspired by their teachers and were really respectful. Their English level was low but they wanted to learn so my classesEverything was pretty groovy.

My second year was at a tiny school in the nearest big city. The teachers just did not care about being there and did not help me at all with anything. On the plus side they just left me alone, on the minus side my classes would often end up being the kids being completely wild because nobody was disciplining them, and the kids would "act bored" really easily because they could see from their Korean teachers that education was apparently not important. EPIK cut everyone in my province at the end of that year and I really did not care about leaving.

Offline piamca

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Re: Having trouble with the job as a first-timer
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2017, 04:10:40 PM »
Thanks so much for the suggestions everyone! Since we have less that 2 weeks there's no point introducing a reward system now but it's been in the back of my mind and since you suggested it I'll try and do this starting next semester, so I can set it up over the summer break. To be honest in my worst classes I'm not sure how well it will work because I'm pretty sure I have a lot of kids with behavioral issues and some bullying going on which I've heard their homeroom teacher neglects. I have some really troubled kids and when they run out of the room/go under the desks/start sobbing and having meltdowns/screaming at each other it's a bit much to deal with considering the language barrier and obviously disruptive. But I think this will definitely help overall, so thanks!

Yo!  So others have covered the behavior part, I'll focus more on what to do for class. 

I'm in a similar sitch-- my elementary coT doesn't allow me to use the books/CDs because those are for her classes.  They're kinda dry/weird anyway, so whatever.  I am also expected to come up with activities to fill the time.  However, I am also instructed to focus on the relevant vocabulary from the current lesson she's teaching from the books.  A suggestion--

try a few minutes at the beginning for a warmup/lead in (maybe some physical exercise using English or a short video or brief activity like Pass the Ball).  Then do a PPT presentation to introduce the vocabulary and practice.  This part could take 5 - 10 minutes.  Then the rest of the time could be games/activities (20~ minutes). 

Even though you can't directly teach the book, consider using it as a guideline for what groups of vocabulary words/ key expressions to focus on.  They're pretty helpful in that respect.  Or, choose a different book that's on here so you can borrow and modify the games/activities that people have posted and still have a guideline for lesson planning. 

Hope that's helpful!  Most of us are pretty much thrown into the deep end when we first start out, so you're not alone!  Best of luck~

Thank you! This is basically the format I follow but it's good to hear this is an okay way to do things. Because classes are 40 minutes, the game bit tend to be more like ~30 minutes so maybe it will be better if I try and lengthen the boring activities at the beginning (though I'm not sure how, there's only so much powerpoint and drilling we can do) because anything I've noticed with 4th and 5th at least that if I do something too stimulating at the beginning they'll be impossible to control for the rest of the class.

Behold the Korean educational system, giving a coveted EPIK job in Seoul to a new teacher when thousands of experienced teachers would kill to get your job. I'm NOT ragging on your abilities as a teacher, just pointing out the usual illogical Korean attitude towards organization and planning.

I did two years with EPIK. Seriously your entire experience is based on the helpfulness of your co-workers, and whether they want to help you and make your classes professional.

My first year the school was a "big" school in a very rural town. The teachers were generally pretty organized and passionate. They let me teach my classes however I wanted as long as I followed the textbooks. If the kids behaved badly or if I had some kind of issue, they'd always help me. The kids were inspired by their teachers and were really respectful. Their English level was low but they wanted to learn so my classesEverything was pretty groovy.

My second year was at a tiny school in the nearest big city. The teachers just did not care about being there and did not help me at all with anything. On the plus side they just left me alone, on the minus side my classes would often end up being the kids being completely wild because nobody was disciplining them, and the kids would "act bored" really easily because they could see from their Korean teachers that education was apparently not important. EPIK cut everyone in my province at the end of that year and I really did not care about leaving.

I can't even disagree with that first bit, I had my misgivings about this system from before I even applied but was hoping I'd be one of the lucky ones given a well-structured approach so I could learn easily on the job. It's funny because nearly all my Seoul (& Gyeonggi) friends who joined me in this intake have no experience either (mostly straight out of school too) to the point where I wondered if it wasn't intentional.

Your second school sounds kind of like mine. These kids are so young and already so disillusioned it can be depressing at time, half of them had given up on English before I even got here.

Do you work in a hagwon now? Sometimes I wonder if that wouldn't have worked out better for me since I got placed in boring and badly connected part of Seoul anyway. But I guess the holiday and hours are good considering my lack of experience.

Thank you for the help so far everyone! I'm very hard on myself and gotten into a negative mindset about everything recently so every piece of advice/reassurance is helpful right now.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2017, 04:16:54 PM by piamca »

Offline Space

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Re: Having trouble with the job as a first-timer
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2017, 04:33:11 PM »
You're talking about 5th and 6th grade of elementary, right? The school books used are government mandated to fit inside of a school semester (with a few left over for extra curricular days etc.) How can your co-teacher just teach the text books with the given time?

Anyway.

How about you set a regular structure to your class

  • general greetings/talking point/warm up etc.
  • intro PPT (Use the topic your co-teacher is on. You can find them in the lesson section on this website and adapt to suit your needs)
  • Educational Game 1 (with a focus on wherever your co-teacher is e.g. speaking or reading
  • Educational Game 2 (if time)
  • Closing/review

Don't start explaining the games until everyone is quiet (and make sure they understand that the more they talk whilst you're talking, the less time there is for games).

If you have classroom management problems you can implement the names on board system ('if you ___insert particular annoyance here___, you're name will go on the board and for every tally, you will stay an extra minute after class'. You can make them clean or just sit there).

You will find your feet. Just give it time.


Offline creview

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Re: Having trouble with the job as a first-timer
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2017, 11:53:27 PM »
You situation sounds exactly like what happened to me when I first started. Like you, I found non-stop games actually creates more of a behavior problem. Not being able to use the book doesn't mean you can't use it to create materials or use it to review what they've already covered. You could even re-do some of the games in the book they already did in their other English class.

Have a reward/punishment system. Ask your school if there's a budget for rewards, like stationary or stickers or even toys, if your school will allow it. You can do it on an individual level or as a class. If the whole class is good they can earn points and the class with the most points at the end can have a party. Koreans are more group oriented so this method works better on them than in the US.
If a student misbehaves a certain number of times, have them stand in the back, write lines or even send them to their homeroom teacher or VP. Try to find out if those students have personal problems. They could be acting out because of other things, unrelated to your class.

Start the class with a warm up. You can pass a ball around and have students ask each other how they're feeling or watch a video related to the topic or just English in general and ask them to talk about it. A song with movement might also be helpful for younger students. If you can get them standing or moving, you can exhaust some of their energy. This could backfire and have them get MORE rowdy so test the waters.

Then do some worksheets or role play. Crossword, wordsearch, close activties, etc.
For role play, you can print out the script or have them write their own dialog, if they're already familiar enough with the key expressions. Then have them perform them in front of the class and vote for the best role play and actors.

If they are GOOD, then they can play English games. I found that too many games just numbs them and they get bored of them. Try to rotate your games as well. Don't play the same ones over and over. I threaten them with reading a book instead of playing the game if they misbehave and that usually makes them listen.

End the class with a review of what you covered and try to test whether they can say/write the vocab/key expressions.

Offline some waygug-in

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Re: Having trouble with the job as a first-timer
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2017, 03:28:34 AM »
I can't even disagree with that first bit, I had my misgivings about this system from before I even applied but was hoping I'd be one of the lucky ones given a well-structured approach so I could learn easily on the job. It's funny because nearly all my Seoul (& Gyeonggi) friends who joined me in this intake have no experience either (mostly straight out of school too) to the point where I wondered if it wasn't intentional.

There's a pretty good likelihood that it is entirely intentional.

Newbies get paid less.   

Offline theman3285

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Re: Having trouble with the job as a first-timer
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2017, 10:33:27 AM »
How about you set a regular structure to your class

  • general greetings/talking point/warm up etc.
  • intro PPT (Use the topic your co-teacher is on. You can find them in the lesson section on this website and adapt to suit your needs)
  • Educational Game 1 (with a focus on wherever your co-teacher is e.g. speaking or reading
  • Educational Game 2 (if time)
  • Closing/review


Excellent advice. Use the indexes here for activities/games/ideas (assuming the textbook your coteacher uses is listed):

http://www.waygook.org/index.php/board,89.0.html

Your situation is indeed enviable to many.


Offline Piggydee

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Re: Having trouble with the job as a first-timer
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2017, 11:00:14 AM »
I have some really troubled kids and when they run out of the room/go under the desks/start sobbing and having meltdowns/screaming at each other it's a bit much to deal with considering the language barrier and obviously disruptive. But I think this will definitely help overall, so thanks!

I'm right there with you girl friend.  I too have several children with severe behavioral issues.  I have one child that I have to keep his pencil away from him because he will draw completely all over a worksheet I might give.  (To the point you can't even read the text) But if I tell the class okay rules of the worksheet: NO PICTURES!  Okay (Student A) Do we draw on paper?  He might say yes but you have to answer NO!  He usually gets it but when he does follow his handwriting is terrible.  But I praise him for at least following my rule and trying to write.  I'm not a doctor but he does have traits of someone with Autism.  He won't know what you are talking about off hand but out of NO WHERE he will recall a lesson 2 chapters ago that you thought he wasn't even paying attention to.  So it seems his brain works at a different speed than the other students.  And that is fine.   

Then I have two third graders who are twin sisters who still behave like kindergartners.   They will take things out of other kids hands (Okay behavior of a three year old.  NOT OKAY IF YOU ARE 8/9!!) They talk to themselves or from what it seems have imaginary friends.  (imaginary friends are great for creativity! But not after the age of 5 and NOT IN PUBLIC!) And they talk in baby voices.  :rolleyes: Their peers are constantly policing them as the rest of my third graders know how to behave in a classroom (stay seated, don't talk, have your book out) while these girls still behave like 3 year olds at a restaurant.   :rolleyes:  Growing pains with those two...I guess I will just hope maturity clicks with them because they are only a year away from being 5th graders. :huh: 

And I also have a boy that hides under his desk and/or throws things from his desk when he is angry.  I've tried my best to kneel down with him and talk softly to ask if he wants to join our class.  This is meet with attempted kicks and punches.  I'm like fine kid throw away your education!  I'm not trained to deal with someone who is exhibiting forms of Asperger's and neither are you OP.  My advice and I know you are like me.  "No child left me behind."  Reach one, Teach one.  But seriously I've really held on to the motto "you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink."  Some people might even say "It's not the child's fault that your lessons are boring and uninspiring to them."  To that I say, I have plenty of other child that are listening to my lesson and producing the work asked of them, so I'm sorry this is not tailored made to that one child who chooses to hide under a desk and throw things at other students.  So don't stress about those students.  They will eventually come around if they want to.  Otherwise just keep it moving and don't let "fellow teachers" tell you that you are not trying hard enough or doing your best.  As long as you aren't just playing youtube videos all day and throwing an UNO pack or Blue Marble game board at them and telling them have fun while you sit at your desk than you are doing better than most public school English teachers here in Korea.   :azn:
« Last Edit: July 18, 2017, 01:01:10 PM by Piggydee »

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Re: Having trouble with the job as a first-timer
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2017, 11:18:10 AM »
"No child left me behind."  Reach one, Teach one.  But seriously I've really held on to the motto "you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink."  Some people might even say "It's not the child's fault that your lessons are boring and uninspiring to them."  To that I say, I have plenty of other child that are listening to my lesson and producing the work asked of them, so I'm sorry this is not tailored made to that one child who chooses to hide under a desk and throw things at other students.

This could use some paragraphs. hahaha

Anyhoo, I got this at my first job (hakwon).

 :-* CO2, teacher, head office has been watching through the cameras on your classes. They noticed that Billy isn't having fun.

 :police: Really? *Billy is my worst student* That's strange, all the other kids are having a good time in that class.

 :-* I understand, but you have to make EVERYONE have fun in your class. There are 14 students in your class.

Sorry, f that. I'm not wasting a third of the class time and my energy to get through to Billy. He's made it painfully clear that he doesn't give a shit and he's rude as hell. So f him, he can dig ditches. The other 13 students are having fun, my energy goes to them.

I'm here to teach English, I'm not a psychiatrist.
Ignoring isnít the same as ignorance, you have to work at it.

Offline Piggydee

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Re: Having trouble with the job as a first-timer
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2017, 12:55:07 PM »
"No child left me behind."  Reach one, Teach one.  But seriously I've really held on to the motto "you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink."  Some people might even say "It's not the child's fault that your lessons are boring and uninspiring to them."  To that I say, I have plenty of other child that are listening to my lesson and producing the work asked of them, so I'm sorry this is not tailored made to that one child who chooses to hide under a desk and throw things at other students.

This could use some paragraphs. hahaha

Anyhoo, I got this at my first job (hakwon).

 :-* CO2, teacher, head office has been watching through the cameras on your classes. They noticed that Billy isn't having fun.

 :police: Really? *Billy is my worst student* That's strange, all the other kids are having a good time in that class.

 :-* I understand, but you have to make EVERYONE have fun in your class. There are 14 students in your class.

Sorry, f that. I'm not wasting a third of the class time and my energy to get through to Billy. He's made it painfully clear that he doesn't give a shit and he's rude as hell. So f him, he can dig ditches. The other 13 students are having fun, my energy goes to them.

I'm here to teach English, I'm not a psychiatrist.

Co-sign on this too!!  But see Billy is a customer and Customer is KING!  OP you are at the public school level.  You don't need to stress about getting those type of kids in line.  Actually right now as I type this that one student who like to hide under his desk is under the tables of the library while his classmates are reading books during library time.  His homeroom teacher told me to just leave hm.  This is typical of public school.  If you were at hakwon your superiors would demand that you get the child involved and MAKE IT FUN!! Because they are paying customers.  A good hakwon however will tell the parent what the child is doing and if the parent tells them "look I just need you to keep my kid safe while I'm at work or keep them out of my hair for a few hours"  than they will say don't worry about that kid.   A terrible hakwon will keep feeding parents lies that their child is an angel, keep barking at you that you are a boring teacher, and then eventually pull you up for review and tell you "sorry this isn't working out and we are losing too many students because of you" and fire you.   

That's why OP YOU ARE DOING THE BEST YOU CAN AND DON'T STRESS!  You are doing great with the circumstances you have been given and just be thankful you aren't at a hakwon.  :cheesy:

Offline Iced_Chai

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Re: Having trouble with the job as a first-timer
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2017, 01:10:38 PM »
I'm in a small school and use the textbooks for my main classes. I can only imagine how stressful your situation is. I do teach a series of classes that I design from scratch, so here is what I do (but I'm still a new teacher and learning, so you know, take it with a grain of salt).

I start with a video short and a ppt introducing words/concepts and with a short practice section (10 min). We then do a group or partner game/activity (15 min).   I then have them do two worksheets. The first worksheet is simpler. If some lower-level students can't finish the second worksheet due to time, that's okay (it only happens occasionally). I normally try to add a fun portion to the second worksheet, like a maze or a word search, or sometimes a hidden picture. This takes up extra time and lets them practice different skills. It also encourages getting through the first worksheet quickly for those who can. This takes about 10 minutes. And then I do 5 minutes review and end of class routine.

I personally feel like worksheets help create a structure in the classroom and keep the kids stimulated. I also do a classroom reward system where they work together to earn a free day (games or English show) which takes them about two months to earn. It took me a long time to get a routine down, and I'm still figuring stuff out.  I did a lot of throwing everything at the wall and seeing what stuck. I now try to incorporate specific things into classes that they like. One class loves superheros, so I add superhero characters to their ppts. One class loves singing, so we do songs sometimes. I feel like one class will love something another class hates, so I try not to just instantly kill an idea that didn't work for one class.

I second people's suggestions of using the textbook as an outline. Focusing on the textbook vocab. If that's not what the Korean teacher is wanting, you could always throw in some phonics learning.

I hope that the summer gives you a break, and let's you start fresh with a new routine for the students. Good luck!

Offline MayorHaggar

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Re: Having trouble with the job as a first-timer
« Reply #15 on: July 18, 2017, 01:21:46 PM »
It is pretty clear that the "clever and honorable" education officials use "budget cuts" as an excuse to clear out all the long-term lifers every once in a while, then they hire a bunch of noobies at 2.2. Korea still seems to have the idea that nobody should want to stay in Korea more than one year...probably partially relates to the way educational policy here seems to value chaos and uncertainty and shuffling teachers around rather than continuity and stability and teachers who know what the hell they're doing.



Anyway best thing would be for OP to be able to teach from the book. What I always did was teach two pages in my class, then my CT would teach the next two pages in the class they had without me in it.

I'd do about 5 minutes of intros and review, 15 minutes of covering those two pages, then 20 minutes of a game based on those two pages, like a bomb game or whatever. Kids respond to structure and good pacing. If you only do games they'll zone out and they won't associate your class with having to pay attention for upcoming tests.

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Re: Having trouble with the job as a first-timer
« Reply #16 on: July 18, 2017, 01:26:39 PM »
Thanks so much for the suggestions everyone! Since we have less that 2 weeks there's no point introducing a reward system now but it's been in the back of my mind and since you suggested it I'll try and do this starting next semester, so I can set it up over the summer break. To be honest in my worst classes I'm not sure how well it will work because I'm pretty sure I have a lot of kids with behavioral issues and some bullying going on which I've heard their homeroom teacher neglects. I have some really troubled kids and when they run out of the room/go under the desks/start sobbing and having meltdowns/screaming at each other it's a bit much to deal with considering the language barrier and obviously disruptive. But I think this will definitely help overall, so thanks!

Thank you! This is basically the format I follow but it's good to hear this is an okay way to do things. Because classes are 40 minutes, the game bit tend to be more like ~30 minutes so maybe it will be better if I try and lengthen the boring activities at the beginning (though I'm not sure how, there's only so much powerpoint and drilling we can do) because anything I've noticed with 4th and 5th at least that if I do something too stimulating at the beginning they'll be impossible to control for the rest of the class.

Do you work in a hagwon now? Sometimes I wonder if that wouldn't have worked out better for me since I got placed in boring and badly connected part of Seoul anyway. But I guess the holiday and hours are good considering my lack of experience.

Thank you for the help so far everyone! I'm very hard on myself and gotten into a negative mindset about everything recently so every piece of advice/reassurance is helpful right now.

I'm no expert but I've found the key to success in my classes is consistency.

I change things up from time to time but key things are always the same in my class, my formatting, the style of worksheet I use, my lesson flow ( Greeting, Mini activity, Book/Drilling, main activity, closing)

I am also super consistent with reward systems. Even the most difficult classes will slowly come around if you stick to it. I try to focus on the positive things rather than punishing bad behavior. - example, a kid who doesn't usually do anything writes a little. Wow you can get 1 smile (10 smiles = 1 class sticker. Most class stickers gets a treat at the end of the semester)

Last year I had many students with learning difficulties, and I focused on their positive contributions to the class rather than what they dont do.

 I also had a student who used to scribble and draw over worksheets and books so rather than just shouting "No" (which is utterly useless) I let him draw, gave him puzzles, drawing ideas, things he could do. It took me 1 minute to give this to him and he did it alone without disturbing the class.
Pick your battles, spending time scolding that kid and trying to make him fit into what you've planned is making the other students resent you and him.

With the ones who are sobbing, being loud, disruptive - try the reward system and if that doesn't work then you really need to talk to someone about it. Those are problems that are over you.

Anyhoo you'll find your way pretty soon, everyone is overwhelmed at first. I had a shitty time but now I love it, my classes are mostly great and I have an easier life.

CONSISTENCY  8) You can do it!! Good luck :)

Offline JamSiManYo

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Re: Having trouble with the job as a first-timer
« Reply #17 on: July 18, 2017, 01:37:47 PM »
Since we have less that 2 weeks there's no point introducing a reward system

As a former team lead for multiple projects, I respectfully disagree. Iterative improvement trumps over-planning every time. If you have a minimally viable system, implement it as soon as possible. You have a golden opportunity here to test out your new system, albeit within a smaller time frame.

At the very least you can test:
how severe the punishments should be
how small the rewards should be
what really motivates students

Offline Piggydee

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Re: Having trouble with the job as a first-timer
« Reply #18 on: July 18, 2017, 02:03:01 PM »

 I also had a student who used to scribble and draw over worksheets and books so rather than just shouting "No" (which is utterly useless) I let him draw, gave him puzzles, drawing ideas, things he could do. It took me 1 minute to give this to him and he did it alone without disturbing the class.
Pick your battles, spending time scolding that kid and trying to make him fit into what you've planned is making the other students resent you and him.



Wow, those are very STRONG ASSUMPTIONS about how my students feel in my classroom.  But you are entitled to your opinion.  Great advice on the sticker system though.  Too bad my school has a "no bribing/no rewards" policy.  And as I stated earlier I don't bark at the child to follow rules.  I'm not a Drill Sargent.  I establish rules at the beginning of class on how we treat materials in class and I have the students say them back to me.  I also tell them in Korean.  I also let them know that I will take pencils away if they break those rules.  So there is no reprimanding without the student knowing what they did wrong to being with.  This system works for me.  May not work for you, but you have your sticker system so that's fine. 

And if establishing a list of rules at the beginning of class has some how created resentment with my students, well I'm just glad that my bread and butter is not reliant on if the students love me or not.   :cheesy:

Offline Cyanea

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Re: Having trouble with the job as a first-timer
« Reply #19 on: July 18, 2017, 02:05:05 PM »
Behold the Korean educational system, giving a coveted EPIK job in Seoul to a new teacher when thousands of experienced teachers would kill to get your job. I'm NOT ragging on your abilities as a teacher, just pointing out the usual illogical Korean attitude .

They throw out all the experienced teachers in favour of the pretty young grads and then do media hit-pieces on how "foreign teachers are not qualified". Exploitative industry in an abusive country.

Catch my drift?

 

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