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Teaching => Theory and Practice => Topic started by: tryingtogettokorea on November 17, 2017, 03:49:52 pm

Title: How can I be a fun teacher?
Post by: tryingtogettokorea on November 17, 2017, 03:49:52 pm
I've worked at two schools and at both, I've had plenty of students admit out loud their boredom or how they miss the previous NET. It hurts and I want them to have fun. I realize I was trying too hard to teach English. But I don't know how to be fun. I play a game at the end of class, but clearly it's not enough.
Title: Re: How can I be a fun teacher?
Post by: Aristocrat on November 17, 2017, 05:35:05 pm
I can't say for sure.

If I'd guess, I'd say knowing how to relate always helps. If you play computer games, maybe watch anime, play soccer or better yet speak Korean, that'll help.
Humour always works wonders too, not forced humour but natural jokes.
Title: Re: How can I be a fun teacher?
Post by: eggieguffer on November 18, 2017, 11:14:01 am
I can't say for sure.

If I'd guess, I'd say knowing how to relate always helps. If you play computer games, maybe watch anime, play soccer or better yet speak Korean, that'll help.
Humour always works wonders too, not forced humour but natural jokes.

Speaking Korean might make you more popular with them,  as when they're speaking Korean to you or listening to
you speaking Korean they're not working. Just telling them they can play with their phones all lesson would probably go down pretty well too.

If you want them to learn English in a more engaging way try 'gamifying' your activities. IE taking normal activities and making them more competitive or more interactive. Also I wouldn't worry too much about what they say about the previous teacher. He was probably just as useless. Kids know how to push teachers' buttons to annoy them.
Title: Re: How can I be a fun teacher?
Post by: jesamla on November 18, 2017, 03:04:07 pm
You didn't say what grades you teach. I teach middle school and I try to sprinkle competitions or rewards throughout the class. I usually start the class with a short warm up activity that could be a riddle, a word puzzle, a tongue twister, etc. The kids love trying to figure them out. Then usually halfway through the class I will reward them with a stamp if they use the target language either in a role play with another student or by asking me questions, etc. A certain number of stamps earns them candy, so there is usually a lot of participation. Then for the last 15 to 20 mins of the class we play a game or do a fun activity which can also result in more stamps for the winners. Any game/competition that relies on chance (like rock, paper, scissors) is usually a winner with my students. I would assume a similar system would work just as well for elementary.
Title: Re: How can I be a fun teacher?
Post by: oglop on November 18, 2017, 05:25:37 pm

If you want them to learn English in a more engaging way try 'gamifying' your activities. IE taking normal activities and making them more competitive or more interactive.
yes, pretty much this.

i usually put them into two or three teams and over the course of the lesson they 'compete' against each other, and the winning team gets a stamp or whatever system you use. similarly, you can also threaten to minus points to keep them quiet and on task. works well to get them to self-police each other

i also certainly wouldn't speak korean, or even allow them to speak korean. again, it's easy to enforce as they are usually more than happy to rat each other out
Title: Re: How can I be a fun teacher?
Post by: tryingtogettokorea on November 22, 2017, 03:15:49 pm
I can't say for sure.

If I'd guess, I'd say knowing how to relate always helps. If you play computer games, maybe watch anime, play soccer or better yet speak Korean, that'll help.
Humour always works wonders too, not forced humour but natural jokes.

I'm extremely unfunny and dull tbh. I knew a teacher who was very funny. His students loved him.
Title: Re: How can I be a fun teacher?
Post by: tryingtogettokorea on November 22, 2017, 03:20:21 pm
You didn't say what grades you teach. I teach middle school and I try to sprinkle competitions or rewards throughout the class. I usually start the class with a short warm up activity that could be a riddle, a word puzzle, a tongue twister, etc. The kids love trying to figure them out. Then usually halfway through the class I will reward them with a stamp if they use the target language either in a role play with another student or by asking me questions, etc. A certain number of stamps earns them candy, so there is usually a lot of participation. Then for the last 15 to 20 mins of the class we play a game or do a fun activity which can also result in more stamps for the winners. Any game/competition that relies on chance (like rock, paper, scissors) is usually a winner with my students. I would assume a similar system would work just as well for elementary.

I teach elementary which people have said it's easy because kids are easy to entertain. This isn't true. I have even been told I'm boring by english speaking preschool students in the usa. I wasn't renewed at my last job because the teachers said I'm unenthusiastic and not suitable to teach elementary. They said middle high school and university is what I should teach. But I'm back teaching elementary since it was difficult finding a middle + position.
I've tried warm ups in the beginning, but my students always seem bored by most of them. They can't solve riddles and things of that nature. They're young and low level. I teach K-6 in a public school.
Title: Re: How can I be a fun teacher?
Post by: tryingtogettokorea on November 22, 2017, 03:21:51 pm
First off, don't worry what the kids say about missing their previous teacher.  You didn't know that person and it could be that all they did was play games and gave out sweets, while the students learnt nothing.  So don't compare yourself to them.  Kids change and after a few weeks, they'll struggle to remember the previous teacher's name. 

Like others have said introduce some lesson based games.  Make sure with children you have 'uppers and downers'.  It is not good to always have students on an 'upper', you need them to sit down quietly and take in what they've learned. 

Like Oglop said, introduce a team element at the end of the class and give out stamps for activities.  If you have a class with vocabulary give them a wordsearch to complete and test them with the words when they finish.  If you want them to play a speaking game, 'boggleseslworld' has a lot of card-sized pictures for practising. 

http://bogglesworldesl.com/cards.htm

Or there is 'Mes-English' which has a lot of card-sized pictures. 

http://www.mes-english.com/flashcards.php

Mes-English also has some board game templates that you can print out and let the students play. 

http://www.mes-english.com/games/bouncearound.php

This one I used a fair bit when I was teaching elementary.

Thank you! I'll check out this website and try to implement your suggestions.
Title: Re: How can I be a fun teacher?
Post by: tryingtogettokorea on November 22, 2017, 03:26:19 pm
I can't say for sure.

If I'd guess, I'd say knowing how to relate always helps. If you play computer games, maybe watch anime, play soccer or better yet speak Korean, that'll help.
Humour always works wonders too, not forced humour but natural jokes.

Speaking Korean might make you more popular with them,  as when they're speaking Korean to you or listening to
you speaking Korean they're not working. Just telling them they can play with their phones all lesson would probably go down pretty well too.

If you want them to learn English in a more engaging way try 'gamifying' your activities. IE taking normal activities and making them more competitive or more interactive. Also I wouldn't worry too much about what they say about the previous teacher. He was probably just as useless. Kids know how to push teachers' buttons to annoy them.

Thanks, I actually thought of trying to make the book activities more fun (although still not sure what to do with K-2 since they don't have a book or with my other after school classes besides 5&6) it's just I have zero ideas. I don't know how other people make games off the top of their head. I've talked to other teachers where they would just make a game out of the lesson somehow, but I can't ever seem to do that. I'm not quick witted and so I'm SOL when unexpected things happen such as not being able to use the TV/Computer.

Can you elaborate on how you'd make the book activities into a competition? Who finishes the fastest? Who gets the answers right?
Title: Re: How can I be a fun teacher?
Post by: net.panda on November 23, 2017, 08:45:13 am
You didn't say what grades you teach. I teach middle school and I try to sprinkle competitions or rewards throughout the class. I usually start the class with a short warm up activity that could be a riddle, a word puzzle, a tongue twister, etc. The kids love trying to figure them out. Then usually halfway through the class I will reward them with a stamp if they use the target language either in a role play with another student or by asking me questions, etc. A certain number of stamps earns them candy, so there is usually a lot of participation. Then for the last 15 to 20 mins of the class we play a game or do a fun activity which can also result in more stamps for the winners. Any game/competition that relies on chance (like rock, paper, scissors) is usually a winner with my students. I would assume a similar system would work just as well for elementary.

I teach elementary which people have said it's easy because kids are easy to entertain. This isn't true. I have even been told I'm boring by english speaking preschool students in the usa. I wasn't renewed at my last job because the teachers said I'm unenthusiastic and not suitable to teach elementary. They said middle high school and university is what I should teach. But I'm back teaching elementary since it was difficult finding a middle + position.
I've tried warm ups in the beginning, but my students always seem bored by most of them. They can't solve riddles and things of that nature. They're young and low level. I teach K-6 in a public school.

Ouch! Nothing like kicking a man when he's already down...

Mmm when it comes to making book activities more entertaining, you could give rewards on speed and accuracy. Try to stick to sticker/stamp/money points that they can use in order to trade for prizes (aka candy, or stationary) as people have been suggesting earlier.
It can also be about taking themes from the books with the target words and mixing them with games that you played as a kid. A quick one I can think of is playing "Go Fish" but instead of matching numbers you are matching words and pictures (person with the most pairs gets ect ect prize). The main issue could be prep time, materials, and how many sets you need to make though.
Pictionary is also pretty good game as well, plus less prep time hahaha.

For K-2 classes, how often are you singing in those classes :laugh:? When in doubt introducing them to basic repetitive songs might help with the entertaining factor.
Title: Re: How can I be a fun teacher?
Post by: tryingtogettokorea on December 01, 2017, 12:19:41 pm
You didn't say what grades you teach. I teach middle school and I try to sprinkle competitions or rewards throughout the class. I usually start the class with a short warm up activity that could be a riddle, a word puzzle, a tongue twister, etc. The kids love trying to figure them out. Then usually halfway through the class I will reward them with a stamp if they use the target language either in a role play with another student or by asking me questions, etc. A certain number of stamps earns them candy, so there is usually a lot of participation. Then for the last 15 to 20 mins of the class we play a game or do a fun activity which can also result in more stamps for the winners. Any game/competition that relies on chance (like rock, paper, scissors) is usually a winner with my students. I would assume a similar system would work just as well for elementary.

I teach elementary which people have said it's easy because kids are easy to entertain. This isn't true. I have even been told I'm boring by english speaking preschool students in the usa. I wasn't renewed at my last job because the teachers said I'm unenthusiastic and not suitable to teach elementary. They said middle high school and university is what I should teach. But I'm back teaching elementary since it was difficult finding a middle + position.
I've tried warm ups in the beginning, but my students always seem bored by most of them. They can't solve riddles and things of that nature. They're young and low level. I teach K-6 in a public school.

Ouch! Nothing like kicking a man when he's already down...

Mmm when it comes to making book activities more entertaining, you could give rewards on speed and accuracy. Try to stick to sticker/stamp/money points that they can use in order to trade for prizes (aka candy, or stationary) as people have been suggesting earlier.
It can also be about taking themes from the books with the target words and mixing them with games that you played as a kid. A quick one I can think of is playing "Go Fish" but instead of matching numbers you are matching words and pictures (person with the most pairs gets ect ect prize). The main issue could be prep time, materials, and how many sets you need to make though.
Pictionary is also pretty good game as well, plus less prep time hahaha.

For K-2 classes, how often are you singing in those classes :laugh:? When in doubt introducing them to basic repetitive songs might help with the entertaining factor.

I tried gofish with my 4th graders yesterday. They didn't like it and didn't want to do it. One student even ruined the card that I laminated. All they want is music and music... they're so difficult. They do like bingo though which we played before go fish.

My K-2 classes have become mostly music (kids songs with a theme) and it's going better. I talked to another foreign teacher and she said that's what she does. I just feel judged when I do it. 1st grade is still hard to get to care about the music though.

This semester is almost over, but next semester I will implement the sticker chart thingy into my regular classes.

Thank you~~
Title: Re: How can I be a fun teacher?
Post by: Pecan on December 01, 2017, 01:41:28 pm
According the the government, you won't have to worry about teaching the young kids much longer, as they are banning English from being taught to K-2 students in public schools from February 28, 2018.

If I were you, I would focus on building better rapport with your students, as it sounds like that is seriously lacking.

When you have it, wherever you lead, they should follow, go fish or other.
Title: Re: How can I be a fun teacher?
Post by: loflowerrose on December 01, 2017, 03:25:00 pm
I agree with the rapport but I also agree there can be a better way to say it 

But definitely understand what I call the "classroom personality." You probably don't need to know them one-on-one but every class has a personality. Once you get that, you can better plan to what they like and respond to.

How I format my class is:

-Greetings/Motivation
-Warm Up game (an activity that's about 5~10 mins long about the last class. It gets their minds working and solidifies what they learned in the last class.
-Book lesson/curriculum
-Game of the Day (applying new information about 15 mins)

I always play with my kids and give them the chance to practice with me.
Title: Re: How can I be a fun teacher?
Post by: ESLinsider on December 02, 2017, 12:05:57 am
What do you do with the kids now? It sounds like you need a bit of training (http://koreabridge.net/post/eslinsiders-advanced-online-tefl-course-you-will-actually-remember-lip420). You need to learn how to teach and then you can integrate games and activities into your lesson. Kids get motivated by fun. If your classes aren't fun they won't learn and they won't like you.

But it's not just games that you need. If it's all games without paying attention to the lesson content then you lose and so don't they.  Again you need to learn how to integrate the right games into your lesson. You need structure, format and fun.

Making the kids do boring things all class and then giving them a game at the end won't work, because they are just going to tune out until then. First learn lesson planning then learn the games that fit with your lesson content.
Title: Re: How can I be a fun teacher?
Post by: Lawrence on December 02, 2017, 10:38:49 pm
I think another factor is age. If you are 40 and up it can be hard to relate to them, sometimes even if you are mid thirties. Your energy level has a lot to do with this. If your energy is low and you are soft spoken then they will be bored. You need to be loud and you need to get their attention. You get what you put into it. If you are high level energy and entertaining then the students will like you. If you are timid, shy, and boring then they will dislike you. I had this problem for a while according to some people and these days I try a lot harder and the students appreciate me more. I think even if you are older you can still do a good job if you adjust your style.
Title: Re: How can I be a fun teacher?
Post by: weirdgirlinkorea on December 03, 2017, 11:08:27 am
Don't take your job or yourself too seriously. Before anyone jumps on me saying that I am saying slack off or don't do your job, that is not what I am saying. I am saying, particularly at the elementary level, especially in public, a greater part of the job is cultural not English. English is just a secondary by-product. Definitely teach them but, but do it in a way that is just more of a play environment. I second a rapport though. I am only successful because I establish a rapport with my students every time. I teach high school. Sometimes they say or do shocking stuff to be funny, to test me. As long they don't break my basic rules of respect (and they know what those rules are), I don't try to police them.
I don't like kpop and I don't pretend to. I don't like soccer. My rapport is based on my love for them and teaching and they know it. That's all I can say. Find something you love about them and/or the job and use that to fuel your rapport with them.
Title: Re: How can I be a fun teacher?
Post by: tryingtogettokorea on December 21, 2017, 03:30:41 pm
I agree with the rapport but I also agree there can be a better way to say it 

But definitely understand what I call the "classroom personality." You probably don't need to know them one-on-one but every class has a personality. Once you get that, you can better plan to what they like and respond to.

How I format my class is:

-Greetings/Motivation
-Warm Up game (an activity that's about 5~10 mins long about the last class. It gets their minds working and solidifies what they learned in the last class.
-Book lesson/curriculum
-Game of the Day (applying new information about 15 mins)

I always play with my kids and give them the chance to practice with me.

I don't know how to build rapport

For non after school classes I usually do

-Greetings
-Sometimes a warm up game if I can think up one or find one that fits
-The book
-Ending game
Title: Re: How can I be a fun teacher?
Post by: tryingtogettokorea on December 21, 2017, 03:32:56 pm
What do you do with the kids now? It sounds like you need a bit of training. You need to learn how to teach and then you can integrate games and activities into your lesson. Kids get motivated by fun. If your classes aren't fun they won't learn and they won't like you.

But it's not just games that you need. If it's all games without paying attention to the lesson content then you'll lose.  Again you need to learn how to integrate the right games into your lesson. You need structure, format and fun.

Making the kids do boring things all class and then giving them a game at the end won't work, because they are just going to tune out until then. First learn lesson planning then learn the games that fit with your lesson content.

If your classes aren't fun they won't learn and they won't like you.

I know this, and I know I need training. But where do I get the training from. I don't plan on teaching after this. But I'd like for my kids to like me, learn, and respect me.

Where do I learn lesson planning. The long epik orientation didnt really teach me anything. And they made me do a HS lesson plan when I'm teaching elementary schoolers.
Title: Re: How can I be a fun teacher?
Post by: tryingtogettokorea on December 21, 2017, 03:34:08 pm
I think another factor is age. If you are 40 and up it can be hard to relate to them, sometimes even if you are mid thirties. Your energy level has a lot to do with this. If your energy is low and you are soft spoken then they will be bored. You need to be loud and you need to get their attention. You get what you put into it. If you are high level energy and entertaining then the students will like you. If you are timid, shy, and boring then they will dislike you. I had this problem for a while according to some people and these days I try a lot harder and the students appreciate me more. I think even if you are older you can still do a good job if you adjust your style.
If you are timid, shy, and boring then they will dislike you. - yeah this is me. im in my early twenties... i dont know how not to be timid, shy, anxious, and boring...
Title: Re: How can I be a fun teacher?
Post by: tryingtogettokorea on December 21, 2017, 03:35:21 pm
Don't take your job or yourself too seriously. Before anyone jumps on me saying that I am saying slack off or don't do your job, that is not what I am saying. I am saying, particularly at the elementary level, especially in public, a greater part of the job is cultural not English. English is just a secondary by-product. Definitely teach them but, but do it in a way that is just more of a play environment. I second a rapport though. I am only successful because I establish a rapport with my students every time. I teach high school. Sometimes they say or do shocking stuff to be funny, to test me. As long they don't break my basic rules of respect (and they know what those rules are), I don't try to police them.
I don't like kpop and I don't pretend to. I don't like soccer. My rapport is based on my love for them and teaching and they know it. That's all I can say. Find something you love about them and/or the job and use that to fuel your rapport with them.

people keep saying rapport... i can't even build rapport with people my age... much less children who cant understand me
Title: Re: How can I be a fun teacher?
Post by: gurudanny98 on December 21, 2017, 06:50:56 pm
I worked at a place 2 years ago, replacing a teacher who let the students play in class, go through the books quickly and never really buckled down to study. I was a taste of bad medicine to these kids.  Even though I was fun and easy-going, I made them study and focus on the lesson. It was also a bad hogwon because I didn't have support from the Korean staff who saw the students as little won signs  They didn't like me because of that. The teacher that the OP probably replaced probably spoiled the kids as well.
Title: Re: How can I be a fun teacher?
Post by: imtwina on December 22, 2017, 10:00:02 am
I don't know how to build rapport

For non after school classes I usually do

-Greetings
-Sometimes a warm up game if I can think up one or find one that fits
-The book
-Ending game

I recommend always doing a warm up. Every month you can introduce a new song...even for 5 and 6 graders.  Some good ones are "Today is Monday" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-7V__eJHuo&list=PLOuDQ8I5zQ9cIlZ-rxTaghGCD2xopMjxH&index=12 or "The Months Song" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XaOMTy3uQEo&list=PLOuDQ8I5zQ9cIlZ-rxTaghGCD2xopMjxH&index=10  Or a song with a hand clapping exercise "A sailor went to sea, sea, sea." Or What's the Word PPT games. Your warm up doesn't have to be related to the lesson.  It's just to get them in to English mode. 
To build "rapport" just try to get to know the kids.  Talk to them in the hallway or at lunch. Definitely try to learn some of their names. Ask them how to say things in Korean.  Don't be afraid to be silly in class. Give the kids opportunities to prove what they have learned already and praise them when they do.
Also, talk to your co-teacher about lessons. You may not need to teach everything in the book.  Just focus on one or two elements.  And, you don't have to play a game every lesson.  Try role-playing or dramatizing dialogs. Or have the kids draw something related to the lesson but personalized. Or do a crossword or word search. If you are looking for more games try Games and Activities on esltreasure.com or Games that Don't Need Technology http://www.waygook.org/index.php/topic,4535.msg25125.html#msg25125
For afterschool programs, don't over-think it by trying to plan something new and brilliant - use the resources here to get you inspired. http://www.waygook.org/index.php?board=22.0 If you need a "game" to use in a pinch, try Spoons with playing cards.  3-6 graders all like it and you can play it for 15 - 25 minutes. Instead of eliminating players, have the loser of each round spell out the word S-P-O-O-N-S

Title: Re: How can I be a fun teacher?
Post by: tryingtogettokorea on December 22, 2017, 12:07:46 pm
I don't know how to build rapport

For non after school classes I usually do

-Greetings
-Sometimes a warm up game if I can think up one or find one that fits
-The book
-Ending game

I recommend always doing a warm up. Every month you can introduce a new song...even for 5 and 6 graders.  Some good ones are "Today is Monday" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-7V__eJHuo&list=PLOuDQ8I5zQ9cIlZ-rxTaghGCD2xopMjxH&index=12 or "The Months Song" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XaOMTy3uQEo&list=PLOuDQ8I5zQ9cIlZ-rxTaghGCD2xopMjxH&index=10  Or a song with a hand clapping exercise "A sailor went to sea, sea, sea." Or What's the Word PPT games. Your warm up doesn't have to be related to the lesson.  It's just to get them in to English mode. 
To build "rapport" just try to get to know the kids.  Talk to them in the hallway or at lunch. Definitely try to learn some of their names. Ask them how to say things in Korean.  Don't be afraid to be silly in class. Give the kids opportunities to prove what they have learned already and praise them when they do.
Also, talk to your co-teacher about lessons. You may not need to teach everything in the book.  Just focus on one or two elements.  And, you don't have to play a game every lesson.  Try role-playing or dramatizing dialogs. Or have the kids draw something related to the lesson but personalized. Or do a crossword or word search. If you are looking for more games try Games and Activities on esltreasure.com or Games that Don't Need Technology http://www.waygook.org/index.php/topic,4535.msg25125.html#msg25125
For afterschool programs, don't over-think it by trying to plan something new and brilliant - use the resources here to get you inspired. http://www.waygook.org/index.php?board=22.0 If you need a "game" to use in a pinch, try Spoons with playing cards.  3-6 graders all like it and you can play it for 15 - 25 minutes. Instead of eliminating players, have the loser of each round spell out the word S-P-O-O-N-S
All the 3-6th graders, I know their names. Kindergarten I know most. 1st and 2nd I know one or two. I do try to talk to them though there's not much time out of class since I'm prepping, and at lunch I can't sit with them.
I do ask them how to say things in Korean a lot though lol, but I am afraid to be silly. I'm highly embarrassed but I'll try to be more silly... i dont really know how...

Oh I actually don't play a game every class... if I cant find a proper game I use worksheets instead... maybe i shouldve mentioned that

I will definitely use song warm ups

ive tried none english related warm ups as well which they enjoyed and then they went back to hating the lesson after the game or they just wanted to keep playing the game

It's mostly my 4th grade class i struggle with... theyre rude and hate everything. i used to do warm up songs with them and they hated it... unless it's kpop... and then if its kpop they just wanna listen to it the entire 80 minutes of class time

Ive also tried to have 4th grade draw related things to the lesson - they love drawing - however they like just drawing one anime character.... they dont want to draw something relatable

What in the book do you usually skip? 1 period isn't much in the book. so idk what id skip besides what i already skip which is the games they have in there. the book lesson is already short...

I also don't have a co teacher... i teach alone. there's no english teacher here. just home room teachers. i dont think they know the answer of what to teach since theyve never taught english... before me there was a net here for like 4-5 years

Thank you so much for all the links and help btw!!!
Title: Re: How can I be a fun teacher?
Post by: weirdgirlinkorea on January 02, 2018, 07:45:46 am
Don't take your job or yourself too seriously. Before anyone jumps on me saying that I am saying slack off or don't do your job, that is not what I am saying. I am saying, particularly at the elementary level, especially in public, a greater part of the job is cultural not English. English is just a secondary by-product. Definitely teach them but, but do it in a way that is just more of a play environment. I second a rapport though. I am only successful because I establish a rapport with my students every time. I teach high school. Sometimes they say or do shocking stuff to be funny, to test me. As long they don't break my basic rules of respect (and they know what those rules are), I don't try to police them.
I don't like kpop and I don't pretend to. I don't like soccer. My rapport is based on my love for them and teaching and they know it. That's all I can say. Find something you love about them and/or the job and use that to fuel your rapport with them.

people keep saying rapport... i can't even build rapport with people my age... much less children who cant understand me
I am not at all trying to be rude, but perhaps you are in the wrong field? Although, I am a massive introvert, in the classroom I transform into extraverted introvert. Teaching is a very social profession. If you have difficulty building rapport with English speaking adults, no matter the advice you are given here you are not going to connect with your students. If you really love teaching your students it will show and a natural rapport will happen but if you don't they will also know that and will do very little for you. Children are like dogs, their scent skills are higher than adults. They can tell/feel emotions emanating from others. If they feel you don't enjoy being their teacher, they will not enjoy being your students and will very likely not cooperate.
If, still, you want to make it work anyway, I recommend buy some pedagogical books on connecting with students. There are loads out there on Amazon.
Title: Re: How can I be a fun teacher?
Post by: fishead on February 05, 2018, 06:46:27 am
 Wear a set of Mickey Mouse ears.
You will instantly be transformed into the fun teacher.
Title: Re: How can I be a fun teacher?
Post by: tryingtogettokorea on March 12, 2018, 11:13:29 am
Don't take your job or yourself too seriously. Before anyone jumps on me saying that I am saying slack off or don't do your job, that is not what I am saying. I am saying, particularly at the elementary level, especially in public, a greater part of the job is cultural not English. English is just a secondary by-product. Definitely teach them but, but do it in a way that is just more of a play environment. I second a rapport though. I am only successful because I establish a rapport with my students every time. I teach high school. Sometimes they say or do shocking stuff to be funny, to test me. As long they don't break my basic rules of respect (and they know what those rules are), I don't try to police them.
I don't like kpop and I don't pretend to. I don't like soccer. My rapport is based on my love for them and teaching and they know it. That's all I can say. Find something you love about them and/or the job and use that to fuel your rapport with them.

people keep saying rapport... i can't even build rapport with people my age... much less children who cant understand me
I am not at all trying to be rude, but perhaps you are in the wrong field? Although, I am a massive introvert, in the classroom I transform into extraverted introvert. Teaching is a very social profession. If you have difficulty building rapport with English speaking adults, no matter the advice you are given here you are not going to connect with your students. If you really love teaching your students it will show and a natural rapport will happen but if you don't they will also know that and will do very little for you. Children are like dogs, their scent skills are higher than adults. They can tell/feel emotions emanating from others. If they feel you don't enjoy being their teacher, they will not enjoy being your students and will very likely not cooperate.
If, still, you want to make it work anyway, I recommend buy some pedagogical books on connecting with students. There are loads out there on Amazon.

Yes, you're right.I consider myself an extrovert...I hate being alone and find it to be boring yet being with people causes anxiety smdh.
This is why I decided not to teach anymore even before I wrote this post. The problem is, I have so many months left so I need to make it work for the time being.
Title: Re: How can I be a fun teacher?
Post by: Sautee on April 05, 2018, 11:55:36 am
Have you consider that the problem might not be your personality but your teaching method?

I only ask that because this changes the perspective from why I'm personally wrong for teaching to what am I doing that's wrong? I don't mean this as an attack but a necessary shift in perspective.

I know, at least in NYC, first-time teachers usually have an environment of support, that is mentors and observers that give back feedback. They also have spend weeks, if not months, observing and being guided by more experience teachers. Furthermore, they're always get further education and workshops in their field.

For us EFL teachers in Korea, we have none of those. And in a number of cases, this may be first gig teaching. Which includes myself.

--
So instead of asking how I can be a fun teacher. You'll find more useful information by giving us your lesson plan and your class procedures, how your students react and behavior and etc. And then the teachers with more experience and skills can break down what you can do to improve.

But if you just ask "How can I be a fun teacher?" is a useless question that will get answers of questionable worth. Cause the main question you need to ask yourself is, "what am I doing that works?" and "what am I doing that doesn't work?" Fun is nice but skill, knowledge and experience is what we look for in leaders.

And a teacher is a leadership position. No matter how much some teachers want to shirk the title and its associated responsibilities.
Title: Re: How can I be a fun teacher?
Post by: fishead on April 05, 2018, 01:09:13 pm
Have you consider that the problem might not be your personality but your teaching method?

I only ask that because this changes the perspective from why I'm personally wrong for teaching to what am I doing that's wrong? I don't mean this as an attack but a necessary shift in perspective.

I know, at least in NYC, first-time teachers usually have an environment of support, that is mentors and observers that give back feedback. They also have spend weeks, if not months, observing and being guided by more experience teachers. Furthermore, they're always get further education and workshops in their field.

For us EFL teachers in Korea, we have none of those. And in a number of cases, this may be first gig teaching. Which includes myself.

--
So instead of asking how I can be a fun teacher. You'll find more useful information by giving us your lesson plan and your class procedures, how your students react and behavior and etc. And then the teachers with more experience and skills can break down what you can do to improve.

But if you just ask "How can I be a fun teacher?" is a useless question that will get answers of questionable worth. Cause the main question you need to ask yourself is, "what am I doing that works?" and "what am I doing that doesn't work?" Fun is nice but skill, knowledge and experience is what we look for in leaders.

And a teacher is a leadership position. No matter how much some teachers want to shirk the title and its associated responsibilities.

 Lots of times people confuse these things because they are reacting to feedback from Korean English teachers that might not be familar with a lot of the language used when being critical of an ESL teacher. Also lots of the criticism is second hand and translated direct from feedback from students parents. Often the Korean teacher will not be able to pinpoint the exact terms needed to critique the lesson on hand so they rely only on what they know from their limited vocabulary. They will also revert back to lots of stereotypical  KBS English programs with Isiaac Durst because for the most part that has been their only positive image of a NET.

 As a result KET teachers and reluctant to discuss issues related to classroom management with the NET. Although in many cercumstances when the NET has a reputation as being a boring fuddy duddy their are also lots of classroom management issues at play.
Title: Re: How can I be a fun teacher?
Post by: Sautee on April 05, 2018, 01:37:46 pm
Ok, so here's the 411.

You don't need to be a fun teacher to be a good teacher. Although the two can feed into each other.

I'm sure you've had teachers who you thought had a great personality but when it came down to the actual class you didn't learn very much. And conversely, you had teachers that were strict and dour but you learned a lot.

In the latter, those classes might have even been fun because the teacher knew how to challenge you as a student. If you like playing video games, there's a lot of parallels between video game design and lesson planning.

For instance, tic-tac-toe might be fun for kids but any reasonably intelligent teen will figure out the limitations of winning and losing. Furthermore killing 5 rats to level up might not be bad but having to do that 50-100 times is going to tax even the most patient person.

Why do I mention this? It's because you have to think of it in terms of effort to purpose and effort to outcome.

If the player doesn't have any idea what purpose they're putting their effort towards, or if that effort seems grossly out of balance with the outcome—the player will be frustrated or bored.

Likewise repetition of the trivial or of already learnt material is infantile to anyone. What's 1+1? Good! What's 1+2? Great! What 1+3? Wow! What's 1+4? Awesome! What's 1+5? Cool! and etc.

So what's my point? It's that I want you to start planning with purpose—with always the linguistic purpose in mind.
Sure I can make them listen and repeat the whole audio but if the activity at the end only uses the two sentences, do I spend 5 minutes on listen and repeat or 2 minutes on cue-response drills instead?

Sure I can spend 2 hours making cards for them to play but will a 15 minute powerpoint do the same purpose instead?

Break your lesson planning into:
What you want the students to be able to do.
How to check they're able to do it.
How you will have them practice.
How you will teach them how to do it.
And how you will have them put what they learned to use.

Next, think about execution—classroom management, instruction-giving and actual presentation. What are you doing while actually teaching, are you just reading off the page or are you actually pay attention to what the students are doing? And, during each lesson, always have a notebook either on hand or in your mind where you note things that you can do differently to improve the execution of your next lesson.

There's more to know and consider,  but I think following these principles will help you improve your teaching vastly more than just "oh be more outgoing" or "do more interesting games".

And finally, right now you're a teacher. So putting in the work to understand and practice teaching methodology, especially CELTA or TESOL or TEFL teaching should not be a trite consideration but something you should actively do.

If only so teaching becomes an active experience to get better at it and not a passive one to suffer through.
Title: Re: How can I be a fun teacher?
Post by: ESLinsider on September 15, 2020, 09:10:24 am
I think another factor is age. If you are 40 and up it can be hard to relate to them, sometimes even if you are mid thirties. Your energy level has a lot to do with this. If your energy is low and you are soft spoken then they will be bored. You need to be loud and you need to get their attention. You get what you put into it. If you are high level energy and entertaining then the students will like you. If you are timid, shy, and boring then they will dislike you. I had this problem for a while according to some people and these days I try a lot harder and the students appreciate me more. I think even if you are older you can still do a good job if you adjust your style.

Just adding my two cents...

The idea that you have to be a clown to teach kids is not right. It can help to be animated and entertaining, but if you don't know how to teach then it doesn't matter. Being a clown is usually nothing more than a cover for bad teaching.

If you're an introvert it can still work. You just got to balance your talk time and theirs and they should be talking most of the time. If you get good at using games and activities to practice the content in your lesson you don't have to be a high energy goof ball.
Title: Re: How can I be a fun teacher?
Post by: Liechtenstein on September 17, 2020, 03:52:00 pm
After several years in Korea, some time in China and many years in SE Asia, I am still boggled at how profoundly immature Korean students are regardless of their age. Adults too, for that matter.
Title: Re: How can I be a fun teacher?
Post by: jamsilnaynay on November 11, 2020, 10:36:05 pm
After several years in Korea, some time in China and many years in SE Asia, I am still boggled at how profoundly immature Korean students are regardless of their age. Adults too, for that matter.
I have to agree on some of the students. I certainly don't recall playing games the entire time when I was in grade school, but it seems like the expectation here
Title: Re: How can I be a fun teacher?
Post by: VanIslander on November 12, 2020, 02:04:06 am
I think another factor is age. If you are 40 and up it can be hard to relate to them, sometimes even if you are mid thirties. Your energy level has a lot to do with this. If your energy is low and you are soft spoken then they will be bored. You need to be loud and you need to get their attention. You get what you put into it. If you are high level energy and entertaining then the students will like you. If you are timid, shy, and boring then they will dislike you.
B.S. on the age but Word on the energy!

I am 51 and in my 18 years here I have never been pegged by students as older than 36. :)

I am LIT every minute of every class. Every minute. Don't waste time is my mantra. I am in the same mindset i was in when playing a lead on stage in a.high school play. I am ON from :00 until :58. I hustle to erase the board and guzzle cold tea or water before the next class. The fav part of my day is classtime. If i am sick i don't feel it until the last class has ended (or - horror - those months when a one-hour gap is in my schedule. I prefer rockin' 4-8 pm every week day. I am here for that!

How can one be a fun teacher?

1. Don't try to be "fun". BE ENGAGING. I want to say be challenging but 1 or 2 of every 20 classes has more than one sluggard who's nonresponsive to it (no, not even 10%, but a few every week. Let's not excuse our lacklustre slacking teaching effort - gawd how many hagwon teachers start classes late, have few rules, don't seem to care about attendance, effort or demeanor.)

2. CARE. That's it. Care whether your kids arrive on time. Ask them not to be late next time. Ride the receptionist to phone and see why they aren't in class when it's classtime. Do it all with an eager smile!

3. BE NICE. No hats, no gum, chairs down, no heads on desk. Help each other. Let's go!

4. It's English time. LET'S SPEAK ENGLISH NOW. Of the four or five times a year i have to send a student to the hallway, it's usually for refusing to stop chatting in Korean despite a warning. Strong warning. And "Yellow card" (i pantomime pulling it out of my shirt and look totally serious).  Three strikes and you are out. My diligence on this results in few problems for most classes a year. Classroom management is about what they can get away with.

5. REWARD "GOOD JOB." I am constantly seeking to encourge positive energy. I even remove my mask for two seconds to simply smile! I give little candies or chocolates at the end of the class 1 to 3 times every 4 to 5 classes (they line up, according sometimes to their performance, sometimes randomly).

6. BE ENGAGING. (Bears repeating.) If you are bored, they certainly will be! Don't waste a single minute of classtime. Half of my 90-minute daily prep is ensuring i have extra tasks (often review material or re-enforcing foundational stuff) for the quicker students to do while i help the slower ones.

My students like my class. They smile when they come in. I only try to be "fun" once every two months (i call it "Game Day" but it's really challenging pair or group work with nice yummies, better/bigger for winners).

The only exception: VERY LOW LEVEL MIDDLE SCHOOLERS (I mean, the 2-4 out of 100+ who are teenagers who can't spell "house" or answer "How are you?". Some years i have none of these. This year i have three. They just wanna shut down. They really should be in their own class away from others whose levels are higher - but such is life here).
Title: Re: How can I be a fun teacher?
Post by: 303lmc on November 12, 2020, 07:52:04 am
B.S. on the age but Word on the energy!

I am 51 and in my 18 years here I have never been pegged by students as older than 36. :)

thank you for calling BS on the age thing. I mean, REALLY?? I can't wait for the person who said that to find themselves in their 40's, because it does sneak up on you, and realize that you aren't "old"
Title: Re: How can I be a fun teacher?
Post by: VanIslander on November 12, 2020, 01:53:53 pm
The afterschool academy (300+ students, considered #1 hagwon in Seogwipo) i worked for hired a 71-year-old retired public school teacher when they already had quickly hired her 40-something son. She went on to have an awesome energetic year. He was a lazy slob.

Age is just a number when it comes to teaching energy!
Title: Re: How can I be a fun teacher?
Post by: chimp on November 14, 2020, 12:58:24 pm
Jesus H. Christ that sounds insufferable.

Anyone else used to prefer knowledgeable and dignified teachers when they were going through the education system?
Title: Re: How can I be a fun teacher?
Post by: hangook77 on November 17, 2020, 12:58:48 pm
In my experience, the kids always miss me when I get sent to another school.  The schools (admins, vps and some teachers) always miss the last teacher more than me. Weird.  Those teachers were kind of quiet and serious types though.  Being their buddy for the day, joking around with them, having a fun game to play in class, high fiving in non covid era in the hallway, lunchtime, whenever all work for me.  But you can't make your personality be something that you're not.  A quiet timid person just won't be that way.  Also, a serious uptight old fashioned conservative person won't be that way either (and I am not talking politics as I know some guys with liberal political views who become very conservative, uptight, and old fashioned when they put the teacher's hat on .  IE.  Call me Mr. Smith instead of Bob.  Get angry at the slightest noise in class, etc.). 
Title: Re: How can I be a fun teacher?
Post by: hangook77 on November 18, 2020, 11:52:31 am
In much of east Asia ESL, you need to be the 'fun' teacher and partly for show.  That's just the way it is.  Any trained teacher who was a public school teacher back home is going to get frustrated by Korean educational culture fast.  They either get mad and frustrated and burn out fast or they adapt and accept many 'strange' things and stay.  You can't grade the kids, give them punishment, call their parents, etc.  Some Korean teachers will enforce control and some won't.

If you want real teaching as you know it in the west, teach back home or get a job at an international school.  A few strict traditional minded schools may appreciate you being strict and acting like a traditional teacher.  But many more liberal minded schools won't want you to be strict and just want you to be a fun teacher.  If your classes aren't fun and games, in most schools, Korean teachers will complain, especially if the kids complain and then the parents complain.  Many parents call the school and education office to complain about schools and teachers, especially other Korean teachers.  That steriotype in most East Asian ESL is for the foreign teacher to be the fun teacher whether you like it or not.  As I said, if you want to be a serious teacher, then go home and teach, you will be much happier. 

Here, be fun teacher, be their buddy for the day at school, ask them questions about what they like (favorite singers, favorite games IE Overwatch, etc)  THis doesn't mean being a slacker.  You still have to make classes and fun games.  Kids will tell their parents, homeroom teachers, etc that they liked your games and had fun in your class.  Over the past two years, I have probably been one of the major contributors here and also making for my own classes fun games and activities to re enforce the text book lessons.  Doing only the book is boring, many games in the book are not fun (though some are).  The Korean teachers have the advantage of going to their websites and downloading their own ppt games and other activities.  Some will share with you, but many will want to keep it for their classes and want you to do your own material. 

So, even being fun teacher, still means being busy and preparing and always scouring for future lessons and potential extra classes that could come your way.  Sometimes you find a website with lots of grammar lessons.  I had an exam day in Middle School no classes.  So, I spent hours downloading and saving along with short stories and writing.  I have in elementary, scanned many children books saved them on ppt and made some games.  (I am always prepared when asked to do a legal night middle school class, an elementary English camp, etc.)  There are many things that keep me busy all the time in spite of being 'fun' teacher and part time day time 'buddy' with the kids.  Kids go to the parents, homeroom teachers, principal, and say how much fun they have with me.  Schools keep wanting me to stay.  In 2020 90 to 95% of schools follow this pattern.  A small number can be very strict and old fashioned and want you to be a tight ass rather than fun teacher.  Use to be more prevalent 10 to 15 years ago when parents would accept strict schools.  Now most don't except perhaps a school with lots of rich parents and even then not all are like that at all. 

I've been at this a long time.  Longer than I originally wanted to be.  But luckily kids get along well with me.  Many native teachers don't like kids that much and stay and keep doing it.  If I didn't like meeting the kids, I'd be gone.  I've never been one to do something I hate for very long.  Anyways, just be fun teacher, you can use the templates I uploaded here for now. 

The books will change in a couple of years again.  I am not sure if I will continue to stay or do this.  So, some of you may have to take my ppts and carry them over to the new books and modify them to similar expressions. 


So more hard work then.  Just keep being fun teacher.  Most of the kids are complaining to parents because they want a fun game or activity in class and possibly a fun teacher to ask them a few questions.  Show some interest in them and what they like.  ESL in East Asia, as I keep saying is a different game than being a teacher back home with responsibility.  If you don't like it, don't keep teaching here.