TEFL courses are a great ‘nest’ for you to grow in, but as with anything it’s when you build up the guts to get the heck out of the nest when you will truly start learning! But the question is, will you fly in the classroom or will you die an awkward death to the delight of your students? Here are a few tips to trick death and at least make it to land with only a few cuts and grazes….
…when you’re not! Listening to ‘I like apples…Do you like apples?’ for the hundredth time is going to get pretty mundane! A big smile goes far…oh yes folks – pack the anti-wrinkle cream!
Make your classes interesting
..even if you aren’t! You never know you might just pull the wool over their eyes and they will think you are THE COOLEST person in the world!
Practise your jokes
Keep your students in stitches with your hilaaarious jokes...
Your students will love you more for this than your grammar knowledge! Also a jokey personality comes in handy when your phone rings, just after you’ve told your students off for not turning theirs off! Suggested dodge: “Whose is that phone?? Is that yours XXXX? You think it’s my phone? No way!” (all whilst looking at the ceiling and scratching your head).
Act like a teacher
…even if you still feel like a student. Your students needn’t know you and the rest of the teaching staff throw paper aeroplanes at each other in break time and run in late to class due to falling asleep in the staff room (from partying too hard the night before).
Build up lots of ‘question dodging’ responses
When students ask a difficult question (that god forbid you might not know the answer to) consider saying:
· That’s a very good question, who knows the answer?
· Great question – find the answer for homework…the winner gets a point for their team! (haha try asking me difficult questions again! You’ll get more homework!)
· …or my personal favourite: That’s a good question, but we don’t have time to cover this now – don’t worry we will look at it in another lesson.
Hone your acting skills
Learn how to pretend you’re angry that your students didn’t do the written work you set for homework when all you can think is ‘yesssss – one less badass to mark…more time for beer!’
Have an answer for everything
…and I don’t mean grammar! Students, especially children, often take enjoyment out of testing their teacher and love it when you make mistakes! So you always need to be one step ahead. When students notice the spelling mistake you made in your hungover haze and yell “Hey teacher, you spelt that wrong” how do you reply? Suggestions include:
“What’s that out of the window?” (when they look quickly change the spelling and smile sweetly). Or…
“Well done. I was testing you” .
And if you find you have some cheeky students who ask questions you don’t want to answer such as ‘Hey Miss/Mr, are you married?’ suggested responses are:
“I’ll tell you the answer if you can spell Antidisestablishmentarianism” Or…
“Are you sure you asked that? I was just about to give you no homework!”
How about you? What survival skills do you swear by?