When it comes to connecting, I always find it helps to describe how I felt when I first learned the subject.
For example, I’d recommend something like this:
“I thought grammar was hard when I was your age, but after I learned x, y, and z, I realized it was really very easy…”
I wouldn’t recommend:
“I have failed in love and carry those scars very, very deeply. Can any of you children tell me why God doesn’t grant me the mercy killing I so richly deserve? OH GOD, WHY?”
Of course, tastes may differ.
I dont know how much teaching background you have but keep in mind the students dont know what the lesson plan is or if you are just pulling it out of your arse, so if you make a minor mistake dont sweat it. some humor works really really well as long as it connects which I realize could be a major problem in a language class but if you can get a bit of a laugh out of them it makes everyone more relaxed.
That’s it. Add passion. not_alice is exactly correct. (Not currently a teacher: Mom was a teacher for most of my life, I was a sub-TA and the IT guy for a school district for a number of years) Add passion. Add life. Don’t go too overboard, but add confidence to yourself, and engage, engage, engage with the class.
I’m not going to add any specifics here, because you know yourself, and you know how to do it, you know the culture. I know you’re a good teacher, Paul, you just have to stop worrying and teach. Not educate, teach. Lead.
Why don’t you just teach English in another country if SA is being too demanding?
I’m sure other middle eastern countries have a high demand for English teachers. (I’m assuming that the reason you teach English in SA is because you speak Arabic)
I came in here expecting another story about the gay Mexican(?) bar …
Humor can do a lot for a class; if you have an abrupt or cold demeanor, can you try for a certain dead-pan humor? Maybe mixing up the vocabulary to make sentences like … “My pink dress is on the table”, “His small black cat drives your car” … goofy stuff that would surprise them, especially with a straight delivery?
Good luck, and if everything goes horribly wrong, I’m sure there are plenty of places to go mad, and with better weather, too.
Here’s something that may help:
When you look at your class, teach each one individually for a few seconds. Look him or her in the eyes, talk directly to him or her, expect some kind of recognition from him or her. I was hard for me to do, but once I mastered it, my effectiveness as a teacher improved dramatically. The material should flow from you with no effort at all, leaving your conscious effort free to focus entirely on one person at a time.
Oh, and try to ignore the weather in the Mile High City. This time of year can plant thoughts of doom and gloom in a man’s mind.
Don’t do the goofy stuff if you don’t think you can handle it right. That’s the easiest way to screw up. Just a slight adjustment is all you need.
All good advice.
Since the Saudi Embassy coughed up a furball when I tried to get back in without a CELTA, I have just accepted an offer from Qatar who do not seem as picky.
I will just do my best over the next few days, stay cool and not queer the deal in the event I need to take this fool course again. No reason to burn bridges behind oneself.
Thank you all. I will keep you posted.
I passed Class #9 ! Good news, but of course it also means I have to get passed #10 on Wednesday. Then that’s it.
Thank you all.
Excellent! Congrats on passing and on the new job.
I am faxing my stuff to Qatar. Time for a break from Saudi.
Congratulations! Good luck Wednesday!
Well, if you do wind up in Qatar, we can have a mini Dopefest!
Yay Paul! Good luck on Wednesday, and good luck with the Qatar job.
Now that I would like to see!
Will you become Paul in Qatar now?
But if worse comes to worst, I believe the name Paul in Cambodia is still available. (Of course, I doubt that would allow you to leave your nephews much.)
I’m with you mate,we’re all with you.
Keep you’re chin up and hang on in there.
As to the love thing time DOES heal though it can take a lot longer in some cases.
So don’t leave us in suspense. How did it turn out?