I had my own classes alone for 2 months, and I fully felt how difficult is the work of the school teacher.
I heard that students’ English level is quite low at the interview before I arrive, but when I actually got there, I was so surprised about their really low English level. First of all, many of them can not to tell their age in English, even their name.
Actually that was the really first time to teach to older kids than age of under 6 or 7 which is my field as a teacher more than elementary school. I was wondering how I teach, so I was thinking various things, ways what I teach them, how I manage, what kind of games we play, what I should say with self-introduction, before travelling. The reality was what I had thought wasn’t be useful and helpful at all. Because my thoughts and ideas were all in English. Which means they don’t understand my English at all. At all is almost 98%.
The English teacher who was offering me told enthusiastically that I am supposed to do all classes in English as much as possible for students. At the beginning, I thought Yeah, of course I’m gonna do all in English, coz it’s English class! But the fact wasn’t like that smooth and optimistic.
Now, what will happen if you try to progress all the classes in English in such circumstances? My personal conclusion is that no one attend classes = everyone gets bored within 3 minutes = no attention = can not be a lesson. This is my conclusion. I tried.
First of all, in order to carry out a class for one hour, the very first premise is to take their attention. That is the most important thing. Even in case when you contact with children or try to teach children something as well. Everything starts from to take attention from children. And beyond the first premise, how long you can attract them, how long you can keep taking their attention?
Most of students disliked or didn’t have any interests in English. I’ve also known students ‘parents are not interested in English, thinking English is not necessary for their children to live in the town. I actually talked to some my students’ parents about it.
In my very first class, I got their attention arbitrarily without any effort or struggle. Because they were interested in me who is the first Japanese and new comer for them. Not like they were interested in English.
Conclusion, 2 months of lesson, over 80% I’ve used Spanish. The first few weeks, I could not speak Spanish at all, I could not understand nether. Even now I am still beginner. But it was’n only 1 or 2 weeks visiting classes. I had to carry out the classes for two months responsibly and I had to speak Spanish forcibly and desperately even my grammar is so terrible. In the first few classes, younger students laughed at my terrible Spanish, but I didn’t care. Cause that was the only way to take their attention and carry out the class. So gradually students were used to be with my poor English and they tried to understand what I am saying. They helped my Spanish and my class a lot. And somehow I managed all classes for two months, I think I was able to carry out the class upon lots of help from other teachers and students.
To be honest speaking of my feedback, I fell like I barely handed over to 4th grade, 5th grade, and 6th grade. I couldn’t do things quietly with them, because those kids’s age is the most energetic time. They want to move and be more active. I understand that.
9th grade and11th grade are the high school student’s year in my country, and they are in the middle of the time to be adult. Some of them are always lazy to do anything. But they are the most helpful student for me. They helped me a lot and they did very well most of my class. I also enjoyed to talk to them, bout their future, their family, friends, girlfriend, boyfriend, and their future.
The hardest thing was that the man who was also an English teacher and host father who hired me did not help me anything, anything. And there was almost no communication with him and the only thing he does is just give me the topic roughly that is for the class, and I need to do something with the topic. Always he just leave a topic and nothing else he gives me, even any advices. When I ask him even a small tips, he always just say make the class dynamic. That’s all. 2 months, always dynamic. That was sloppy.
After all speaking about myself, low Spanish skill. Even though it is English lesson, I strongly strongly believe that it is necessary to speak the mother tongue of the land there fluently, because it is significant to lead classes of 20 or 30 children or more than that. If I could speak more Spanish, I could lead more children in a positive way and I would have taught more various things. That’s the thing I regret myself.
I am also interested in the treatment of the principal of school who left class to Asian guy who do not understand, speak Spanish well. But all the teachers were very nice people and I could handle the classes upon all their support. I really appreciate.
What I gained in two months in Colombia, I felt lots of things and many things made me thoughtful. That all things including negative things are very valuable for my life.