Teach English in Xinchang Zhen - Shanghai Shi

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Large ClassesAs this course has brought up many times, there can be many difficulties when teaching a large class of students. Most ESL teachers avoid teaching large classes whenever possible. When handled the wrong way a large class can be impossible to teach and can lead to many behavioral problems in otherwise good students. Classroom management is a huge factor in creating an effective learning environment in large classes. Teaching large classes is difficult, I know, but it is absolutely possible to effectively teach classes like this and even have fun doing it. I know because it is what I do. Last year, my husband and I moved to South Korea to work as an ESL teachers at public elementary schools. My husband?s school is very small and he usually teaches three to ten students per class. My school, however, is not small. It is the second largest in this part of the country and I am the only Native speaking english teacher they employ. So, I have thirty-six students, on average, in every class I teach. At first this was very daunting for me, but through trial and error and with the advice of other teachers I have learned how to handle my situation. Let?s now address some of the problems that arise in large classes like mine. If a teacher is not diligent, it can be very easy to overlook some students in a large class. When a student is overlooked they do not get the full benefit of the class. Bad behavior can also be a problem. Because the class is so large and students do not get constant one on one attention, some students may ?act up?. This sort of behavior will quickly spread and get out of control if not stopped immediately. Another problem that must be dealt with in large classes is that you are much more limited with what classroom activities you are able to use. For example in a small class you can do relay games with the entire class, but if you tried the same thing in a large class it would never work. The students would get very bored waiting for their turn and would be more likely to act up in class. So, yes, there are many things to overcome when working with a large class, but it is possible if you do it the right way. The key to teaching a large class effectively is gaining respect, careful planning, backup planning, and consistency. Make sure to plan lessons completely and never ?wing it? with a class of forty plus students. Backup plans are also necessary. If something goes wrong with your equipment or materials you will need to be prepared to do something else or you will lose control of your class quickly. A teacher must establish a list of rules and consequences right away and must always be consistent with them. The students will respect you and your rules if you are consistent. I do this for all of my classes and it works. For my youngest students (third graders) our main rule is about talking out of turn. My students get three warnings, ?strikes.? If they make it all the way to three the consequence is that they must write ?I?m sorry teacher? one hundred times. It really is possible to provide good lessons to large classes. There are difficulties and a teacher must work hard at planning and consistence to overcome them and to gain the respect of their students. The job isn?t easy, but when done well it is extremely rewarding.