An overview of your placement
When taking class,
there will always be at least one or more Chinese teachers present. They may observe your class, and offer assistance if needed, or help translate your message if you are having difficulty. This is however, YOUR class – the teachers generally won’t interfere or assist unless you invite them to do so, or are having clear difficulties with your delivery.
Your role, should you be placed in one of our Kindergarten placements – is focused entirely on the teaching of basic English. This is performed, utilizing a range of flash cards, nursery rhymes and songs, and playing games. You are not responsible for choosing which words they learn, this will be arranged for you.
Your main, and usually only duty – is teaching them! Each lesson usually lasts around 20 minutes, and may involve as many as 25 children. You will be given the words / flashcards to be used that lesson when your class is due. The lessons are structured with simplicity, and follow an easy to remember format, broken down to 3 stages
STAGE 1 – The Warm Up!
The first, and shortest stage of the class. This is where you literally spend a few minutes getting the kids excited and motivated for the session! Run around, sing a song, have a dance and make some noise. The aim of this stage is to spend literally a few minutes getting the kids interested and excited, and eager to participate.
You should involve yourself heavily with the kids during the warm up. Energy, and enthusiasm, with a twist of silliness thrown in will help create the positive, fun filled atmosphere, and of course keep the kids eager to join in and play!
After the warm up, you should have all the kids return to their seats and quieten down.
STAGE 2 – Presentation
This is the stage at which we introduce the words we are using, with a fun presentation. Put basically, this is where you will relay the words to the kids. How you personally present the words, is reliant on your individual creativity and personality. This is of course different for everybody, as we all interact at different levels – there are literally endless possibilities to how you can present to them! Whilst we give you some ideas and suggestions, it is important you find your own comfort zone to achieve the desired interaction. A few classic examples may include covering the pictures from sight, then revealing them slowly … or placing them in obscure places to spot before talking about them.
Sometimes I would use the words of the day as target to throw a ball at, shouting the word as I did so. You can place them on the floor and hop/skip/jump toward each of them, again shouting the word in question as you reach it. These are literally some of the most basic ways in which to present the words, but are naturally open to adaptation. You can of course make this as random, funny, original and audience orientated as possible. The success of the lesson, and the interest shown is of course relative to how you personally present the words, and the atmosphere you create whilst doing so.
If you want the kids to be interested and excited, YOU must be interesting and exciting. Don’t be afraid to introduce your own quirkiness and talents to your presentation. Keeping them on their toes and making your session unpredictable and fun to them is key to intrigue! Your presentation should take up around half of the class time remaining.
STAGE 3 – Play Time!
The final part of the class – and often the favourite! This is where we get the children playing some kind of game, involving them practicing the words you have presented. Once again, there are an endless array of ideas you can toy with. The key to this part of the class is to get as many of them involved and playing at the same time – a game is only fun when you’re playing, remember.
I used to play a version of pass the parcel, only using the picture cards instead of parcels. When the music stopped, whoever was holding the words had to stand up and say the word. Another suggestion involved placing a word in each corner of the classroom. The children would play in groups of maybe 10 at a time – the aim of the game being simple! I would shout a word, and the children would run to that corner – the last one to reach it being excluded from the game. The winner of course is the last one remaining.
Still think you can do it?
We do of course provide with you with some training, ideas and suggestions, and an opportunity to practice and gain confidence with the lesson plan. Throughout your placement, you will have our ongoing support and assistance. Any difficulties or challenging areas of your role will be addressed with extra training sessions and practice. Our advice and support is continual, and not restricted.
Crucially, this should be fun and light-hearted, and full of energy! The best results are achieved when you fully emerge and enjoy your role.
Forget the usual teacher / student scenario and traditional methods of teaching. Become one of the kids and generate an atmosphere in which you all play together. Remember – if you’re aren’t enjoying yourself, they won’t either!