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How to teach high schoolers HELP !!!

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How to teach high schoolers HELP !!!

Unread postby Buttonmate » Sun May 01, 2011 4:15 pm

Hello everybody. I am completely new to this website and I joined in hoping that somebody will be able to give me some advice.

I am new to teaching. I live in Mexico and work for a private English academy, I have done it for exactly 2 years. A year and a half ago they decided to have ESL at a private high school. So far there are only 3 10th grade groups and 4 11th grade groups. The groups are divided by previous English knowledge so there are the advanced group, the not so advanced, the intermediate and the most basic. Well, guess which one I got?? Exactly, I got the basic one.

As some of you may already know, teaching adults willing to learn is completely different from teaching teenagers. The reason this group has such a low level is because those are the kids with behavioral problems, learning disabilities or just plain lazy. The problem is that I just cannot teach that class. During class they're hitting each other, flirting or just sleeping. I have tried everything to make my class dynamic and even fun but nothing seems to work with these guys. Some of them try but the students with behavioral problems make my class a living hell, they start making jokes, bullying other students and even bullying me. There is no support from prefects or even the principal, it's basically "Deal with them however you can".

I talked to the principal a couple of days ago because it's just not working, I am extremely frustrated and they're not learning anything so I think the best thing is to quit. He acknowledged it is a very difficult group and then brushed me off, he just offered to give me a semester off and that's it. So apparently I am stuck with them and I am desperate, I don't know what to do!!

Please HELP !!!!!!!

Michelle
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Re: How to teach high schoolers HELP !!!

Unread postby integratorasia » Thu May 05, 2011 8:10 am

I understand your situation. Can you speak their language? Did they know how useful it is to learn an English language?
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Re: How to teach high schoolers HELP !!!

Unread postby jimywilso » Fri Jun 17, 2011 6:24 am

If you don't have pressure to improve result than you can survive there easily by adopting carefree attitude otherwise you need to change school.
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Re: How to teach high schoolers HELP !!!

Unread postby veralika » Fri Jun 24, 2011 3:11 am

Buttonmate wrote:Hello everybody. I am completely new to this website and I joined in hoping that somebody will be able to give me some advice.

I am new to teaching. I live in Mexico and work for a private English academy, I have done it for exactly 2 years. A year and a half ago they decided to have ESL at a private high school. So far there are only 3 10th grade groups and 4 11th grade groups. The groups are divided by previous English knowledge so there are the advanced group, the not so advanced, the intermediate and the most basic. Well, guess which one I got?? Exactly, I got the basic one.

As some of you may already know, teaching adults willing to learn is completely different from teaching teenagers. The reason this group has such a low level is because those are the kids with behavioral problems, learning disabilities or just plain lazy. The problem is that I just cannot teach that class. During class they're hitting each other, flirting or just sleeping. I have tried everything to make my class dynamic and even fun but nothing seems to work with these guys. Some of them try but the students with behavioral problems make my class a living hell, they start making jokes, bullying other students and even bullying me. There is no support from prefects or even the principal, it's basically "Deal with them however you can".

I talked to the principal a couple of days ago because it's just not working, I am extremely frustrated and they're not learning anything so I think the best thing is to quit. He acknowledged it is a very difficult group and then brushed me off, he just offered to give me a semester off and that's it. So apparently I am stuck with them and I am desperate, I don't know what to do!!

Please HELP !!!!!!!

Michelle
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Status: Teacher

Re: How to teach high schoolers HELP !!!

Unread postby nikita » Tue Jun 28, 2011 3:23 pm

hi, i am also currently teaching teenagers. I'm a bit lucky because i get the good , average as well as the weak ones. I have to admit teaching my weak students really test my patience. Their problem is basically not in learning but behavioral problems such as fighting , being very lazy , sleeping and all the time testing my patience. But once a while when they have the mood, they do learn. I guess we just need to be patient with them.
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Re: How to teach high schoolers HELP !!!

Unread postby amma » Sat Jul 02, 2011 12:02 pm

Sorry to hear about your difficulties Michelle - and I hope this is not too late to be of any use.

Is there any kind of school discipline system that the school has implemented you can fall back on? Despite the lack of help from the principal (surprising) there surely must be something? It is a high school, right? (And not just a private academy for kids?). Can you do names on the board, for example? After the first bad behaviour that earned them their name on the board, you put a tick beside each time you have to speak to them thereafter. 3 ticks and it's a detention at lunchtime. You will probably be the one doing the detention! Of course if they start behaving well, you remove the ticks (if it's before 3). It's important you find a way to explain the system before you start using it and also that the school will back you up on it. If they don't and the kids don't attend your detention, it will cause you more problems, so a lot depends on that. You should be able to send kids who are hitting others out of the room to ...(?)

Some teachers also use rewards. For example, issuing 'tickets' to kids working well. The kid with the most tickets at the end of the lesson gets to choose from a bag of delights (ie chocolate, fizzy drinks - nothing very healthy!). Some teachers disagree with this but it can work for desperate cases! With teenagers, anything that involves computers or using their cell phones can work but caution is needed, especially if they're bullying each other. Could you work on writing emails and follow it up with a computer lab session (if there is one and you can book it) when they really send their emails to each other? Same with texting but as this involves swapping numbers and addresses, caution is needed and just generally as they may try and abuse the privilege. Setting up a class online blog where kids can post their (short) stories and messages would be better. It all depends on what access you have to equipment.

Pop music (sometimes) as gapfills to illustrate some grammar or vocabulary point can be useful. Competitions usually work well but again you need to watch for bullying. This could be basic quizzes done in teams. Also team work with running to the board games to cross off the right word/number/letter etc. It's hard to advise much on this because you really have to establish some classroom rules and discipline first or the kids could get out of hand really fast.
That could happen anyway, so be prepared to end things just as fast, with them back in their seats doing a boring exercise on a handout instead! (Make sure they understand basic instructions first). Do you have a seating plan so you can separate troublemakers, flirters etc?

I hope you're already faring better with them!
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Re: How to teach high schoolers HELP !!!

Unread postby konteyner » Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:15 pm

veralika wrote:
Buttonmate wrote:Hello everybody. I am completely new to this website and I joined in hoping that somebody will be able to give me some advice.

I am new to teaching. I live in Mexico and work for a private English academy, I have done it for exactly 2 years. A year and a half ago they decided to have ESL at a private high school. So far there are only 3 10th grade groups and 4 11th grade groups. The groups are divided by previous English knowledge so there are the advanced group, the not so advanced, the intermediate and the most basic. Well, guess which one I got?? Exactly, I got the basic one.

As some of you may already know, teaching adults willing to learn is completely different from teaching teenagers. The reason this group has such a low level is because those are the kids with behavioral problems, learning disabilities or just plain lazy. The problem is that I just cannot teach that class. During class they're hitting each other, flirting or just sleeping. I have tried everything to make my class dynamic and even fun but nothing seems to work with these guys. Some of them try but the students with behavioral problems make my class a living hell, they start making jokes, bullying other students and even bullying me. There is no support from prefects or even the principal, it's basically "Deal with them however you can".

I talked to the principal a couple of days ago because it's just not working, I am extremely frustrated and they're not learning anything so I think the best thing is to quit. He acknowledged it is a very difficult group and then brushed me off, he just offered to give me a semester off and that's it. So apparently I am stuck with them and I am desperate, I don't know what to do!!

Please HELP !!!!!!!

Michelle


as some of you may already know, teaching adults willing to learn is completely different from teaching teenagers.
Last edited by Susan on Sat Nov 26, 2011 12:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: To remove link
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