Speak Softly Because You Can't Carry A Stick Anymore

For general discussion between ESL teachers.

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Re: Speak Softly Because You Can't Carry A Stick Anymore

Unread post by marcchehab » Tue Sep 23, 2008 10:20 pm

Hello linuskea
Since I am usually part of that chatter myself, I do not find it difficult to stop it - I simply stop talking myself. The rest follows.

Many colleagues find it difficult to control a class. I usually put forward that there is not always need to. Not in the eldest of fashions at least. I sometimes take a seat in the middle of the class and rather than control the minds of my students, I let them loose. However, I guide them - without 'guiding' - to get to a conclusion I find important.

Maybe it is my classes being rarely over the size of 10 that allows me to do as mentioned. But still, do you remember when you were 14 years of age? What would have made you listen the moment the teacher enters? Have the courage to temporarily go astray and find innovative ways of teaching.

E.g. I bet if you exchange your seat with the loudest of your pupils, make him try to explain, say, active-passive structures, without embarrassing him of course - that would make everybody listen.

Yours sincerely, Marc

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Re: Speak Softly Because You Can't Carry A Stick Anymore

Unread post by ICAL_Pete » Fri Oct 10, 2008 10:12 am

See the ICAL video Red Card Yellow Card for an alternative and effective way to keep order in a classroom.

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Re: Speak Softly Because You Can't Carry A Stick Anymore

Unread post by eric_p_m » Sat Mar 28, 2009 7:45 am

Dear Linuskea,

Take advantage of your students' energy level and don't ever let them shut up. Organize them in small groups and release a thousand communicative activities on them. As long as your students are speaking in the target language, stand back and enjoy being a professional educator, monitoring your students for possible linguistic errors.

Discipline-wise, why not carry a stick to class? For the age level you are describing, chances are that you will walk into a classroom full of rebellious teenagers that want nothing more than to run all over you. Don't ever put yourself in that position! From the first day of class, demand respect from your students. You are their elder and are a subject matter expert, right? Adolescents are looking for direction. Be their lighthouse and teach them how to be a positive force in a global society.

Try inviting one of your students' parents to be a guest speaker in your classroom. If he or she says great things about you in front of your students, your discipline problems will cease to exist. The more that you can involve the parents (letters, e-mail, instant messaging, audio and video conferencing) in your classroom, the easier your job will be for the rest of your life.

Speak softly because their should never be a need to raise your voice to someone that is willing to learn.

Eric Paul Monroe


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