Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Quiet Time is Okay (or, I'm not an Edu-tainer)

A common thing that many English teachers in Korea fall into is feeling like they need to be an Edu-Tainer (Education Entertainer).  I think it's mostly because of how foreign English teachers are portrayed in the media: as clowns (Babos in Korean) or dancing monkeys.  This means that some teachers always feel the need to "perform" and keep the students entertained, excited and happy no matter what. 

I resist this at all costs for the following reasons:

1. I'm not naturally an "entertainer." I'm a bit shy and so being on stage isn't really something I crave or want. 

2. Learning can't always be "fun." Sometimes, you need to memorize vocab, or explore a difficult grammar concept in depth.

3. Students are different.  Some like being entertained, some like working quietly by themselves.

4. I'm all about student-centered classrooms.  An Edutainer is all about a teacher-centered classroom, which is something that I think is really bad for students.

5. I consider myself a "real" teacher.  I actually want my students to take my classes seriously and learn something.  I think this is probably best achieved by taking myself seriously as an educator and not falling into the Edutainer trap.

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1 comment:

tefltastic said...

I agree, though I sometimes fall into that trap. In fact, there is a danger of reinforcing that clown image (there, where I worked for two years, and almost as much here in Japan):
http://tefltastic.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/tefl-amos-and-andy/