Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Techings Kids Style

Over the course of the week at the kids camp at my uni, I've had a chance to observe all the Korean TA's and a number of the other foreign teachers and their style of teaching/leading. And I've noticed one major thing that sets a few people apart from me, and that is how much feedback they give the kids. I'm not talking about feedback directly related to activities in class and their English and spelling of words and stuff. Of course, I am pretty active in that regard. But it's all the other stuff I'm talking about.

For example, my TA keeps telling the kids to be quiet and to not talk, when they're waiting in line and stuff. But, in my eyes they are waiting very quietly and in an orderly fashion, so I don't really care that they're chatting a little bit with their neighbor. What difference does it make...and I wonder if he even has any clue how much negative feedback he is giving them and that that has a way of making kids not like you. Shouldn't camp be fun?

And some of the other people are yellers. Even yelling (as opposed to talking at a normal level) at other teachers without even really realizing it because they're so hyped up from yelling at the kids the whole day I guess. Yelling chants while walking down to lunch. Yelling at kids in the cafeteria to put down their umbrella and about where to sit. I will never yell. Never. Instead, I use the stare until quiet ensues. It will almost never take more than 20 seconds or so. Or I just use a gentle touch on the arm to get their attention and give them some directions. Walking down to lunch, I just don't care that they want to talk to their friend in Korean. They need a break from me and English. If they want to have a little conversation, in English with me, I'm happy to do it (and most of them do). In the caf, I just don't care if they bring their umbrella into line with them or where they sit. Basically, I see no need to yell or give directions to kids for things that just don't matter, or can be done at a much quieter level.

Now, I'm not a kid superstar, I fully admit this. These are just some thoughts. What do you experts out there think?

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