Bad Lessons Happens to Everybody
We all have had lessons that fall flat or aren't engaging or they may be good, but a class doesn't get into the activity. This happens. Accept it and move onto the next thing.
Know When To Abandon an Idea
When you sense that a lesson isn't working or the students aren't engaged, there are a couple things you can do. First, if it's unsalvageable, as Kenny Rogers says, "You've got to know when to fold 'em." The key is how you handle it, and if you handle this situation with control, your students will feel that control, and you can work with them, and this situation can turn into a positive.
Brainstorm with your students.
One thing you could do to turn a bad lesson into a good lesson is to brainstorm with your class. You could teach ways to give suggestions and elicit suggestions from your students that could have turned your "bad idea" into a "good idea". You might be surprised what students will come into, and on top of that, they are learning and using real natural language.
In this volume, you will learn effective ways, and more importantly, effective mindsets to have when teaching teen ESL classes. Turn your classroom into a place where they will want to behave because your classroom management is providing motivation.
1. Remember, we do the same thing.
Understanding is number one when it comes to classroom management with teens because that's the most important thing to build a healthy relationship with anybody. Being able to see things from their perspective and understanding WHY they may be doing the things they're doing is the first step toward making a difference in his or her life.
If you've been in a teacher training session or meeting, you know that we do pretty much the same things, in that, if something isn't stimulating to us, our minds can wander, we can joke around with our co-workers, jump on our phones 'for a second', or do any of the dozens of things that our students do that drive us absolutely BONKERS.
I think the word is empathy, and that is the biggest key to reaching and connecting with teens.
2. Every student is different.
"One of the beautiful things about being a teacher is tapping into what makes those students interesting and what makes them tick, and what keeps them from looking at the clock ticking." - Harry Waters
There are no cookie-cutter teenagers, just like there is no cookie-cutter you. Once we personalize things, and realize that we are all different, we can better understand that this is especially true of teenagers. As much as they want to be accepted by their peers, and all like the same things, and dress the same way, they also want desperately to find their own way and find out who they are, so they can be that person.
It's not always easy.
However, if we do have the opportunity to find out exactly what connects with them, it is very rewarding and makes it all worthwhile.
3. Tap into their interests
"We're teaching communication, and we communicate about things that interest us."
One of the biggest tools we can use in the classroom is something that most teachers fight against.
If your students are really into Fortnite, instead of telling them to put down the controller and go outside or open a book, let's use that insanity for Fortnite to capture their attention in our lessons. If your students are really into John Cena and saying, "You can't see me", use that in your classes to get their attention and get them talking about, writing about, or watching videos in English with John Cena.
The bottom line is we need to be genuinely interested in the students, find out what they are into, and try to create an environment that makes them want to be involved in our classes by working with what they find interesting.
Even if it's doing something small like using their interest in a PowerPoint presentation or adjust a speaking topic to include that.
Easter Egg Lessons:
Going Deeper - Teaching things that interest them will reach a deeper level than just an English lesson.
Trust - They may end up trusting us in ways that we hadn't anticipated.
What else can you find?
Have more time.