How To Have Fun And Stay In Control Of Your TEFL Class

How To Have Fun And Stay In Control Of Your TEFL Class

By Kivak (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Teaching English at a UK summer camp? Prepare yourself for a fun-filled environment…and a lot of hard work! The tricky part to any teaching job is getting the balance right between being your student’s teacher but also someone they respect, like and trust. Yet when the main draw for many English learners to a UK summer school is the fun environment, with many summer schools offering music, sport and other extra-curricular activities, how does the teacher stay in control?

In this article I’ll share with you three top tips for every TEFL teacher considering teaching at a summer school.

1. Get to know your students

Depending on the type of summer school, students will come and go meaning that it can be hard work developing a teacher-student relationship in such a short period of time. It’s therefore really important to engage with your students and get to know them using simple methods.

  • At the beginning of each new classroom-full of students introduce yourself and have your students sit in a circle and introduce themselves too. Devise an activity that gets students chatting to each other too such as a ‘milling’ activity called ‘find someone who…’ this gets everyone up and talking but also means they learn something about each other.

2. Establish your ground rules

Don’t even think about commencing a high-energetic game of rounders, bringing out the tambourine or the finger-paints before setting some ground rules. Otherwise, you’ll have one recipe for disaster coming your way.

Ahead of your first class come up with a signal to indicate quiet time/everything to stop/return to your desks/JUST STOP! This not only means that you are at least guaranteed some peace and quiet but also that your students respect that you are in charge.

3.Set your students the right example!

There’s no denying that there is a fine art to getting your students to learn but also have fun too.

As the respected teacher your students will mimic your behaviour so make sure you always act accordingly. When it’s time to learn and study –shouting your instructions loudly to your pupils or having blaring music on in the background isn’t exactly going to give the right impression, is it? Although summer camp might sound like a 24/7 barrel of laughs…it isn’t. For some summer schools, students have exams to pass, knuckling down is therefore really important.

Having said that – the summer camp being a 24/7 thing wasn’t a lie… When students are learning they expect to be entertained and your employer will often expect YOU to get involved in such activities too.

*Top tip: outside the classroom? Leave the ‘teacher’ mode in the classroom and HAVE FUN!

About the Author:
Helen Hargreave is one of the TEFL experts at i-to-i TEFL.

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