What support is available to you in the university?
I have recently started teaching English language. I'm teaching first-year university students. The class is very noisy; students do not stop talking to each other. I keep screaming `and sending some students out of the classroom. I also tried to stop talking until the noise stops, BUT nothing is working. I even gave them seat numbers, but they keep changing their places. I'm depressed and I do not know what to do to control the class. I think that one of the reasons is that there is no age difference between me and them. I'm only few years older.
Last edited by Eman.J.T; 29-Oct-2013 at 18:57.
What support is available to you in the university?
you will find that Uni students think that know everything and will show a contempt attitude towards the teacher , I have experienced this so now I only teach in ESL schools , the pay was good but there was no satisfaction in teaching them.
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The way to get students to listen to you is if you get them to respect you. Now there are two ways of doing this - through fear - in which you tell them they will all fail their exams or their parents will be called etc. Or to do the complete opposite, which is to make the class memorable. Spend a day getting to know your students. For example, get the students to push back all their seats to the walls so that there is an open space in the center and then play an ice breaker game. There are plenty of these available online. The easiest is to throw a ball at a student and tell them to say their name as they catch it. Then throw it back to you. Once you establish this rapport, the students will come to your class, eagerly waiting for the next lesson.
After an ice breaker, collectively come up with ground rules for the class. What this means is, you ask the students what they think the rules should be. Note down the top 5 and tell them that these are rules everyone will follow without exception, including yourself. Giving them a sense of ownership over their rules will make them more willing to follow them. Ask them to suggest punishments and rewards as well. (Before you take this session, make sure you have a bunch of rules written down for yourself in a notebook and subtly suggest it in between the discussion). Make sure the punishments and rewards aren't traumatizing. Punishments could be something like dance/sing/teach/tell a story in front of the class. Rewards could be something like - relief from homework, 30 minutes computer time playing educational games (I've linked one for your reference. Feel free to research your own), stationary, chocolate, a badge etc. Get creative!
During the session, charge someone to make a chart of these rules and at the end of the session, put this up somewhere in the class where everyone can see. Now if your students continue to be noisy, just take some time off to review the rules in the beginning of the class.
The last method I would suggest is to allow the "difficult" students to become leaders of the class, to take classes on a topic relevant to your subject. Encourage different activities like roleplays, group discussions etc. Become the "cool" teacher. Use your youth to your advantage.
First of all, I'd say stop screaming, it will get you nowhere. You need to establish that you are in charge and not the students. I'd strongly advise you to speak to your supervisor / mentor at the college? You need a class agreement, whereby you and the students know your expectations and also understand the consequences of their anti learning classroom behaviour. However as you are currently in a situation where the class is out of control, I think you are going to need the assistance and guidance of a more experienced teacher in the room with you to demonstrate and show you and to let you practice managing a class. Do you have a mentor at the school? Teaching is an art and all arts take time and patience to develop. Hang in there.
Wow, this was interesting. I agree about Uni students. I don't teach Uni anymore for the same reason. They just have a lot of attitude. What the teacher said about the ICEBREAKER was right on. The first day of class, well, that's when they will test your boundries. They WILL test you. After all, who are YOU to teach THEM right? So, I stay out of the way on the first day. The most common activity is "find someone who......" That way, they have to move around the class and get to know each other.....they will be testing each other as well. ESL is different from other teaching. There is always a leader in the class. You have to get them to be on your good side or you are done for.
I've also tried your techniques....screaming, sending them out etc. It just makes them hate you more and you get comments like "she treats me like a child." I know, they are acting like a child, but you can't let them know that you know. Anyway, stand back, find out who the leader(s) are. Concentrate on them first, and concentrate on them (sadly) more often. The students will follow the leader more than they follow you....remember, they only have one class with you, but they spend the whole day and multiple semesters with those kids. And, well, there IS a lot of bullying.
Also, please please please look at my post. I'm having trouble with issues as well...Brad D. I believe that your coworkers have a lot to do with the attitude of the students. If your coworkers are late, that student will take charge, they will be the teacher, and you will be competing with the STUDENT, not the material. All the teachers of a level need to talk to each other about the "obstinate" students and come to a conclusion of who they are. By the way, if your fellow teacher says there aren't any problems, or they say "I love that student" or they just get up and walk away......uh......they are the problem. Good luck on dealing with that. I am asking for advice on that one. If you work together, then the student will see that the teachers are in control, and they will either accept it or move to another school. Either way, you'll be able to get back to teaching.
Also, if you can do this (I can't) just let it go. Some semesters are just not going to work. The dynamic between the leaders doesn't create a positive atmosphere, and there isn't anything you can do about it. I mean, continue to do your job, but let your feelings of disappointment go. Screaming usually means that you care. You know?