My first year teaching in Hong Kong has been a wonderful learning experience. Never before had I taught students at such varying degrees of English language abilities. The curriculum was new, my students were new, I was new and my knowledge of how exactly all of those pieces were going to fit together was not yet known.
Now, as I prepare for next year, I have taken some time to really think about what is missing in my classroom. One of the biggest problems I have as an English teacher is that I am not a classroom teacher. Why is this a problem? Well, it means I see most of my classes only one time per week for 70 min. each. Because of this, it is quite difficult to establish rules, routines, and procedures quickly. It takes more time because I see them less often.
One thing I want to change for next year: I want to implement a procedure for students to follow for when they are finished with their work/activity early. I want them to be productive and use their extra time to continue to practice their English skills. One of the activities I would like them to complete is the “Classroom Language Center.” I will set up an area of the room where they can go to complete this center. Once they use the “self evaluation” sheet provided at the center, they will put the completed evaluation sheet in their classroom folders. Students can earn stamps for completing different center activities during their free time.
I am excited to try this new approach and eager to make more fun materials that are meaningful for my students to complete after they have finished their work. Hopefully, I will no longer have the problem of “Miss Julia, I’M FINISHED!!”