Before teaching in Korea, there is a lot of preparation that needs to be done, especially for those of you who have no teaching experience. Classroom management is often the most difficult thing to accomplish, but you will enjoy the rewards when you get the hang of it!
Lesson planning is the most important factor in managing a classroom when teaching in Korea. In order for students to enjoy your class and to be stimulated, the activities in your lesson need to be age and level appropriate. If a class is planned well, keeping the students attentive and busy, there will be no time for disruptive behavior; conversely, a poorly planned class will give the students a chance to talk and will take focus away from your lesson.
Here are a few things to remember if you are looking to manage your classroom more successfully in your new English teaching job in Korea:
• Prepare, prepare, prepare: Students will have more respect for teachers when they see that they have put time and effort into preparing their lessons
• Learn (and remember!) the names of your students: You want your students to know that they are a part of the class. You also do not want anyone to feel left out
• Keep the interest of all of your students: It is important to be sure that each student is in some way involved with your lesson so that no students feel bored. This is also important so that you do not give them a chance to talk or fool around with their friends
• Never leave the class unattended: This will result in losing the children’s focus which will take valuable classroom time to get back. Try your very best to always come to class fully prepared so that you do not have to leave during class time
• Change up your teaching approach and activities: Make sure to keep your lessons new and fresh in order to keep the students’ interest. This will result in better comprehension of the lesson
• Lay down the law: Make sure your students fully understand the consequences of bad behavior. It is extremely important to follow through with the punishment that you have promised as this will act as a deterrent for the other students
• Always face the classroom: It is crucial that the students know you are aware of everything going on in the class. Kids will often have a short attention span, so be sure that they know you are paying attention to their behavior
• Make seating plans and change if necessary: Pretty much every kid in the class will want to sit with their friends, so let them. What is important is that they know that this is a privilege and it will be taken away if they are disruptive. If students are acting up in class, do not be afraid to change the seating arrangement; this will not make them happy, but it will make them respect the rules and improve their behaviour if they are given the chance to sit with their friends again.
• Use positive reinforcement: Make sure to always reward correct answers and good behavior as it will increase further participation from your students
• Smile smile smile! This might sound simple, but a smile goes a long way in the classroom as it does in life