EFL Teaching

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Farewells

Today was the end of my contract. 18months with my kids, it’s been a tough week of goodbyes.

On Friday Ivana and Ivania brought me some presents they had made at home for me. Made me want to cry! Then yesterday they brought me a present that their mom had bought for me as well as some cards. Ivan had written me a sweet card as well and they all made a huge production out of giving me their presents. I had to still teach with the new kid in class and the trainee teacher so I sent them both out a little early to get a proper goodbye.

When we walked out their moms were waiting to take photos and say goodbye. Had me all teary eyed! The twins mom hugged me forever and then started crying. So sad!

To top it off Stella popped in with the sweetest goodbye present,Cherrie went out of the way to buy me something she new I would enjoy and Kelvin gave me an awesome speciality t-shirt. The presents were great but it was the thought and care that went into them that had me super sad. My manager and work colleagues have been amazing over the last few months and saying goodbye was super hard 🙁

Perfect Spellings

We have been working really hard for the past few months on spellings, my intermediate kids and I. We have been working on the system I started with Ivan and it has made a huge difference in the kids confidence and spelling abilities. We have been fixing our spelling words as we go along,helping them hear their mistakes and giving them the options to fix the mistakes.

Today for the first time they all got 10/10 for their spellings. Each and everyone of them. All 6 kids.

They didn’t even need me to say check your vowels. They did it all themselves this time.

I am elated. In fact elated doesn’t even cover it. I know next lesson may have them needing guidance again, but the fact that they have gotten this far and even once didn’t need my help. Just wow.

What a day ? Proud teacher alert!

GracePie returns

 

Recently one of our old students returned to us. She was one of my favourite little kids last year. She was so much smaller the last time I saw her, but still had the cute little smile.

There had been a definite shift in chatrooms just before summer. The chat rooms were getting calmer and dare I say it: easier to manage or maybe they have just started listening to the instructions better. I’m not sure which one but I can say it had helped with our 9 kid chatrooms.

Now the only class that was still a little trying was miss Vivians class. Vivian is the little girl who loves attention, silently cries until you let her sit on your lap and always wants hugs. In comes Grace for a few chatrooms, used to having all the attention and she was not happy.

Now Grace is adorable but has acquired a new need for attention. To the extent that when Vivian got attention she had to have it as well.  Between Grace and Vivian a little war was growing, who could get the most attention.

Now the last few  weeks Grace has joined a Cambridge class, her war with Vivian is over because Vivian is no longer around but the problem is she isn’t getting the attention she wants. Being a smart cookie she has realised that if she starts crying before class she will get the attention from whichever teacher is nearest. Well that is until I told them all to put a stop to it. Clever little girl now starts crying in class and then the teacher has to give her attention.

Oooosh what shall they do with the little girl now?

A Princess, a frog and a Queen

 

Today my kiddies classroom antics were just plain cute, I had a princess in class, she was dressed in full court attire. No one knew who she was nor what she was doing in my classroom. We started my usual classroom routine when suddenly our owner knocks on the door and pops in with my dear Queena. I was busy with a little girl who was still shy so I didn’t even stop to hear what was going on and just had the little one sit down and kept going with my class. Queenas’ mom came in with her for a second to say hi and then left.

The little princess was not too happy with one of my boys, my little froggie, he kept trying to talk to her and get her attention but she just huffed and puffed in her corner. She gets a little jealous at times and with Queena coming into class she was very jealous which lead to a little more huffing.

Queena sat so super quietly in her corner and didn’t make a noise. She literally just say and followed any instructions I gave her, which was not normal as she usually giggled in my classes, but then she was in a class with different children and she is super shy.

About 10minutes into our lesson the admin came in after finally figuring out who the princess was. They told me her name and so class continued, with a huffing princess, an annoyed froggie and my quiet Queena. At the end of class I found out that she refused to go into her makeup lesson and would only go into a class with me in it, so her mom said chat room was fine.

It was really heart warming to know that she actually liked my lessons and not only was she learning phonics but her mom told me she had made friends with the kids outsides of class. Awesome!

 

Laughter is the best medicine

 
Today I had a new trial child in chat room, he didn’t listen to instructions very well.
we were a semi-big class with I think 6 students in it. Oscar and Dickson had started to find it highly entertaining to have me lie on the floor and move my legs around while I played dead, this was during Chinese New year when it was just the three of us.
They tried the same thing today. I told them all to not jump, so no one tried to jump over me. That is until the new boy, who didn’t know that Miss Heather is very strict, tried to jump over me. Believe me, tried is the operative word.
At this stage Oscar and the rest had been pushing me and working together to try roll me onto my side, they partially succeeded. The Trial boy jumped as they got me on my side, his foot hooked and he fell forward onto his knees a little, thankfully my class rules and the way I set everything up allows for as much safety as one can have with little uns. He had his head under the little white board and instead of crawling out then lifting up his head, he lifted it up and knocked it.
As soon as he fell I was laughing, I knew he was ok! I am not that much of a monster 🙂  Then he did that and the only thing could think of was to laugh and to make him laugh so he didn’t start screaming.It was really funny and with a lot of hugs and laughs he was perfectly fine afterwards. I really shouldn’t have laughed so much afterwards, but I couldn’t help myself. 
It’s laugh or cry some days.

No Kitty!

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Today I was doing an Appraisal for L in her chatroom class. It was a very fun class! 

L was very good and so much fun to watch as she acted out words like swim, picnic and flowers. For growing flowers she started by crouching down and slowly ‘growing’  up, finally throwing her hands into the air to show that flowers bloom in spring. I was trying hard not to giggle watching all of this. 
However, the best thing I saw all day was her one little kid Tin Lok. Tin Lok started as a nightmare child last year when I first started, he went away during summer and came back a whole new child!We constantly joke with our colleague Cormac that he is Tin Loks’ dad. 
Today a girl called Kitty was not in class, apparently they have a budding romance! 
Tin Lok wouldn’t sit in the single empty chair next to the rest of the kids because he wanted a chair that Kitty could sit next to him. He was extremely adamant that it was Kitty’s chair.
I’d like to just say that Kitty was not in class today.
However, this did not phase Tin Lok who kept stroking the chair and saying ‘Kitty’, as soon as anyone even looked at the chair.
Come table time, he needed to have ‘Kitty’ next to him.
If you tried to move the chair he got very upset and said ‘Kitty, Kitty Kitty’ louder and faster.
So there he was sitting with Kitty and L played along, asking if he would give Kitty a colour to do the craft and up pops Katie, who was thoroughly confused at this point. She looked at the chair, looked at Tin Lok and finally at L and said, but No Kitty! L laughed, I laughed and Tin Lok just glared at Katie, it was hilarious.
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About Chat Room :)

Chat Rooms will be different in each learning center as they will all have their own way of doing things.But to give you a general idea of how a chat room could go, keep reading.

Chat rooms are about teaching the younger kids some basic vocabulary, letting them have fun and being a glorified babysitter at times. The kids ages for Chat Room are usually 2-5 at the oldest, usually by 5 the parents are trying to put them into Phonics classes.

I usually spend some time playing with them while getting their names on the board and then singing a few songs. My kids love 5 Little Monkeys, The Wheels on the bus (with my improvements hehe) ABC and the newly improved Head Shoulders.We also have table time where we complete book work and do some colouring and then I do sticker time because I make them come up two at a time and we do a book.

During December we did a whole bunch of crafts during the week, some of which were yummy and some were just sticky messes. Overall the crafts and science idea that we get are not always young child friendly, sometimes the curriculum planners do not think about the ages of the kids and we tend to go a little rogue then 🙂

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Beginner Phonics C

My Little Terrors

A few weeks ago I was suckered into taking on extra late night shifts. I now have 4 long days that I only end work at 19:30, apparently I am a masochist. But no in all honesty it makes very little difference to my overall day and actually helps with the trains.

I have 3 boys and one girl, they are beginners-full on beginners. When I started the class I had Joshua who was this amazing sweet, polite and great child but he broke his arm in December so I lost him. He was very good in comparison to the other and did every piece of extra work I gave him, I now have Wai Ming who is also very cute and hard working. 🙂

This class is my trickiest class, I have them at 18:30 and its so tiring for them! These kids struggle the most and need a lot of help. They are very cute and hard-working but always so exhausted 🙁

Riston and Risley are twins, Risley is a short bundle of energy and can speak English very well. Riston is the taller of the two and somehow cannot speak any English. When he started with me it was in a Trinity class and he just stared at me in slight shock but now he has really come a long way. He still has a long way to go but it is looking good for him. Both boys really enjoy my classes and try so hard to do the work.

Wai Ming is the strongest kid in the class, his first lessons was not a good one. Since then however, he has really improved and works like an absolute champ! Yik Kan is the girl in my class and I had taught her before phonics so I had an idea of what to expect. She gets very unfocused at times which can be difficult for her, she is trying hard but does tend to fall behind.

We always start our class with the lovely Phonics song and alphabet song which they LOVE! I must try take a video of them at some stage! They jump up and down, clap on the table along with the song and go a little crazy 🙂

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Beginner Phonics A & B

Woosh its been a hectic couple of weeks.

The temperatures in Hong Kong decided to drop to freezing so I’m huddled in a classroom with my colleagues sitting around a heater waiting for my next class to start.

Cookoo Kelvins class

Kelvins class has gotten uber adorable but we keep getting make-ups in the class which is really disrupting them. A couple of weeks ago Kelvin started hugging me, as soon as he hugs me Leo wants to join in and throws himself onto the huh, then Oscar wants in and throws himself onto it.We end up being this hilarious but cute standing up dog pile.

We have a new girl in the class, Emily, she started out being very shy but now even though she still doesn’t talk too much she really has fun in the lessons. The boys go a little wild when we sing and she loves it. I’m always watching that they don’t hurt themselves while pulling faces at her during the phonics song and she really is loving it.

I really love this class, they require high energy but they give a lot back so it’s not exhausting!

The little Creatures

Then there’s Ivana and Ivanias class.We have started doubling up to do big and small letters because they are just so darn good. They were getting a little board with the pace so now they having to be pushed which is really good for them. I may have planned a little far in advance but I really know my kids which is great but at the same time I have subs coming in who do not know them so trying to go too fast then will probably be an issue.

Ivan has really blossomed in the past few weeks, he has so much fun in class and now focuses hard on all aspects of the class.  Ivana and Ivania are having some issues with their focus as they really just want to play and have fun without the writing part of the work. Mikki is definitely struggling on the writing aspect of classes, when she isn’t struggling to focus while writing she really flies through the work. At this stage though they all just need to be pushed a little, I think they got a little lazy hehe.

This class can read like absolute champs! I’m planning on spending a few lessons at the end of the book just reading and spelling a few more difficult words. They are more than capable and our intermediate level has a major jump between it and the beginner levels.

We had a new teacher join us about 3 weeks ago and I had her take this class,they did not really enjoy having  a new person. They were super quiet and shy but did everything that was asked of them. I made sure to explain to them exactly what was happening so that when the teacher taught it wasn’t too scary.

Lets see what happens over the next few weeks with Chinese New Year approaching!

 

 

 

 

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Intermediate Phonics update :)

 

Ooh update time on my Intermediate boys! We now have a new girl in the class, Timmie, She has missed the first four blends as well as the vowels that we so she is super behind.

Timmie really tries, she works very hard and listens well. At first she struggled a lot with pretty much everything and played around a little too much in class but since then she has knuckled down. The boys were not happy when she joined the class, in fact they were super hostile when she did her trial lesson, dragging their chairs as far from her as possible and clinging onto me even more.

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The boys have started putting their head on my lap when they are not feeling well, I allow them to for a few minutes but then they have sit up nicely and work. I have managed to wean them off having to always be holding onto me. However, I get  a lot of make-up students in  this class and whenever this happens the boys close ranks around me and wont let any one else near me. 

So Joseph is finally showing some improvement, I am going super slow with the spelling though but at this stage it seems to be the only thing helping him learn. Timmie shows good work verbally but as soon as its time for working in the book her abilities go splat.I think they are all improving but it seems to be very inconsistent at the moment. 

The boys are even more competitive now and make sure that there are always big folders between the three kids while doing any book work. It’s hilarious!