It’s time to have a look at a typical class in China. So, what exactly does this involve? Well, with the power of the internet and off-the-scale technology of the 21st century, a boring classroom setting suddenly becomes whatever your imagination makes it to be!
A lot of schools in China now provide interactive white boards in their classrooms. This opens up so many doors for activities with the kids – at the board games, puzzles, writing practise and attention-grabbing design that will keep the kids interested.
In some schools you will be even be lucky enough to incorporate the use of a Wii in your lessons!
Of course no good school is set without a cupboard designated to a big supply of materials. In China, it’s all about taking raw materials and turning them into something fun, bright and interactive! In cases where the curriculum is already set up – a common thing in China! – use your imagination and create crafts, homework and games to best match the day’s lessons. Flash cards are popular and a great way to add definition to a new word and/or concept!
It’s easy to forget that fellow colleagues can also be used as a resource. No doubt when you start work at a school you’ll be surrounded by years of experience – so use them! Ask for hints, advice and ideas for lesson plans, crafts etc. Speaking with fellow teachers is also a great way to better understand things like teacher and student talk, applicable TPR (Total Physical Response) and classroom management skills.
In order to expand your teaching abilities, it is always useful to use outside resources. Here is a short list of useful sites that provide teaching resources, craft ideas and even decoration print out:
- Sparkle Box – Resources for early years and primary teachers
- Teachers Network – Lesson plans and activities for different subjects
- PBS Teachers – A great website that helps teachers grow professionally
- Early Childhood teacher – A wonderful resource for many other sites on the net.
- Boggles World ESL – Flashcards, phonics, worksheets, lesson plans – it has it all!
There are thousands out there so you’ll never be stuck for ideas!
In many instances, your school in China will have their own books designed for the students. These books match the curriculum and the level at which the student is currently at. It may be down to you to either you or the Chinese teacher to go through the book(s) with the children, depending on your school or centre.
As long as you follow the set curriculum i.e ensure content words/sentences are being taught, then you have so much freedom to make the lesson your own. Of course you won’t be left to fend for yourself; ideas and a basic requirement is laid out for new teachers, but overtime you’ll become comfortable with expanding and trying new things. It really is a trial and error situation – get to know your kids and change, add and take-away new things to your lessons that you think will aid in their learning.
As you can see, a lot of what creates a typical classroom set-up in China largely depends on your imagination! Try new things, pull ideas from other teachers and the internet, and create a fun atmosphere that kids will love. China offers so much freedom in respect to teaching, so take advantage of it whilst you’re here teaching English in China.