Thoughts of an English Teacher…

Age is just a numberI still can’t bring myself to tell the children in my classes my real age! Haha. And I don’t even know why..but I’m still 23. They do always say I look younger tho…!

Only had cover lessons this week. Which is good. I much prefer substituting than having to work with some of the ‘English’ teachers they employ..You’d think it would be easier having the teacher there, but no, no, no! It’s actually MUCH easier to teach English, only in English (even to 7 year olds) when there is no translator:
Supply teachers

1. Some of the English teachers’ English is so bad they can’t understand what I’ve said anyway and translate it wrong. I say “show me a bin,” children point, and the the teacher says “No, she said PEN!” arghhhh be quiet!
no, no, no!2. Other teachers like to butt in half way through my sentence… Me: “Ok children, so how old are you..?” Teacher: “Errr they don’t know this one!” arghhhh they know numbers, they know ‘I’m‘ – if they don’t know it I’m going to teach them it!!!!!! duh!

3. Some teachers keep telling children the answers!!! If I didn’t learn anything else from my online TEFL course, it was to elicit answers from students. LET THEM THINK!!!!!

4. One Some teachers seem to see having a Guest Speaker as a nice day off..they sit at the back of the room and ignore the class, chat on their phone and then go home early..
not listening

5. And then last week there was the worst teacher I have ever met! Half way around the room asking them questions with them all still interested, she would butt in..”a play now?” She meant GAME *facepalm*. Me: “ok, what GAME would you suggest?” Teacher: “oh maybe this play or this play la la la Ihavenoideawhatsheissaying!!” Me: “Hmm ok, maybe pictionary to start..I need ONE person to come up to the board.” Teacher: “OK EVERYONE STAND UP!!” Me: “NOOOOOO not everyone!” Why would I want 20 children standing up?????? ONE CHILD.


Another game, where I write numbers all over the board, and two children have to race to circle the number I’ve said. Usually works very well… But there she is, in the middle, writing the scores on the board for me. But not 111111 so we can count them at the end. She writes 1. Then 1 2. Then 2 3. What’s the point in that!!!! The most frustrating day ever. And then I had to work with her the next day as well!

Some teachers are really good though. They’ve prepared their children for my arrival so they’re excited, they’ve taught them well so they know how to answer questions, and they’ve prepared questions to ask me for homework. I even had an 8 year old girl today who knew how to say ‘my favourite animals are…” That was impressive. I usually just get ‘CAT’.


Or if I’m lucky ‘my favourite animal is cat.’



4 responses to “Thoughts of an English Teacher…

  1. Ha Ha!! perhaps you could do a leaflet on how to be a good teacher while the english teacher is here? useful hints to get the most out of your english speaker lessons?

  2. I’ve read your blog a bit — interesting, as I’m considering branching out from Moscow to somewhere more Eastern. Also, I totally commiserate with you on the teaching problems. I used to think I was cocky for thinking I was a better teacher, but maybe it’s true?!

    • Haha I wouldn’t say I was a better teacher – I haven’t seen most of them actually teaching, I just find it frustrating when they’ve asked for a guest speaker, but then they don’t prepare anything for the kids or me to do! It’s ok to think you’re better 😉

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