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Five year old leading the teacher ok?

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Joined: 26 Aug 2013
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2014 10:03 pm    Post subject: Five year old leading the teacher ok? Reply with quote

I've been teaching this little girl for almost a year, an hour and a half two days a week. This is how we do the lesson.

Start with singing and dancing
Then I play with her with a puppet with her toys for about 40 minutes
Then I let her play ESL games on my ipad for 25 minutes
Last 20 minutes is a craft

So that is my rough outline for the class.

The thing is, that sometimes she doesn't like the songs and either grabs my ipad and tries to change to a different song ( I let her), or she just sits there and doesn't do the dance moves with me.

When we play with the puppet she takes out many different toys and although I take out toys too to guide her as to what language I want to teach (animal names, big/small, fast/slow) her mom has recently complained that we take out too many toys and we should only take out "what we are going to use for the lesson".

When she plays on the ipad I let her play any of the games that I've picked out for her as long as she doesn't play one too long that I feel is not helping her. But then sometimes she just puts down the ipad and wants to play with the puppet again.

And with the crafts, again sometimes she's not interested.

My question is this: is it ok to teach like this and sort of let her guide the lesson while I generally guide it from above or should I be being more strict and give her two choices for what to do, monitor the times exactly and give her time outs if she doesn't listen?
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Sally Olsen

Joined: 08 Apr 2004
Posts: 1322
Location: Canada,France, Brazil, Japan, Mongolia, Greenland, Canada, Mongolia, Ethiopia next

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After a year and a half, i think you know each other well. She must understand you well too in English. Just go with your gut. You know when she is testing you so just laugh and point it out to her. it is great that she wants to be the teacher, especially if she does it in English. She probably doesn't get to control much in her life. It won't hurt to let her direct you as long as she is learning. Five year old girls love to have tea parties or play school and make their dolls do what they are told. You can hear their mother's voice in their conversations with their dolls or puppets so you can sympathize with what they have to put up with - all those adult expectations.
Don't worry about the Mom's opinions too much. Just put back the toys you use and tell her you know what you are doing because you are a professional.
If you are enthusiatic about thr games and the product of her craft making, she will be too. You could take pictures of her crafts and show them to her next time to remind her what she did and so well. If you do this with other students you can share so there is a little competition or sharing of ideas. You can keep a book of scores for her games and give her stickers.
Frankly, I wouldn't dance with a grown man either at 5 years old. That is for little kids.
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Sheila Collins

Joined: 22 Oct 2007
Posts: 46

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One educational perspective is that you're being paid to teach her, so if she isn't learning then you're not doing your job.

If the class is one-on-one, why not let her choose what she wants to do? Dancing and crafts are not required for language-learning; being interested--and, therefore, engaged--is a requirement. Student-led learning is much more demanding on the teacher, but it's much more effective for the student.

By the way, how much English is she learning during time-outs?
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