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help me with management of class with humor

 
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Runninghorse



Joined: 20 Apr 2004
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2004 3:44 am    Post subject: help me with management of class with humor Reply with quote

At times I feel dull when dealing with my class, some students also feel boring attending my class, may I have your precious ideas? thanks in advance. Crying or Very sad
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coffeeandtea



Joined: 02 Mar 2004
Posts: 10
Location: China

PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2004 4:30 am    Post subject: making class interesting Reply with quote

Hi,
As a beginning teacher myself, i am still searching for ways to make class interesting and relevant. I have found, however, that if you are bored during your class, the students most likely are also. Being enthusiastic makes a big difference- and if you don't feel enthusiastic, you should try to put things in your lessons that you can be enthusiastic about. Also, try to remember what it was like when you were a student...what classes were boring, what classes were interesting, and what made them so? Picture yourself as a student in your classes...what do you want to do? What do you want to learn? Lastly, feedback from the students is important and helpful. What I have done is ask students some simple questions about the class, and have them write anonymously what they think. This helps because you may not be able to see the ways that your class is boring/difficult/irrelevant for the students, and most classes have some aspects that could be described as such.
Good luck!
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LarryLatham



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1195
Location: Aguanga, California (near San Diego)

PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2004 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is an extremely insightful response, Coffeeandtea. Smile What I really like about it is that you seem to realize, right from the getgo, that forced, or disingenuous enthusiasm will not work. In fact, it is certain to fail in the long run, even though some students may be fooled by it for a few sessions. Therin lies its most dangerous attribute, I think, because teachers may become convinced that "a positive attitude" will carry the day. Not so. But your counsel to be introspective, and genuine in the search for interesting lessons is right on target, in my view. Looking for honest feedback from students is also excellent advice. The key word here, however, is honest...

I have little doubt that you are already quite a good teacher, despite being, in your own words, a beginner. The likelihood is that you will develop into a truly excellent teacher.

Larry Latham
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LarryLatham



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1195
Location: Aguanga, California (near San Diego)

PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2004 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Runninghorse,

Will you please contact me again! I sent you a message to reply to your comments sent by private mail, but somehow my reply did not appear to have successfully transmitted to you.

Larry Latham

P.S. I heartily endorse the advice given here to you by Coffeeandtea!
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strider



Joined: 17 Jan 2003
Posts: 160
Location: France

PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2004 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had some succes in telling a funny story at the end of a class. This works particularly well with business students.

In the last 10 minutes, simply tell a story with a funny ending. The incentive to listen is very strong because (unless you tell terrible jokes) the students will want to laugh in the right place, or at least understand why the joke is funny.

Successful stories are the ones that last at least 4 minutes, and involve a certain element of repetition. I'm sure you can find some on the internet somewhere.
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hanka



Joined: 29 May 2004
Posts: 7
Location: Spain

PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2004 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

If you are a foreign teacher in the country I think that a lot of humour can come of it. The customs are clearly going to be different to what you are used to, so why don't you take advantage of it. I've had some very entertaining lessons when I've asked students to explain unusual customs that seem quite incredible to foreigners. From my experience you can get a lot of mileage out of the foreigner abroad situation and also and most important of all get them talking.

Hanka
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Sally Olsen



Joined: 08 Apr 2004
Posts: 1313
Location: Canada,France, Brazil, Japan, Mongolia, Greenland, Canada, Mongolia, Ethiopia next

PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2004 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree that funny things can happen on the way to the forum.
When I knew I was coming to Greenland, I asked a friend who is Inuit to help me brush up my Inuktitut. She said that she had heard there were a lot of tourists in Nuuk, the capital, where I was going, and sometimes drunk men would try to bother you. She said I should say, "qujanaq " which means, "Go away, don't bother me". So the first day in Nuuk, I went into the store to buy my supplies and when I paid, the cashier said, "qujanaq". I was startled and asked him why I couldn't come into his store again. (I had heard there was an anti-Danish sentiment but I had spoken to him in English.) He replied that "qujanaq" meant, "Thank you."
So I told that story to all the classes I met and when they wanted me to leave they said, "qujanaq" and the other teachers thought they are being so polite!
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hanka



Joined: 29 May 2004
Posts: 7
Location: Spain

PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2004 4:43 pm    Post subject: Qujanaq! Reply with quote

'Qujanaq' for those comments Sally! I'll try to remember not to say that the next time I'm in Greenland and I'm being bothered by a drunken man.

What you say is exactly what I mean though. If you can have such a good relationship with your students with humour like that you have won half the battle. I think too many people take all this teaching business too seriously and I'm sure the students learn much more when they're having a good time and feeling relaxed in class and having some good old banter with the teacher.

So, qujanaq!

Hanka

PS I have come across quite a few Danish on my travels, and I think they are some of the nicest people I have ever met.
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Sally Olsen



Joined: 08 Apr 2004
Posts: 1313
Location: Canada,France, Brazil, Japan, Mongolia, Greenland, Canada, Mongolia, Ethiopia next

PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2004 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No doubt about it! Danish people as individuals are super. But no matter how nice you are, if you are deemed to be in a powerful position, it is difficult. I found the same with the way the Russians are viewed in Mongolia, the way the Koreans in Japan viewed the Japanese, the way our Native Canadians view people from Ottawa, heck, even the man/woman thing. The person without the power often thinks they have to fight the power to overcome the problem. It sure produces a lot of tension and unhappiness. But to be fair, often the people with power don't know they have it and/or do misuse it. I took the kids to the restaurant for their last class and a group of Danish tourists came in. All was silent whereas my class had been happily chatting a moment before. The older tourists did seem to look down their noses at these pink and purple haired, tongue pierced, Eminem jacketed teenagers. I just hope that my class get the idea that not all "old or foreign" people think they are trouble and that they get more and more well-trained teachers from other English speaking countries and more and more "with it" Danes and even more of their own people who have made it and know how to balance the cultures, teaching.
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