How to "dump" a class?

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How to "dump" a class?

Post by Showem » Mon Nov 21, 2005 11:00 am

I'm in a bit of a bind. I've had an adult conversation/business English class for about 5 years now, meeting every Wednesday morning at 7:30. I'm starting to, no; who am I kidding; I am tired of them. And they are probably tired of me too. They don't really want to improve their English, they just want to maintain it. Considering it's only a low-intermediate as it is, it's a bit frustrating for me to go in there, week after week, knowing that some of them will still be describing what they did on the weekend in present simple, even if the last 3 weeks we concentrated on past tenses.

Having said that, they are a nice bunch of people and we do have a good time together when we meet. Some pay for the class themselves, some of them have their employer pay for it.

As I said, I would like to finish with them. I don't think I'm giving my best any more, and they deserve a new teacher who will give them more. What do you think I should do? Should I tell them the truth (a slightly more diplomatic version than I've described here) or just say I have another commitment or what? Should I give them some names of other teachers for them to call to try and find someone new or should I leave them to their own devices? I have a sneaking suspicion at least 2 of the 5 wouldn't mind the course ending, so I don't want to find and directly bring a new trainer to them yet.

Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated.

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Post by Ingilizcepratik » Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:41 pm


if i were you i would find new methods which playing role or just bring to class new things they never seen before.. i mean you should just do in class what they want to do make sure about only to how to teach... how about BINGO thats the good way to teach for adults... ( for ESL teacher&learners)

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Post by joshua2004 » Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:44 pm

If you want to drop the class because of the hour or you would rather do something else with you time, that is your prerogative and should do what you want. However, I do not believe it is the students fault if they are not advancing. I also would not blame yourself. I would reassess your assessment. It is very difficult to target a grammar point, teach it and then have the student use it effectively all the time. That can lead to much frustration for you. This is because it is not how you acquire new language. In contrast, it is how you can build self editing skills in grammar skills that are already acquired.

If you wish to continue the class, focus on giving the students lots of reading and listening input. As much as you can fit in and not overwhelm them. People acquire new grammar structures by repeatedly hearing and reading the new structures in interesting context which the person is motivated to understand. Even if you hope the student will acquire the past tense in the material you are using, they may be acquiring other structures you did not intend but are of great importance before they acquire the past tense. This is why it is important to give lots and lots of reading and listening input. They will improve in this manner. But at just one day a week, it will take longer.

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Post by Lorikeet » Mon Nov 21, 2005 4:45 pm

And if you *are* actually tired of it and would like to stop, why not tell them it's time for you to move on? You can ask them if they'd like to interview teachers for the job, and you could have a couple come and meet them if you like. If you aren't excited about continuing and none of the ideas for doing something different appeals to you, then it's probably time to stop. Teaching requires a lot of energy, and it's hard to be energetic if you'd rather be somewhere else.

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Post by Bann_Me » Tue Nov 22, 2005 7:29 am

I find it tough teaching adults. I find them boring and soul sucking and sould destroying.

How about kids?

Ever try teaching them?

A lot more fun and rewarding.............

Dumping these boring losers sounds tough though. Maybe you can fake your own death? Like in the middle of class. That would be kool (finish Spelling)

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Post by strider » Tue Nov 22, 2005 12:55 pm

As they say, is this a problem or an opportunity?

One thing you could do is something really radical, something you wouldn't normally risk with your regular groups. If it works, you'll have the satisfaction of having tried and succeeded against the odds. If it fails, the students won't continue which is what you want anyway.

Here are some ideas:
-Do a play (spend a few weeks preparing, then they perform)
-Change the venue to the local bar
-Introduce a video camera, film them, get them to criticise each other
-Do the whole lesson walking around (the building, the street, the shopping centre)
-Do the lesson by phone
-Don't speak the whole time you're with them
-Ban writing for a week, everyone has to draw instead
-Start using a course book for a completely different level
-Use the newspaper or magazine you hate the most

Having said all that, I sympathize with you. I used to have a lesson at 7:15 on Monday mornings with a guy. After 2 years the cupboard was bare, I was totally fed up with the course and I just had to say goodbye.

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Post by Showem » Thu Aug 03, 2006 6:57 am

Just as a bit of closure on the subject, I did drop the class. I told them a version of the truth, which was that I had the opportunity to teach 4 classes in a row on the same day that they had their lesson. And that I simply had to economically choose the 4 classes, because the first one unfortunately clashed times with theirs.

I exaggerated the clashing times somewhat, I could have made it work. But there was a general sense of relief from the participants too, when I told them it wouldn't continue. We were all a bit sad that it wouldn't continue, but all were also happy not to be chained to the class anymore.

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