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Thread: The Way of Teaching

  1. #16
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    There's a good site that teachers hang out on: teachers.net or teachersnet.com. You'll see similar questions. We're all trying to figure out teaching motivation and guiding classes. I would only start with asking yourself if you are fast-paced; how snappy are you up there? If your speed exceeds theirs, or if you appear to them to be as fast as a speeding bullet, then they sometimes slow down a bit.

    Another training technique I once learned was to look in the mirror each morning and form the most awful scowl imaginable. That is "the Look." Then you take the Look and hit them with it -- the meanest, nastiest possible ugly face. Sometimes that works. One successful teacher did not crack a smile from Sept. until May, and by that time she said she had them in the palm of her hand. I can't do that, but it is a good recommendation.

    Usually, there are 1-3 wiseguys and if you can defuse them, the rest will be follow okay. I never wanted to believe that "The Lord of the Flies" stated truth, but classrooms can bring out the dynamics of mob behavior. Individually they are pipsqueaks, but together they are a united army. So perhaps go after the hardest nut to crack.

    I speak only from experience, some of which could only be described as failure. Try to maintain your dignity irrespective of what asinine whirlwind is going on. Also, do a thorough job of marking up their papers in red ink and making suggestions. They like it when they see that you went over their work; they really do. Also, maybe use stickers. Even high schoolers like stickers.

  2. #17
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    Oh I'm late for this thread, to all these wonderful responses. It turned out that I did not teach the so-called rebellious ones in the end but just lazy ones with awkward language abilities. I have used comics and that worked, not yet fantasies which I'll definitely have a try later (but once a movie fantasy).
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  3. #18
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    I graduated high school about a year ago and my English teacher used traditional means of teaching. They didn't work of course because no one was paying attention. If you really want to teach a group of high schoolers English/ Literature you need a more modern approach to teaching them. Authors like Chuck Palahniuk and his books are a good start. Kids think Shakespeare is boring because it is old. More modern approaches such as the previously stated author will grab their attention and put their minds in the book.

    Yes, his books are graphic, but thats what my generation wants in the end. Accepting that is the key to keeping literature in the minds of other students. Also, true stories of modern day artists such as 2 Pac or Trent Reznor (Yes two different music groups but for both spectrums of society's groups.) and their literature are actually worth reading. Use their poetry and then tell the kids that it was inspired by such works as The Raven, Hamlet and the Tales of King Arthur.
    To say that literature is dying is to say that the world is dying.

    " 'The most important part of poetry is structure!' one student answers. ' No! The most important part of poetry is sound.' Another retorts. 'No! The most important part of poetry is rhyme!' says the last. 'No!" Says the teacher, ' The most important part of poetry is the meaning, no structure, nor sound nor rhyme alone can define poetry, combine them all and you get meaning.'

  4. #19
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    Thanks all. I have a more particular question now: how to teach vocabulary (suppose there is a long vocabulary list given after every unit of the textbook I'm going to use) to avoid the ineffectiveness and boredom of reading definitions and usages? Any suggestions and approaches proved to be effective?
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  5. #20
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    You could terminate the memorization of vocabulary,endeavour to tell your students to read story books and newspapers and at the same time highlight intricate and obscure words,subsequently,use the dictionary and check.
    Conduct a test and they can easily memorize them.

  6. #21
    Skol'er of Thinkery The Comedian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by white camellia View Post
    Thanks all. I have a more particular question now: how to teach vocabulary (suppose there is a long vocabulary list given after every unit of the textbook I'm going to use) to avoid the ineffectiveness and boredom of reading definitions and usages? Any suggestions and approaches proved to be effective?
    It's kind of weird, but I've found that students, even reluctant students, are entertained and educated by etymology. If the word had a good story to tell, even the most reluctant learner tunes in for a while.

  7. #22
    aspiring Arthurianist Wilde woman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Comedian View Post
    It's kind of weird, but I've found that students, even reluctant students, are entertained and educated by etymology. If the word had a good story to tell, even the most reluctant learner tunes in for a while.
    Yes, me too! I taught SAT techniques, and whenever it came to vocabulary, I would pick one or two word(s) of the day, give the definition, and the etymology. Some words have veeery interesting origins.

    And when you go through the etymology of a word, you begin to familiarize your students with Greek and Latin prefixes/suffixes. If you really hammer these home, then students can begin to recognize certain prefixes/suffixes in words they DON'T know and can make an educated guess at their meaning. It's very useful.

    Also, on a more cliched note, try assigning a vocab word to each student and having them make a flashcard out of it. On one side, have them draw a visual...I find that they can get really creative it and it can be funny when they present it to the class. On the back, have them do more standard definitions, usages in a sentence, synonyms/antonyms, etymologies. It's the visual that's the most useful.

    Good luck!

  8. #23
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    I would try to take advantage of their rebelliousness somehow. There are so many possible ways to use and learn English. They should start writing something which is personally important to them.

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