I just got a job at Hess. But one thing that scares me about being a teacher is that I won’t be good enough. Things run through my mind like students won’t like me, I am not cut out to be a good teacher, etc. Any advice to quiet these fears?
Advice for Newbie Please :) - Zhudong
New Teachers: What do you wish you knew more about teaching?
Learn how to not give a shit.
The standard advice to imagine the whole room naked is probably not a good plan, in this instance.
If it’s any consolation, worrying about your competence is an indication that you’re probably more competent than you imagine:
Be fully prepared for whatever you are to do that day.
Most of us have these thoughts when we find ourselves in an unfamiliar environment. The biggest reason is that we do not have faith (blind trust) in the process. If I could snap my fingers and make you the best teacher that ever lived, you would not appreciate any of it. Mostly because you never had to work for it, you never had to put in countless hours, feeling helpless, miserable and at the end, feeling successful. You would be, in fact, extremely bored being a teacher. Basically, if it was too easy, you would not enjoy it. It’s the process of going through pain and persevering that keeps most of us going.
Remember that most of us suck at doing anything new, the doubts are the ones that slow us down. If children feared making mistakes the same way adults do, they would start talking and walking many many years later. Be a child again, be kind to yourself, allow yourself to make mistakes, we all do. You made it this far, there should not be a reason why you shouldn’t make it further.
Good luck, we are rooting for you
Gets easier with time. The number one thing about Hess is being reliable; it’s a revolving door of people finishing their contracts or people running (leaving in the middle of night causing other NSTs to sub)~
Show up early before class n show that you’re prepared; take it seriously~ If you’re taking a morning kindy, impress your manager with a decent play~
Work on classroom & time management~
I think the fact that you actually care is good enough. There ARE plenty that really don’t give a shit and collect a nice easy paycheck. Like all things in life, you’re not going to be great at it off the bat. Some people might have a easier time with it to start, but I would say if you’re able to manage the kids, which is half the battle, the rest will come. Learning how to deal with children is part of being good at teaching. Most of them have just sat in school for hours and they’re now at your class again before they can go home to dinner and probably do more home work.
I am not a professional teacher. A long time ago I taught English in Taiwan and had no idea what to do. My manager just told me go to class and follow was being done before I arrived. The first two weeks was a disaster. Then I decided to really try to help the students. I learned that they had been in English class for about two years with no progress. I spent a lot of time preparing material to match their level and encouraging them to open their mouths to speak. The result was a fun class but tiring for me. Every class is different and I did have a class which I simply could not connect with the students…really a bad experience.
You’re not there to teach, you’re there to babysit. That is all.
What was it that made it impossible to connect with that class?
It depends. Some school systems are pretty awful for both the students and teachers
When I went to Kojen, it seemed like they don’t care that much
Do you know how to teach? Like, are you TESOL/TEFL certified? Confidence comes with knowledge and experience. Rather than “not give a shit” (we have too many teachers like that here), I’d suggest you do give a shit, prepare your lessons thoroughly, and try to be the best teacher you can be. The litmus test is whether you’d want to be a student in your own classroom.
Hi Drew, I have a TEFL certificate and have taught Jiu-Jitsu. That is good advice. I never said anything about not caring. I don’t work at Kojen. I just meant when I went for an interview at Kojen, everyone seemed like they did not really care about teaching, or anything, which seemed really sad
I know you didn’t. I think someone else in the comments did. Anyway it sounds like you DO care. So you’ll be fine. Good luck!
I really wish there was a way to show what it is like teaching in Taiwan, all over the island, to prospective teachers (real, and otherwise) who want to come here. I get there is a difference between and actual school (and there, a difference between private and public) and the whole buxiban/anjingban nonsense. I have witnessed and read about fresh grads who come here thinking this or that, only to leave a month or so in, broken by the whole affair. They learn what it is like working under a microscope, and having every tiny detail micromanaged. They learn that trying to corral 5, 6, and 7 year olds is actually kind of tough. (and illegal, but…you know)
My advice, from my experience, is that imagine you have been tasked with dismantling an atomic bomb within a certain time. Oh, you are underwater, blindfolded, gagged, and hog-tied.
For me it is trying to figure out what the bosses and parents want, because 100% of the time, they have no idea and it is in a perpetual state of flux.
Hi JB, now I am a little concerned. Is it really that bad?
I am going to have to let you find that out for yourself. My only dealing with Hess was over my ARC when I was looking for a job. They told me I could not use my family-based ARC and had to get one through them. Maybe it was a mistranslation, but that is what I was told. Anyway…
I am sure it is different from teacher to teacher, depending on perspective, but…
My first two jobs here, I was replacing a teacher who had had enough and wanted to go home. One from the US, the other from SA. It was their first jobs, and their first time away from home, and I will admit that Asia is probably not the best place to go for first-timers. They didn’t like the food or weather. One left in the middle of the night. Just…gone. The other made an effort to stick around through the transition.
If you are teaching in Taipei, or Xinbei, you might have an easier time. The further south you go, the less and less foreigners for you to talk with and share experiences with directly.
Some kids will take to you, others will not. One key to remember is to follow through with every promise or threat. If you promise pizza for doing good on an exam, you better deliver. If you threaten a deduction in points, or to take away a prize or whatever, you better do so. Otherwise, they will learn how to manipulate you.
Play games with your kids, but keep it simple and always change what games you play. The kids hate repetitions.
As you get into it, you will learn what to expect. Keep in mind that here is a results orientated system. That is, they want high test scores. They being parents and bosses. If you can deliver that consistently, then you will be fine with both.
The English learning of 80% of your students will begin and end when they arrive and when they leave your school. Rarely will they do [your assigned] homework, or anything on their own. They practice in your class almost exclusively. This is bad for language learning since it requires X amount of input. The concept of “you get out only what you put in” appears to be completely lost on people over here. (and from what I understand, this is creeping in to the West as well).
You have a support base here. Any questions or concerns, you can ask here. To paraphrase Flakman from above, give it time. But, not too much time.
Thank you for your advice. It was helpful. And thank you and everybody for the support and help. Everyone’s continued advice is really helpful.
I am staying in Da’an near Guting Station but my job will be in Luzhou in New Taipei City. It is 2.5 hours of what they said was “preschool” per day and 2 hours of elementary school classes per a day, and 22.5 hours per week.
Are you a (state/province/nationally) licensed teacher?
If you are, you can make your move to public schools.