Top 5 Tips for New Qkids Teachers

Hello, my name is Sandra Morales, but my students refer to me as Teacher Sandy. I have been working for Qkids for a little over a year. I have a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and have worked with students of all ages since my graduation. My favorite student will forever be my son, whom I homeschooled for two years. Education has always been important to my family. In terms of short-term goals, I obtained my 120 hour TESOL certificate to be better prepared to teach my Qkids students. When it comes to my long-term goals, I plan to be an excellent blog writer for Qkids along with teaching a full schedule. Within the next two years, I plan on working towards my Master's in English. I always ask each of my students in class what their favorite color, animal, and food is. Therefore, I only see it as fitting to close with my favorites, which are purple, panda, and chicken with rice.

You’ve Got the Right Stuff!

This blog is for all the New Teachers on the Qkids Block. One of the biggest issues I faced when recently being hired by Qkids was constantly second-guessing myself. I always wondered if I was good enough. I wondered if parents liked me. I especially worried about kids' understanding and learning from me. I spent several sleepless nights wondering and worrying if I was doing a good job. I know I am not alone with these feelings. That is why I have taken the liberty of comprising a list of several helpful tips meant to assist all new Qkids teachers in your transition to the Qkids teacher family.

Tip 1: Network, Network, Network!

It is important to establish a network of support. I found that speaking with fellow Qkids teachers and subscribing to Qkids' Facebook page and the blog was extremely helpful. Any time I had a question or was worried about an issue, I always found answers and a friendly teacher to direct me on the right path. Remember that your coach is also on hand to help if needed. They are the most capable of directing you on the right path because they have access to your lessons and can offer helpful pointers on how you can positively adjust your teaching style.

Tip 2: Have Fun!

Remember that children only learn when they are engaged. Most of the time this means we must step up our game and make learning fun. I encourage you to take a trip to your local dollar store, thrift stores, etc. and getting your hands-on fun props. Some props that always come in handy are stuffed animals, superhero figures, fake foods, and the always-helpful flashcards.  New teachers often struggle with utilizing the entire 28 minutes of teaching time, because they have not yet learned to pace themselves accordingly. Therefore, having these helpful props on hand can assist a new teacher and fill in the remaining time with the review. Reviewing colors, numbers, letters, and animals can surely add minutes to any lesson, especially when follow-up questions are added.

Tip 3: Slow Down!

One of the biggest errors new teachers make is rushing through a lesson. Rushing through a lesson can cause a great deal of confusion to new learners. Remember we are teaching English to students that already have a first language. We cannot expect them to follow at a fast pace, but rather we must learn to adjust our pace to facilitate their learning needs. I encourage you to stress syllables, emphasize words, and give simple definitions to words that may be troublesome for some new learners. 
For example, when teaching the "plant a flower and plant a tree" lesson, I often noticed students have trouble with the word "sow". As soon as I began to state that "sow" was a fancy word for "plant" the lesson flowed much smoother. Another suggestion is to have a mini dry erase board on hand to aid in your explanation of punctuation. When students need to form sentences during a lesson, one of the main errors is putting a period where a question mark should be and vice versa. The writing board can help you explain when a period and question mark are to be used.

Tip 4: Smile!

Show your million-dollar smiles, fellow teachers. First impressions are very important. Therefore, we must always look professional. This does not mean putting on a blazer and full make-up but looking presentable is important. I suggest waking up at least 15 to 20 minutes before your scheduled class to freshen up, pull yourself together (coffee, tea, jumping jacks) and put your best face forward. Light make-up, a nice top, and some sparkly jewelry will do the trick.

Tip 5: Offer Encouragement!

Be the teacher that leaves a lasting impression on your children. Good job!! Excellent!! You are so smart!! Amazing!!! Your English is Getting So Good!!! These are all examples of some of the many positive compliments you can give your students throughout the lesson. Using students' names is also very important. Use the student's name as much as possible during a lesson to ensure that they are engaged.  We must always be a source of encouragement and a positive support system for our students.

These are just five of the tips that I feel are the most beneficial to new teachers. Join the Qkids blog for more helpful tips. Happy teaching!!!!

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