Connecting with Your Students
How’s This Even Possible?
Children Love Show and Tell
I use “Teddy” to reduce my student’s Affect (Krashen, 2003), to make a quick connection, and to present myself as approachable. Want more green tags? Go after each teaching point and you will be hardily rewarded with green tags.
- Uses Teacher Language
- Professional Presentation
- Shows genuine interest in my child… (No wait, that’s a goal, not a tag)
Qkids Teachers know all of these by heart. There are eleven. It can sting like a pin poking at the most sensitive part of the nose when you achieve one and it’s in red!
Or, try connecting by reading a book. Actually, my students are the readers and I am simply the facilitator using this valuable opportunity with them to assess their skills level. If you chose to read with them, remember to take turns, one by one, and don’t make them freak out over words they might never have seen before. Simply help them by quietly whispering the word they are attempting to sound out. Qkids students know how to sound out their words and we are here to help…How many times have you heard this? “Reading can be fun!"
Don’t Beat Up on Yourself!
My student was in the living room on a Saturday morning taking a Qkids English lesson from a stranger halfway around the world, and a foreigner at that. I want to say my student was probably eight years old. The room was bright white, well-lit with tall ceilings, and very spacious from what I could see. Although it was probably scheduled as 2v1, it turned out to be a 1v1 and by the end of the lesson, I was exhausted! The whole lesson was such a struggle. When it was time for the Leader Board and stickers, my student asked for a cat sticker. “Teacher, I like cats.” I presented him with the cat sticker he wanted, but really, what he wanted more than anything was to show off his prized possession, his cat! “Teacher, my cat’s name is…he is brown and yellow.” “Can you show me? Is he a real cat?” Off he went, returning with his brown and yellow, beautiful, healthy,…and heavy cat slinking over his shoulder. It was adorable. He held his cat up into the camera for the whole world to see. The cat seemed OK with all of this excitement and looked as though he was more used to being held than walking on his own four legs.
I remember thinking to myself and remembering all of the preconceived notions that I had formulated about this student during the lesson:
- does not care to work on Saturday morning
- does not like my teaching style
- Probably wishes he had gotten his last teacher
- I just wasn’t her style
I could probably go on and on. But, the surprise on my face was probably evident when I realized that he wanted to extend the talk through “Show and Tell” instead of simply hitting the “Bye-Bye Button.”