Creating a Happy Online Teaching Environment
Hello! My name is Abigail Gordiany! I'm 24 years old and I have been working for Qkids for a year and seven months. I have a Bachelor's Degree in Communications but I am working on my career as an actress in the Orlando, FL area. I love working at Qkids because of the fun, friendly, and flexible work environment! Teaching students gives me great joy because our students have such a willingness and eagerness to learn.
Creating a Happy Online Teaching Environment
One of the best parts of being an online ESL teacher includes encountering children with various personalities in each and every class. Our students display silly, happy, and curious behaviors. This makes for a fun work environment and keeps us on our toes. You never know what you'll get!
Occasionally, students arrive at class with negative emotions and it's our job as teachers to create a fun environment for them to learn. We help them forget their sadness and make them smile with our antics. This past week, I taught a level one class of four students. One student said he felt angry and not happy to enter class time. I made a mental note to make that class even more fun to change that student's attitude!
Unfortunately, this proved harder than anticipated. All throughout the review section of the lesson, this particular student sat in silence and refused to participate. I tried multiple times to engage him in the review material but he gave me nothing. I quickly ran out of tricks to get the student on board with the lesson so I put my hope on the actual lesson material.
Now, the level one lessons for Qkids are lots of fun! Level 1 Lesson 27 proved to be integral in my success in making my one unhappy student happy. The lesson teaches students essential sentences like open your eyes! Close your mouth! The last main teaching point is to MAKE A FACE! Let me tell you, this angry student turned his frown upside down! He made lots of silly faces and laughed and smiled! It was wonderful to see him grasp the lesson and find the joy in simply making a face!
The rest of the class turned into a breeze. E Green's funny face certainly helped us relax and enjoy some silliness! We all looked so funny! My four students and I laughed, made faces, and produced some awesome sentences. The lesson content really helped turn the whole lesson around.
If you ever experience unhappy students, here are tips and tricks to help them become happier in class:
1. Find Common Ground
I always try to engage with students by asking them their favorite colors and putting a sticker in the classroom with that color on it. It usually gets a great reaction from them, especially when they're in a level 1 class. You can talk about their favorite characters/colors and deepen the connection between your students.
Some older kids can be more unresponsive so I like to ask them questions about their life. This creates a comfortable space for them to share what activities they like to do. If they're comfortable, they're more likely happier to engage in your class.
2. STICKERS STICKERS STICKERS!!
Stickers are a wonderful tool to use. You can brighten a student's day by showing them their favorite character or animal. Younger students really look forward to the stickers and sometimes act out the characters you put them in. I've seen many jumping Spiderman and singing Elsas.
Don't be surprised if older students leave class early, they don't usually like stickers.
3. Encouragement is Key
Sometimes the line between teacher and student needs to turn into a friend and student. I've found that unhappy students are more receptive in class if you talk to them in more of a friendly tone. Once you show that you care about them and their success, they feel more confident and happy when they get sentences and questions correct. Be genuine, be you!
4. Physical Interaction
High fives are my go-to for younger students. You can easily coax a younger student into having a happier mood with high fives. This is further encouragement that they are succeeding in your class. If your students are a bit older, try giving them a fist bump. It's much cooler than a high five.
5. Trust the Lessons
The Qkids staff writes their lessons with care. They do a great job of differentiating the material between the different lessons. The younger levels are exciting and fit for those younger, rambunctious students. The upper levels are fantastic for the older students and strengthen their focus in reading paragraphs and grasping complex topics. Always trust the lessons to be engaging. You have the room to extend with more questions, which makes the lessons even more exciting.
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These are some methods I always implement when I have an unhappy student. As a teacher, we all want our students to have the best class so they can understand concepts and grasp sentences to prepare them for more complex lessons. Trust the process, trust your teaching, and remember that as long as you do your best, you have succeeded. Now let's teach some happy kiddos!
If you made it this far please feel free to download a copy of the infographic below to help keep these tips in front of mind.