Struggling to teach adults

Teaching ESL to adults

Moderator: Joe

Posts: 1
Joined: 08 Dec 2020, 13:38
Status: New Teacher

Struggling to teach adults

Unread post by welenbaul93 »

Ok so. Hope you'll take the time to read this. I went to Asia to teach children and teenagers for a year, loved it, came home. Got a job in my home country teaching adults. Not immigrants, but people who save up money and move country for 1-2 years at a time to come here and learn English.

It's totally different to teaching children, and after a month into the job I thought I had started doing better and was feeling a lot more comfortable. But I had an observation last week and after getting feedback yesterday my confidence is shot to pieces. She only observed me for 15 minutes and I knew full well during those 15 minutes it was a poor highlight of my teaching capacities. I know for a fact I'm not usually that poor, but her presence throwing me off combined with a rowdier-than-usual group of Brazilians, and I didn't exactly sell myself. Anyways she picked apart those 15 minutes and gave me a whole lot of stuff to work on.

But it just hurts. I feel like I'm being judged by my students, because prior to me they had one of my colleagues, who's been teaching for years, and they no doubt notice the large drop in quality. My manager as well didn't offer me any encouragement or nice words to assuage the blows. Don't get me wrong, she was really nice about the whole thing, but it was just 15 minutes of pure negative feedback. What particularly cut me deep was when she said "I was smiling a lot because I didn't want to undermine you but...". Am I wrong in thinking that's kind of unprofessional? I knew at the time it wasn't going well, but after seeing her smile lots during the observation I left the class thinking "hey maybe that didn't go as bad as I thought", but then hearing her say she was basically lying really hurt me. Would've much preferred if she had a straight poker face. Anyways...

I just feel like a crappy teacher. I feel like I'm being scrutinized by my students (who, don't get me wrong, are fun and nice people), I feel like I'm teaching them poorly, I just feel like a total amateur and I just left my manager's office yesterday feeling embarrassed and really disheartened. Normally I look forward to coming in to teach but this morning I just woke up feeling anxious and I'm really not looking forward to going in today. I was told I need to prepare more and study my language points more but like I arrive earlier than anyone else, and spend 2x as long lesson planning than anyone else, so I can ensure I am prepared and that I understand my grammar points for the day but apparently it's still not good enough. I really am trying my hardest. She told me that she's going to put my on a "10 day plan" or some shit, whereby basically a senior teacher will observe me every 10 days and we can work on my work-ons bit by bit. I dunno but that just feels a little bit humiliating almost. I don't like thinking that my students will notice I'm being observed much more frequently than other teachers they have, and they'll know it's because my manager thinks I'm a poor teacher. I don't know. It just sucks and I feel shitty.

How do you pick yourself up and keep going? Because at the moment I just want to run away back to Vietnam and teach my little babies, life was so much easier then...
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