1. Assess the time and route to take to get to the school so that you know the time required and will always arrive well ahead of time for lessons later;
2. Get to know the principal, head teacher and teaching assistant (TA) who will be helping you. Obtain their name cards or their tel. no. and email address for future contact;
3. Ascertain who you should contact for what, where you should report for service and obtain the scripts for lessons, where the classroom is, how to use the computer and projector, which TA will be on duty, where to get help if in trouble, etc.
4. Get the student list and their English standard, and names of the weakest students so that you know what level they are at and can pay more attention to them from the start.
5. Remind the teacher/TA in charge of this program to inform you well ahead if a scheduled lesson has to be cancelled or fewer students are attending so that you can consider other options like cancelling the lesson, mixing your two classes into one if they are of the same level, etc.
6. Remember to collect the scripts selected by the school before you leave so that lessons can be prepared. If you later find them to be too easy or difficult for your students, do discuss with the teacher to make changes. Or you can skip these scripts and use your own teaching material after informing the teacher concerned.
A few days to a week before each lesson
1. Study your selected script and determine your teaching aids (using song, debate, movie, drama, Youtube, etc.) and method of delivery to make teaching and learning inter-active and most enjoyable. Store your aids in your computer or USB and bring it to the school. If you are not going to use the school script, let the teacher/TA know in advance so that no photocopying is done.
2. If you decide to use the school script, make sure the teacher/TA knows which script you have selected so that copying is done beforehand and placed at the general office for your collection. If needed, check with him at the same time that the class will not be cancelled because of unexpected events.
On the day of teaching
1. Make sure you arrive at least 15 minutes ahead to test the computer and projector and to allow time for the teacher/TA to make re-connection if not working or change classroom. Time is also allowed for some students who may come back early to ask Q. about the previous lesson or their own problem.
2. Introduce yourself and try to memorize the names of each student using a seating plan as help if needed. You can arrange seating (horse shoe, rectangle or normal classroom style) in whatever way you feel comfortable before each lesson. Ask the students to help set the seating back to its original state after class.
3. Use the first few minutes to explain to your students the importance of learning English for their career or social use later in their life. Give them examples to motivate them to learn the language and come to your lessons. Many TSW students consider it useless to learn English because they think there is no chance in their later life that they will use it and therefore some may drop out of your class if they are not motivated enough from the start.
4. While Cantonese should be used at the start, increase the use of English gradually up to a level you feel your students can comfortably understand and communicate with you. Most classes cannot be conducted entirely in English.
5. If possible, mix English teaching with life planning to make the lesson more interesting. No need to deliberately save the last 15 minute for life planning unless you prefer to do so.
6. No need to rush to finish the entire script if you run out of time. If any student is willing to complete the rest of exercises and you are prepared to grade them, tell the student to bring them back early next lesson. Do notassign any homework and let the students decide what to do with the leftover exercises. We do not want to add additional workload or pressure to them which may form an excuse for them to drop out.
7. Present a small gift, like a small piece of chocolate or biscuit, to any timid or deserving student for responding to a Q. or providing a correct answer. This helps to encourage them to speak up, improve their self-confidence and image. (You can spend up to a reimbursable $20 for gifts to each studentper intake.)
8. Make sure the classroom door is always open if you stay alone with a student of the opposite sex. Also avoid making any unnecessary body contact with students of the same or different sex. This is for your own protection against any false accusation of sexual harassment.
9. Please also read the Help from Partners section within Partners in our website which outlines the expected help and co-operation partner schools have agreed to offer.