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Thread: High School teaching tips

  1. #1
    Senior Member par92186's Avatar
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    Default High School teaching tips

    So, I will be teaching high school this coming year and was curious if any of the seasoned JETs (or anyone else for that matter) can offer any tips for teaching at this level. I know ESID and a lot will depend on what my pred clues me in on before I arrive, but just as a general rule of thumb, what kind of pros and cons come with teaching high school?


    **I do have 2 years experience teaching ESL at the elementary public school level in Korea and have a Bachelors of Ed. if that gives you any help in preparing any advice**
    Quote Originally Posted by BeckyJones
    you will soon learn... Imagine the worst people you knew in college. Now imagine them trying to continue their college life in another country, constantly talking shit about each other and their foreign country like it is shit... only to be the shittiest of the bunch.

    now imagine the people who don't fit into that, and are actually shittier.... that is ITIL.

  2. #2
    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: High School teaching tips

    Gonna chime in first and say ask again when you know what kinda of SHS you are teacHing at. It's very different by type/focus and there really aren't any solid generalities you can make between em.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cytrix View Post
    Organising anything with ALTs is like herding cats on catnip

    Quote Originally Posted by Antonath View Post
    We Jeeperneez are express all emotion through money. Wedding is happy money. Funeral is sad money. Izakaya is friendship money. Girl-bar is almost-sex money. But babby-borning is bery happy money, as no babby in Japan. All babby is special so we is givings much money as presento for babby.

  3. #3

    Default Re: High School teaching tips

    Be prepared to plan and run your classes by yourself with the JTE operating as a kind of extremely rude and inaccurate translator.

  4. #4

    Default Re: High School teaching tips

    SHS can be student university prep, an excuse for students to continue playing sports, or a place for students with no ambitions to be dumped until they're 18. Your school could be any of these, or a combination of them.

    Once your pred contacts you, we can give you clearer advice. However, don't rely on your pred to tell you completely accurate information. They'll massage the truth until it is in their favour.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    But what if we reverse the polarity of the quantum string theory? According to uncertainty principle there are infinite worlds out there, so it stands to reason schrodinger's cat is alive in one of them.


    Quote Originally Posted by Apollo87;
    U da real mvp.

  5. #5

    Default Re: High School teaching tips

    Quote Originally Posted by uthinkimlost? View Post
    However, don't rely on your pred to tell you completely accurate information. They'll massage the truth until it is in their favour.
    Eh, I think it's good that predecessors don't unload their gripes and prejudices onto their replacement. My predecessor told me almost nothing (I think he was rather clueless tbh) but his neighbour who used to teach at my school told me how horrible my school is, how she prefers her current school and how I'd have to do everything with no-one helping me.

    Turns out she was just a miserable c**t who wanted to be a CIR and resented having to plan lessons or really contribute at all and did about 1/3rd of the workload complaining the whole time. She was happier in a low level school where she didn't really have to do anything and could spend her time studying Japanese. Whereas I love being able to have control of my lessons and having kids that respond when I put in that bit extra.

    Don't let your predecessor prejudice your feelings towards your school.

  6. #6

    Default Re: High School teaching tips

    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    Don't let your predecessor prejudice your feelings towards your school.
    That was more or less my point.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    But what if we reverse the polarity of the quantum string theory? According to uncertainty principle there are infinite worlds out there, so it stands to reason schrodinger's cat is alive in one of them.


    Quote Originally Posted by Apollo87;
    U da real mvp.

  7. #7

    Default Re: High School teaching tips

    I guess my point is that long-term it's better that you don't get told much about your school beyond the necessary information.

  8. #8
    Senior Member par92186's Avatar
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    Default Re: High School teaching tips

    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    Don't let your predecessor prejudice your feelings towards your school.
    Totally agree with you. That's why I posted on ITIL to ask some of you guys first. As soon as I find out what type of high school I'm headed to I'll repost a message to pick some of your brains about it. Thanks!
    Quote Originally Posted by BeckyJones
    you will soon learn... Imagine the worst people you knew in college. Now imagine them trying to continue their college life in another country, constantly talking shit about each other and their foreign country like it is shit... only to be the shittiest of the bunch.

    now imagine the people who don't fit into that, and are actually shittier.... that is ITIL.

  9. #9
    Senior Member par92186's Avatar
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    Default Re: High School teaching tips

    -edit-
    Last edited by par92186; May 21st, 2014 at 11:54.
    Quote Originally Posted by BeckyJones
    you will soon learn... Imagine the worst people you knew in college. Now imagine them trying to continue their college life in another country, constantly talking shit about each other and their foreign country like it is shit... only to be the shittiest of the bunch.

    now imagine the people who don't fit into that, and are actually shittier.... that is ITIL.

  10. #10

    Default Re: High School teaching tips

    My best tip is to make learning enjoyable. Make yourself available to talk to, come up with tricks to remember vocabulary and grammar, and allow them to play with language/make mistakes. Get the students out of their desks and moving around. This pretty much applies at all levels, but the older students get, the more the life and energy gets sucked out of them (plus puberty and such). Even if I'm exhausted, I put on my best genki face and giv'er (helps to waken me up too).

    i agree with being prepared to teach alone. I often act as a substitute teacher, and sometimes JTEs will suddenly leave the room. Know who you are as a leader and what you would do in problematic situations. It also helps to have a set of emergency lessons/activities that require no plannig or materials in the back of your mind.

    Good luck!
    Last edited by Namisuke; May 21st, 2014 at 16:37.

  11. #11
    Senior Member par92186's Avatar
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    Default Re: High School teaching tips

    Quote Originally Posted by Namisuke View Post
    My best tip is to make learning enjoyable. Make yourself available to talk to, come up with tricks to remember vocabulary and grammar, and allow them to play with language/make mistakes. Get the students out of their desks and moving around. This pretty much applies at all levels, but the older students get, the more the life and energy gets sucked out of them (plus puberty and such). Even if I'm exhausted, I put on my best genki face ad giv'er (helps to waken me up too).

    i agree with being prepared to teach alone. I often act as a substitute teacher, and sometimes JTEs will suddenly leave the room. Know who you are as a leader and what you would do in problematic situations. It also helps to have a set of emergency lessons/activities that require no plannig or materials in the back of your mind.

    Good luck!
    thanks for the advice! quick follow up question for you or anyone willing to lend some expertise...

    can you walk me through a typical lesson for you at the HS level? I'm just trying to get an idea of what kinds of lesson activities (esid) have been successful for some of you.

    Thanks again
    Quote Originally Posted by BeckyJones
    you will soon learn... Imagine the worst people you knew in college. Now imagine them trying to continue their college life in another country, constantly talking shit about each other and their foreign country like it is shit... only to be the shittiest of the bunch.

    now imagine the people who don't fit into that, and are actually shittier.... that is ITIL.

  12. #12

    Default Re: High School teaching tips

    I have posted a lot of my activities on the JET Forum in the Teaching Materials and Resources thread. My role at my school is to make English enjoyable and to give speaking opportunities. For other ALTs, their role might be different. The best thing to do is ask your JTEs what their goals are for their class (push for more than "learn English" or "this is the textbook") and go from there. I have had to plan mostly one-off activities because I only see each class one every 2-4 weeks.

    Oh, another tip. Keep yourself organized! If you have to plan your lessons, keep track of which class you already did something with. I keep a calendar with all my classes and the lesson I planned for it, as well as charts showing what I've already done. Digital is best for this as it is easy to change and update.

  13. #13
    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: High School teaching tips

    Par, I'm more than willing to talk your ear off, once you know which type of SHS you end up at. Don't think we're not willing to contribute, just want to make sure you get information relevant to your position.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cytrix View Post
    Organising anything with ALTs is like herding cats on catnip

    Quote Originally Posted by Antonath View Post
    We Jeeperneez are express all emotion through money. Wedding is happy money. Funeral is sad money. Izakaya is friendship money. Girl-bar is almost-sex money. But babby-borning is bery happy money, as no babby in Japan. All babby is special so we is givings much money as presento for babby.

  14. #14
    chill yo coop52's Avatar
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    Default Re: High School teaching tips

    To give you an idea on how different high schools are from each other, I used to teach at a fairly low level, non-academic school and now teach at a high level college prep type school. Both schools want me to do speaking and communication activities, but my old school was a lot more loose with what they wanted from me. My JTE would just give me a scenario, like "ordering at a restaurant" or "going to the doctor", and I'd make up a lesson around that. My new school wants me to focus mostly on practicing certain grammar points since the JTEs want to cram in as much grammar as possible to prepare the kids for the university exams. My new school also focuses a lot more on writing.

  15. #15
    Senior Member par92186's Avatar
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    Default Re: High School teaching tips

    Quote Originally Posted by Namisuke View Post
    My best tip is to make learning enjoyable. Make yourself available to talk to, come up with tricks to remember vocabulary and grammar, and allow them to play with language/make mistakes. Get the students out of their desks and moving around. This pretty much applies at all levels, but the older students get, the more the life and energy gets sucked out of them (plus puberty and such). Even if I'm exhausted, I put on my best genki face and giv'er (helps to waken me up too).
    Sound advice! Thanks!!!
    Quote Originally Posted by BeckyJones
    you will soon learn... Imagine the worst people you knew in college. Now imagine them trying to continue their college life in another country, constantly talking shit about each other and their foreign country like it is shit... only to be the shittiest of the bunch.

    now imagine the people who don't fit into that, and are actually shittier.... that is ITIL.

  16. #16
    Senior Member par92186's Avatar
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    Default Re: High School teaching tips

    Quote Originally Posted by Gizmotech View Post
    Par, I'm more than willing to talk your ear off, once you know which type of SHS you end up at. Don't think we're not willing to contribute, just want to make sure you get information relevant to your position.

    Cheers Gizmo. Will keep ya posted. Thanks for being willing to help
    Quote Originally Posted by BeckyJones
    you will soon learn... Imagine the worst people you knew in college. Now imagine them trying to continue their college life in another country, constantly talking shit about each other and their foreign country like it is shit... only to be the shittiest of the bunch.

    now imagine the people who don't fit into that, and are actually shittier.... that is ITIL.

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