We’ve all had multiple instances of students crying in classrooms, and it never gets any easier to deal with. Crying is a selfish, one-sided behavior that the students resort to when they no longer wish to express themselves with words. Great care must be taken in these situations to get the student to convey their true emotions.
If a student is beginning to cry, tell them to stop firmly, but not menacingly. Place several word cards on the table representing emotions and have the student point to all of the emotions that they are feeling. Often, their lack of vocabulary is what makes them cry instead of flustered, confused, frustrated, annoyed, confounded, perplexed, or enraged. By pointing to these words on the table, the students can let you as a teacher know how they feel, and then you can find the root cause of their crying.
Many teachers have not been properly trained to deal with crying students, despite encountering them on a monthly basis. Sure, it is much easier to throw a book against the wall and storm out of the classroom, but that will not make you a better teacher. Always do your best to pretend you are sympathetic during the class. You can always cancel all of the student’s future classes and cut off contact later.
Years ago, before English was legalized in Japan, ESL students would often congregate in attics and practice reciting the alphabet to candlelight. The country has progressed a lot since those days, with English being learned by everyone in public schools, and being practically applied by 0.03% of the population.
Giving students more chances to use English outside of the classroom allows them opportunities to apply their knowledge, thus solidify it in their minds. Whenever you encounter a Japanese person on the street between the ages of 12 and 60, it can be safely assumed that they have taken an English class, and so will benefit from you speaking to them.
As you pass people, a simple “hello” or “how are you?” is sufficient. When sitting next to them on the train, you have more time to engage them, and can ask more complex questions such as “what is your favorite food?” or “where do you work?”
Everyone will be surprised to the point where they need to mask their delight with fear. Don’t worry if they don’t respond; you are the expert on the language and it is up to you to keep the conversation going at all costs.
The average English conversation with strangers lasts 15 seconds, and your goal should be 15 seconds of uninterrupted speaking. Although they may not engage you as much as they should, do your best to follow them while speaking, until the 15 seconds has passed. Teacher’s duties are never limited to the classroom, therefore you should always strive to be the best teacher, no matter where you may be.
Coughing is a reaction wherein the diaphragm convulses violently in response to bracial irritation. If you didn’t have brachii, you would not cough. Removing your brachii is beyond the scope of this blog, therefore you would need to find the cause of the coughing and do your best to remove it from the environment.
These irritants are often in the form of toxic, microscopic white board pen remains that accumulate in your lungs. Although your body does a good job of removing these toxins, it still can take up to 5 years for them to work their way out.
Other irritants manifest in the form of sunlight poisoning – especially affected teachers in high-rises with large windows, smoker’s musk, arsenic gas released from newly installed carpets, and high static environments. Most respectable ESL schools will have de-tox kits located next to their earthquake kits.
If a coughing fit occurs, and shows no signs of subsiding, do not stop the class. While still coughing, let the student know that you are coughing, but you wish for them to continue learning. Write your directions on a piece of paper, and use this time to have the student read ahead in their book, or listen to a recorded activity.
Students are often more prepared than teachers when it comes to coughing fits. A good number of students wear face masks to prevent these kinds of awkward situations, and for good reason; coughing fits are very distracting.