Source: Gaijin Pot
Summer is in high gear now and my students are currently enjoying a well-deserved summer break. However, for myself and many other assistant language teachers the work continues and I have already started planning my classes for when the students return in four weeks time. By that time — the end of August, when classes resume — it will most likely be just as hot as it is now.
While I’m grateful for the large air conditioner above my desk in the teacher room that helps keep me cool as I prep, my students aren’t so lucky. Air conditioners aren’t installed in most of my classrooms, meaning students are — on top of being hot and steamy — often tired, irritable and sometimes unable to retain even the simplest information.
As teachers, this is perhaps one of the biggest challenges we face as ALTs in the classroom: How can you give the most normal lesson possible while both you and your students are sweating bucket loads with only minimal relief from the energy sucking heat and humidity?
As I’ve said previously, effective planning is key. You need to consider what activities and what games to use. Today, I present my top four pieces of advice to help your students move beyond their summer doldrums.
1) Forget about running around
This should be fairly obvious, but when it’s too hot, the last thing you want is to force kids to run around. Unfortunately, schools in Japan don’t always apply common sense in this regard and it can lead to tragedy. Earlier this summer, a first year elementary school student in Toyota died of heatstroke after being taken on a field trip to a local park — despite temperatures outside of around 33 degrees Celsius.