By Eline Schaap
As a teacher, the size of your classes will greatly influence the way you teach. The standard class sizes in China and other Asian countries might differ greatly from what you’re used to from your own country. The class sizes in China can range from anywhere between 25 students in training schools to over 50 students in public schools. It is hard to create a personal connection with your students in these kinds of classes. That’s why i2 Education has opted for classes with either 6 or 12 students. Let’s look at the main benefits of teaching small classes.
Easy to manage
One of the main benefits of teaching smaller classes is that they are much easier to manage. This means that teachers can just mainly focus on teaching. It’s not only easier for you to see what your students are doing, but your students will also feel seen. This makes them feel more responsible for their behavior in class. Small classes also allow you to play games where all your students are involved at the same time. This way, there is less room for your students to get distracted and lose focus.
Besides that, if you’re teaching a small class, there is usually enough space for active games. You can move all the chairs to the side and let the students move through the classroom. Active games are a great way to use TPR (Total Physical Response) in the classroom to let high-energy students use their energy. Lastly, it’s easier to find students that are on the same level. Therefore, the level gap in your classes will most likely be smaller. This helps your students feel more confident and comfortable in the classroom. If you do have a weaker student, you can give this student the one-on-one attention they need. Since none of your students feels left behind, they are less likely to disrupt the class.
The second important benefit of smaller classes is that you can build great rapport with your students. Having a good rapport with your students can make any teacher’s job so much easier. Especially young students will be so motivated when they feel that their teacher sees and appreciates them. If you have a good connection with your students, they are more likely to listen to you and participate in class. In small classes, you can ask your students more personal questions. You can figure out the likes and interests of your students and then use these things in class.
Working with small classes also helps you figure out the strengths and weaknesses of each student. You can find out which types of learning they respond best to. This provides you with an opportunity to tailor your classes to their needs. Having personalized classes shows your students that you see them and care about them.
It’s not only easier for the teacher to build rapport with the students, but the student-to-student relationships are also better in a small class. There is not as much room for cliquing and excluding others, because there aren’t that many students. The class becomes a very close-knit community where kids are free to express themselves and learn without so much social pressure.
Having a well-managed class with great rapport will lead to something that all teachers strive for: engaging classes. At the end of the day, the most important thing for any teacher is that we can help our students learn and reach their goals. For our students to be able to do that, we need to create a happy and safe learning environment. There is nothing better than seeing your students enjoy and grow. With smaller class sizes you can be the calm and grounded teacher that your students need. You can build real connections with your students and help them on their English learning journey. If you are interested in teaching small class sizes, you can check out our open positions or apply directly.