If you’ve done your research on moving to Cambodia & teaching English, you would know that you will likely need to do a teaching demo as a part of your interview process. Hopefully your TEFL course has already set you up for this – but what if it didn’t? What if it did but you’re a bit rusty? Not to worry – keep calm and read our four major tips for passing your teaching demo in Cambodia.
First of all, what is a teaching demo?
A teaching demo is a step in the hiring process at many schools, and you’re pretty much guaranteed to be asked to complete one if you’ll be teaching English in Phnom Penh. In most cases, you’re asked to teach a demo class to the students, with the hiring panel sitting at the back of the class watching what you’ve got. You may be given material to cover, and you may not.
Ok. Does that sound vague and intimidating? Don’t worry. Teachers of all levels can get nervous when asked to do a teaching demo, and the thought of doing one can be terrifying even when you have experience. Here are our four main tips on passing a teaching demo in Cambodia.
1. Ask the principal/hiring manager the right questions before going in for your teaching demo
We learned this the hard way. When Nick went in for his teaching demo, he thought the principal had said ‘fifteen minutes’ when he really said ‘fifty minutes’. Can you imagine having to wing an additional 35 minute lesson?
Don’t be afraid to ask the principal/hiring manager to clarify the details of your teaching demo during your interview. Here is our list of must-knows:
- What age and level are the students?
- How many students will there be in the class?
- How much time do I have to complete the demo?
- Do you have a curriculum, or a copy of the textbook pages that the students are working on at this point in the year?
2. Pick one topic, and prepare an entire lesson around it
Yep, pick one topic or theme for your teaching demo and stick to it. Be an expert. This is a really great way to stay focused.
Come prepared with a song, a game, and a worksheet all for that one topic.
For example, for nursery or kindergarten students, you could do an entire demo just on “fruit”. Prepare to teach & sing the song “Apples & Bananas”, bring a toy apple and a toy banana, play ‘hot potato’ with the apple. Hey, I don’t know. These are just ideas!
Even if you are teaching a high school class, no one is too old for games. I repeat. No one is too old for games. In fact, you will probably win the class over if you can get creative and whip out a periodic table game.
3. Come prepared with a reward system
Everybody likes a teacher with stickers.
Spend the first chunk of your teaching demo getting to know the student’s names. Remember, they’re not going to fail if they don’t soak up your entire lesson from the demo. If you get the job, you will have plenty of time to teach them the whole curriculum.
Ask them to each introduce themselves, write their names on the boards, and give them stickers when they get answers correct later on. It’s worth taking the time – and remember – everyone likes stickers.
4. Think about the students, not the faculty
The most important thing to remember for your teaching demo in Cambodia is to focus on the students. Yes, it can be nerve-wracking when the entire panel is sitting at the back of the classroom taking notes on your performance. We’re almost positive that nobody likes to be in that position.
If you win the kids over, you’ve already won the faculty over. Breathe. Take your time. Joke around, make them laugh, and have fun. After all, when you get the job, they will be the most important ones anyway.
Find our post on How to get a paid teaching job in Cambodia here.