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Present to Grades 1-3


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I'm going to go to a school and present a few health classes to children grades 1-3 fairly soon. I'm feeling the pressure right now because there'd be teachers there as well - watching you do your job. If there are only kids, then I would be less self-conscious.


Does anyone have any good insights as to what i should do to perfect these presentations? I really want to get this right, but being a guy who was raised to divert his attention to 3 different languages simultaneously, I sometimes have a hard time getting a message accross without my english grammar will go out of place. I'm very self-conscious about my inability to fluently present this. Any good advice on how i should practice? I'm okay with the content and will definitely be prepared. But something will definitely go wrong, and i want to minimize that as best as possible.

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I am a grade one teacher.


My best advice? If you make a mistake, just keep going. You can say 'oops, I didn't mean to say that' or whatever, but kids are very forgiving. They won't laugh at you, not in any hurtful way anyway.


My kids at school think I'm so cool, simply because I'm their teacher and I teach them things. You will be a novelty to them- a new teacher is very exciting.


And as for the teachers, they'll just be happy that you are doing the work for a bit. I'm sure they'll be interested too.


Don't worry. You'll be fine I'm sure

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If you're worried about your stpeaking skills, how about making some visuals to go along with things? That way if you feel yourself going out of place, you'll have the visuals to guide yourself AND to distract the kids from the mistake that you made. Plus, children that age love colorful things, and it's always a good idea to mix up oral and visual aspects...

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Grades 1-3 are a lot of fun. I do presentations for Junior Achievement and the kids are always glad to see a guest speaker come in. It's a nice break in their day.


Make it fun. Have a good time with it. If the kids laugh, then they are paying attention. Kids that age do not have a long attention span, so keep any lectures to 5 minutes for 1st grades and maybe 10 for the 3rd graders. Then do activities and engage them so they aren't just sitting there.


If something goes wrong, just laugh about it and move on. If you don't make a big deal out of it, they won't either. And the teachers are just glad for a little break. They are there to help you too so if you get stuck or need help with anything, just ask them.


Enjoy it! You'll get a kick out of seeing all the kids faces

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It's awesome to hear the situation from a teacher's perspective. So they will actually be glad to have me here so they can take a break. I just hope the teachers who will be there is as forgiving as you sounded.


labo & avman, I'll definitely go for visuals and games. I can imagine how i was like when i was that age, gotta be enthusiastic. I think I'm the right person to take on this talk because my own attention span is very short even after i grew up. So i'll know how they're like and will be doing some crazy stuff... haha. Thanks for the advice guys.


The talk will be held 5 weeks from now, I'll update this post if anyone is interested in how it went.

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  • 1 month later...

This post has been over a month, and i've just completed one of my presentation today.


So here is the update:


Fluency was one of my problem, so i had to get this handled. Prior to the presentation, i went up to many strangers and ask if i can perform on them. Those who are willing are very friendly and asked lots of questions. It lead me to consolidate my ideas as well as getting some constructive feedbacks on how i should arrange my wordings.


So we went and did a 60 minutes presentation where the last 20 minutes of the presentation was mine.

Interestingly, the children's attention span didn't fade for the first 30 minutes, and one after another it starts to disappear.


The teacher gave us some feedback afterwards that we should keep the presentation 40 minutes at most because that's how long their attention span can endure.


Being the last person to present, things weren't as favorable to me. I did manage to gain most of their attention. However, i am still dissatisfied with myself because if i were good, i would have been able to keep their attention span longer. (My presentation was filled with activities with one working better than the other, so i know that i could regain their attention without having to resort to clapping my hands and go "Listen up guys" - if only i were good enough)


One thing i realized is that with their knowledge combined (I present to grade 2), they are equivalent to a grade 6 student. I've totally underestimated them.


As far as the teacher goes, she is a professional. She uses effective words, she has full control of the grade 2 children, and she also used a lot of subtle techniques to educate the group. Examples would be to count out "5,4,3,2,1" then the entire group of children counts WITH her and everyone eventually became quiet. She also took 1 trouble kid to sit beside her to show the kids what is not appropriate to do BUT she didn't punish the kid. It's like a class rule, children knows what's expected of them and if they behaved inappropriately, then they get taken out of the group. When she pick students to answer, she chose to do it randomly instead of one after the next because the children would listen more carefully rather than worrying when it's their turn and not listen. I came out of the school and the only thing in my mind was, "this teacher is good" We were teaching the class, but she was doing the traffic control. Without her, the presentation wouldn't have flowed so well. Under her guidance, i can see that the environment is extremely healthy for the kids. Hopefully they all grow up to become happy and healthy.

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I wouldn't beat yourself up too much. A single 60 minute presentation is indeed too long for children of that age. The teacher gave you some excellent feedback - shorten the total presentation and things will go much smoother.


Also, it is not a reflection of your abilities that the students had to be reminded to pay attention and listen. That is a fact of life with students of that age and this is why every teacher develops their own unique way of refocusing their class. Some use claps, some count down, some do an "eyes on me", etc.


The teacher and the presenter work as a team. Indeed the teacher will be the traffic cop and keep the class directed. So it sounds like all of your worked very well together.


With practice, you'll feel more comfortable in front of a class and it will seem to go much smoother. Relax and have fun with it. If you are having fun, the students will have fun too.

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