miércoles, 9 de mayo de 2007

Teaching in a service training

I was invited for a group of graduate teachers to be a menber of the staff of a service training, teaching mainly in companies. I got surprised the other day when I opened up my E- mail box and found a message telling that I've been chosen to be a menber of the group of teachers. So the following day I went there for an interview with Peter Harrison, a teacher whom I met in a course in English business and management two years ago. While I was waiting for Peter there was a notice on a board showing the most important qualities that a teacher needs to have to work for this kind of service. There was also a sign at the end of the notice that said "any suggestions you'd like to add?" and I wondered myself of a list of thing a teacher needs to have, and here are some quotations I'd like to share with you:
- a teacher needs to be/have
- tolerant and patient
- handle the class dynamic
- Allow students to communicate themselves
- Allow students to feel confident with the language
- Tolerant to errors
- Grade the task according to the students interests and needs
- promote discovery learning
- Select appropriate material to students
- Help the learners to contrust their own knowledge
- Provide the students all the necessary tools to manage with the language
- select relevant activities to them
These items I thought are the ones that accompany my every day life when teaching. To me , a good teacher needs to have this quealities, and the most important thing: we teachers needs to have the capacity of believing that we are not God, we do not have the capacity of knowing everything, this will help us to grow with our students, to see what you need to adjust in your classes, according to our students interests and needs. All of these things are "in your hands" because I'm the one who thinks that everything is posible if you want it, so let's work on that.
From Teaching and learning........ By tricia Hedge
(Discussion topic item 5)

Teaching adolescents for the first time

TEACHING adolescents is not an easy task to be carried out. It is also difficult for us, as teachers, when we meet them for the very first time: Your body shivers and you start trembling for a second till the moment you come "on stage". The first thing the teacher has to do when facing a group for the very first time is to share some of the experience with them, telling them what they are going to do over the year, and some interesting things that they would like to do. It is useful the use of a class survey with a questionnaire guide by which you can include those things (or relevant ones) they would like to do with you during the year course of studies. Once you read at home their answers you would have an overall idea about what they WANT and what they NEED to learn. We, as teachers, have to show our students that learning a language is another subject at school they have to take into account. It is also important the selection of relevant material (things that they are accostomed to seeing in everyday life) to show them their own reallia. (Bad habits, for example or sports) so they can work on a proyect based on this topic work. Having said this, I would like to add that adolecsents, like children have to learn a language for a purpose to apply it in everyday life, feeling confident with the topic they are learning, and also our main task is to give them the tools for this to be carried out. Last, but not least, it is important to remark that motivation is essential for them because when students are motivated the process of learning makes easier our every day teaching

From teaching and language.... by tricia hedge
(points for discussion - option 2)

jueves, 3 de mayo de 2007

Excuse me, may I come in?

Who I felt when I first observed a lesson? Well, it's a bit difficult to explain. When I arrived at a class, everybody (the students I mean) looked at you as if you were an invader. After the teacher introduces you to the students, things are really different and if you see the expression on your faces, the thing changes. The first thing the observer has to do is to feel confident with the teacher, asking him or her when he or she allows you to come to the class. It's a good thing to write a list of priorities you would like to know before hand such as the number of Ss in the class, the characteristics of the group, fast or slow learners for example, the book they are using, and so on
Having sat at the back of the class, you see how they are sat, the furniture, if the room is lighted enough to make students confortable during the development of the class...and suddenly the class starts. Now the teacher is ready to develop her class, and you are ready to observe the way the teacher handles the lesson, how she/he introduces an activity, grammar pattern or presenting a skill (listening for example). As soon as the class is finished it is important to show the teacher your impressions about the class and it is remarkable to say that you can comment how you felt during the class. The teacher will feel estimulated with your comments and of course this will help them to create new things or new ideas in the class that will allow them to have success in their classes.