Evening 8 (Thurs 2012-02-02)
1. Teaching Practice
I wasn’t teaching this week. I was observing the others, taking notes and giving feedback. My remit: “What are you going to take away from these classes? What will you give the other trainees as a present?”
Four trainees were teaching for 30 mins each on the subject of National Characteristics and Stereotypes.
Here are some of my observations:
- Remind students your name in early lessons – this could be by just wearing a badge.
- “Hello everyone. How are you?” works well – even Sir Ken Robinson does this: Sir Ken Robinson: Do schools kill creativity?
- We’ve been told that there’s no real need to tell students what we’ll be doing later in the lesson but personally I think it’s worth giving some idea of the context right at the beginning. It must surely help orient the students quickly.
- Aim to give an instruction only once – plan it! Make it clear and concise.
- If students are to work individually, say so.
- Give an instruction, check understanding, do an example.
- If it’s timed, say how long for and give a relaxed countdown.
- Do not overstretch yourself with too much work – it’s a rush for you but an even bigger struggle for the students.
- Elicit answers – don’t give them all. Elicit spellings too.
- Listen to the students. Give them a chance to speak and be heard.
- If grouping students, try to balance numbers and genders by default.
- Correct pronunciation. It is not enough to simply communicate.
- Give feedback.
- Involve/check everyone.
- Nominate. Keep the pace up. But be sensitive to strugglers.
- Not too much writing on the whiteboard – pre-prepare if you can.
- If you do write, write legibly!
2. Feedback and Preparation for Next Week’s Teaching Practice
We discussed the lesson for 40 mins or so and then had 10 mins going quickly over what to do for next Thursday. The tutor discussed, gave criticism, feedback and encouragement to each trainee in turn. The two observers (incl me) were invited to give input too. During the two-hour class the tutor had been monitoring while simultaneously marking the trainees’ lesson plans and writing down criticisms. Quite a feat!
Next week we’re doing a lesson focusing on reading skills – reading for gist and for detail, and learning some new vocab. The theme is air travel, with text from the book “Air Babylon”
My slot is Stage 1 – doing a warmer and pre-teaching some vocab. I’m not sure how I’ll do the vocab yet but I have The Most Perfect Video to introduce it! Here’s a clue… I’ll let you know how it all goes next week!