Date : 2017-01-31
My first recollection of school is September, 1st – it is the day when the school year begins in my country. It was 1991. The school yard was full of dressed up children of all ages and every kid had a bouquet of flowers to give to a teacher. Everybody was excited the festive atmosphere seemed to overwhelm not only children but their parents and teachers who had already seen dozens of school lineups. I was a 7 year old girl with giant white bows on my ponytails and an even bigger than myself bouquet of flowers I brought for HER – my first teacher. SHE turned out to be a beautiful young woman who struck me with kind big eyes and a waist-length black braid. From that moment I knew my heart belonged to her.My first recollection of studying English is connected with another teacher – an thin old lady with a short hair cut and sharp grey eyes. I (an 11 year old kid, proud of myself for doing the home task with no mistakes)- came up to her saying that I liked English very much and I wanted to study it to be a teacher. In reply I heard: “You??? You will NEVER be able to master the language or to be a teacher!”So, here I am……Why did I choose to teach English? Out of contradictious spirit, I guess. That old lady never knew of my success but I didn’t need it. I reached my “teaching-English goal” and my ego is satisfied. Every day I make the world a bit more educated and I think this is my Teaching Purpose.My long term goals? Not to discourage! If I were to choose the motto for my students it would be YOU CAN. However, this is the phrase I keep saying to them every lesson.My short term goal is to make every student come out of my classroom with one more new English word, one more grammar rule or at least with a smile.Teaching styleThe most reliable to me was the communicative approach. In fact this is the only approach we studied at the University and after viewing Course 2 I finally understood why the university curriculum didn’t include all other approaches. It appealed to me because the communicative approach seemed to be the golden middle this was a successful attempt to create a teaching method that would not run to extremes. As to other approaches, I fancy the affective-humanistic one. Particularly, I liked the idea of making a student comfortable while learning so that he was as much relaxed as possible. I think that this approach is the one we could by all means call student-centered. One of the ideas I particularly liked is letting a student choose an English name for the time of the lesson it can really help a student to plunge into learning a language.I am teaching school children of all ages, from elementary to high school students. The main need of my students is to get knowledge and improve their grade as a result. My teaching style helps students not to get stuck on one thing like grammar or reading but develop all skills as a whole. I plan lessons in such a way that students have an opportunity to practice reading, writing, speaking and listening comprehension skills during these 45 minutes we have. I motivate them to learn by creating the tasks that they could use in real life like making projects, shooting short movies, interviewing. I do hope that they enjoy it.Teaching TechniquesAmong my favourite techniques are teacher talk, scaffolding, modeling and positive language. In my lessons I try to stick to 20/80 rule and lesson planning helps me do it. It is very useful to give some time to a certain activity and on completing the lesson plan to count how much time you spend on explaining and teaching and how much time students actually practice the language. If you can do the 20/80 rule in the plan, so all you have to do during the lesson is to stick to it. For example, my lesson lasts 45 minutes which means I can actually teach no more than 10 minutes, other 35 minutes of my lesson should be student-centered. I only make exceptions in case I have to explain a difficult rule, but even then I don’t take more than 15 minutes of the lesson time because students might get bored.I can say that my students are motivated. Of course, motivation for different age group is also different. For little ones my “star poster” is the best praise (I have a poster with photos of “star” students which I renew every week), teenagers like my “wish box” idea – they can ask for advice, express their likes, dislikes or opinions and they know they will always get feedback. I use positive language, namely I prefer to say what a student should or need to do instead of what he should not. And I always make myself clear what I want from my students. Of course I can’t do without teacher talk as well.Among warm up activities that I usually use at the beginning of the lesson are asking lesson-related questions, reading rhymes or phonics, telling stories like “today, when I was walking to school…”.Guided practice and independent practice activities include dialogues (filling up the lines and making up dialogues), grammar exercises (filling up the gap with the necessary tense and making up sentences using a certain tense), reading comprehension (answering questions on the text and making up an alternative ending). The above mentioned activities integrate easily in any lesson plan. Usually I use formative and summative assessment. In formative assessment my favourite types are peer reviews, votes (it is when the class votes for the best student of the lesson) and projects. I like them because these kinds of assessment teach students not only to grade but also to provide rationalization for their opinion.
This resource was uploaded by: Marie-chantal