I wanted to blog today and I am going to share with you two things that happened this week. Both are good things. Moments that made me happy.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote a blog post about a very bad teaching moment. In a nutshell, I was having a grammar review lesson with a student who is always telling me that he hates grammar. When we reached the production stage, this learner stopped talking. He didn’t want to answer any of my questions because he hadn’t revised the grammar (past tenses). So, I panicked and this lesson just went from bad to worse, and both of us couldn’t wait for it to be over (you can find the whole post here). Even though the learner had asked for the grammar lesson, this approach was not working. I still wanted to see what he had learnt though, so I started thinking, “How can I revise tenses in a more fun way without it being an actual grammar lesson” And then came the brainwave. Story -telling!! I found one of my video-based sessions about a kid and an emergency. This was what I was going to use with my learner in our next lesson. The next lesson came. We did different tasks as warmer,I watched the video with him, and then asked my learner to tell me what had happened. And then came a torrent of past tenses!!! All used correctly except a few minor mistakes in irregular verbs. Instead of correcting my learner straight away, I started taking notes of the mistakes in the irregular verbs. Since my learner gets a bit frustrated when I correct his mistakes, I waited for him to finish and then I gave him some sandwich feedback. I told him how great his story was. I then said, ” I am going to read a few sentences and I want you to tell me what the mistake is. My voice was as soft as can be. It worked!! We went through all the mistakes in irregular verbs. Wrapped up the lesson. He said that he really liked this lesson and wanted to do more of these kinds of sessions. We will.
So, what’s the message here? Well, even if a lesson is really bad, you don’t give up. You gotta pick yourself up, and try to be resourceful/flexible. Brainstorm and think of other ways. Talk with colleagues. Don’t freak out!! You cannot always be a “super duper teacher”. It’s OK to not always be a “super duper” teacher. The next lesson will be better.
I love going to conferences. Sharing my ideas and learning from others is something I really draw pleasure from. I sent a proposal to my first IATEFL BESIG conference and I also applied for a first time speaker scholarship (The Maria Keller Scholarship award) and I got it!! I got a scholarship. I have never, ever won anything, and now this happened. I feel so happy and so thankful to all the IATEFL BESIG people. After having such a bad year professionally (I had to shut down my language school), feeling like I am doing lots of things wrong, this came a long and made my day. My year. I am so, so, sooo thankful.
What’s the message here? Just keep trying. A brighter day always comes along. Be positive and take risks. You never know what might come out of it.
Here is a link to Iatefl scholarships in case you are interested (Thanks to Marisa for sharing).
Hana Ticha has written a blog post about one of her bad teaching moments and you can find it here
Yeah, so those are the two things I wanted to share. Thanks for reading.
Till next time…….