Reflections

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The #Sandwichreflection
It is the end of the academic year, students are getting a bit restless, some teachers are as well : ). Summer is around the corner. So, what time is it? Time to reflect, of course, but with a twist. I am sure you know of the sandwich feedback (good point- bad point- good point) so how about trying out a kind of sandwich…. reflection? Why not write about a professional or academic achievement, follow this by a weakness ( or weaknesses) and then another strength.? You may now ask, “why this way?” I don’t know about you guys, but very often when I reflect, I am so nitpicky that I find it very difficult to see my strengths, and I often just focus on my weaknesses. I dwell over the should’ve, would’ve, could’ve. So, time to make a sandwich and as dessert….. an action plan : ). What kind of reflection post would this be without an action plan?

Note to the reader: I would like to make this into some sort of blog chain, so I have asked other teachers/bloggers to follow up with blog posts of their own reflections.

                                                The Sandwich

A good moment- an accomplishment
I completed and passed module two of the Cambridge Delta. I do not know about you, but for me, the Delta was a tough cookie. I was teaching many hours a day, trying to run a business and squeeze in time to study. My motto those days was, “Stress, worry and complain”. But, I did it! I passed, and now the wonderful world of module 3 awaits.

MyWeakness(es)

  • Bad choice of course book for my C2 level students. They were bored, I was bored. The material was outdated. I had used this book in the past and it had worked, but this time it was a very bad choice. I ended up supplementing a lot and in the end we just stopped using it!
  • Too many projects going on at the same time, I was swamped! Whatever webinar I saw I would say , ” Oh! That’s great! I am gonna do this” and then I would forget. A MOOC? “Yes! I will try this as well” (I didn’t finish that either). I find lots of things out there extremely interesting, I get overwhelmed and end up doing nada!
  • Teaching grammar points I just don’t like teaching. This is an all time classic weakness. If I do not like the grammar point I am teaching, my delivery is, well, bad. For example, I find teaching modal verbs extremely hard. I never do this well! Teaching modal verbs this year was once again not my greatest moment!
Another good moment this year
I presented at two conferences (TESOL Greece and Belta day). I loved it. I met lovely people. Got to share my views and hear their thoughts. It was a such a rewarding experience and I look forward to the next conference, whenever that is!
My action plan
  1. Regarding course books, I need to get out of my comfort zone and be a bit more adventurous with books. So, I found a book that worked with my students a couple of years ago? That does  always mean it will work the next year! I actually have this year’s flop to prove it! In Greece at language schools you are very often expected to use a course book, so I am not going to chuck em out. I am going to scan them better. I will ask my colleagues what they are using. Maybe even try a few pages out with my students before concluding to one or the other.
  2. I really need to manage my time more effectively, be more conscious about my needs as a learner and make notes of the dates of the webinars, MOOCs or whatever else is out there and has grabbed my attention. I also have to accept the fact that I cannot attend everything, I just need to screen them better and choose the ones that are actually connected to my needs as a learner.
  3. Regarding teaching my least favourite grammar points, well that’s a hard one. I could ask a couple of colleagues to observe them whilst they are teaching and get some ideas. I could get suggestions from my learners about how they would like me o approach a particular grammar point (what tasks they like doing, how they like to learn). I could also search the net for more fun things to do or…. any other suggestions? (yes, I am talking to you the reader).

I really enjoyed this academic year, I had  some very good moments and some difficult ones. I look forward to the challenges and the happy moments ahead….

You have been tagged fellow teacher and feel free to tag someone else if you wish : D
Angeliki Asteri
Ola Bakri
Sally Fryer
Lia Kalianos
Vicky Loras
Gemma Mitchelson
Vicky Papageorgiou
Theodora Papapanagiotou- read her post here
Roseli Serra
Hana Ticha-read post here
Vedrana Vojkovic- read post here

Final thoughts
If you wish to take part in this blog chain, feel free to add your blog post in the comments section!!! I do suggest you try it though cause I think it is a great way to reflect especially if , as a teacher, you do tend to focus more on the negative aspects than the positive ones.I will be back with a the links to  the reflections of the lovely teachers I tagged and a couple of guest posts as well 🙂 There is also a hastag #sandwichreflection (thnks Hana and Vedrana for the hashtag suggestion!) 

Thanks for reading……

Till next time……

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