I am taking up Laura Sexton’s challenge – her latest post looks at the ‘changes’ she has undergone as a teacher through her responses to a series of questions (repeated each 5 years). We talk a lot about working to produce reflective students and I think it is equally important to take these opportunities to reflect on our own teaching practice. With thanks to Laura for sparking this post….my answers to the @sraspanglish reflection challenge.
1. I am a good teacher because I reflect, change, adjust (and throw out stuff) as I learn more about teaching – and what good teaching is.
2. If I weren’t a teacher I would put my MBA to use and be in marketing or advertising. I like the challenge, both intellectual and creative, that this area of business presents.
3. My teaching style is a work in process but much much looser than it used to be. I’ve eased up a lot on the ‘control’ and have become more of a guide than a dictator!
4. My classroom is busy, loud and colourful with students sitting at tables of 4. I’ve been in the same room for 15 years so the Hello Kitty decorations and anime posters help with the Japanese ambiance! 10 years ago my students sat in rows facing the whiteboard – and me.
5. My lesson plans are less ‘concrete’ than I would sometimes like. Some days they are detailed and others – not so much. They are more of a ‘weekly plan’ – recognizing that there are objectives but allowing for more/less time to focus on things as needed.
6. One of my teaching goals is to explore all the acronyms – PBL, TPRS and more – and add them to my repertoire.
7. The toughest part of teaching is also the most exciting – the fact that you are never ‘done’.
8. The thing I love most about teaching is that magic moment when my students are in the zone and fully engaged – and I’m standing on the side essentially just watching it all happen.
9. A common misconception about teaching is that still that good teaching is ‘stand and deliver’ in a classroom that is quiet with all students focused on the teacher. A common misconception about language teaching is that we spend our days ‘doing grammar’ and that if you don’t understand ‘grammar’ you can’t be a successful language learner.
10. The most important thing I’ve learned since I started teaching is to relax and give up the control. Honestly! The less it is about me – the more it is about the most important people in the room – the learners.
Thanks again to my wonderful #langchat amiga Laura for this idea. She encourages you to either blog your answers to her post – or reply in her comments section – What would your answers be?