Wednesday, April 22, 2015

So, You Want to be an English Teacher?

I've worked in several places where I've heard co-workers note: "Yannow.. They should make a reality TV show out of us working here! Life here at the home improvement store would make a great reality show with all these strange customers coming in...asking us all these strange questions. It'd be perfect!"

Umm. No. It wouldn't.

Great reality TV needs things like an exotic location with a diverse cast of odd personalities from all walks of life. It needs people enduring real hardships and being forced way out of their comfort zones. There needs to be drama. Crying. Laughing. Desperation. Mental breakdowns. People hooking up behind the scenes (that hasn't happened yet, but it probably will). Cast members leaving the show because they can't handle it anymore. In other words, a CELTA course like the one I'm taking now would make a great reality TV show. We've had all of that.

So, You Want to be an English Teacher? I even got a title for it!

Here in day three, two students were unable to deliver their lessons. One stayed on with the promise that she'd make it up later. One left the facility and went back to the hotel. A third trainee ended his lesson 5 minutes early and then just walked off the site without word to anyone. Some of the other teachers and I talked to this last guy encouraging him to give it a go. Three breakdowns on day three. It feels like an episode of Survivor.

One of the trainees who couldn't bring himself to deliver his first lesson was in my TP group. I really like the guy, and I hope he pulls himself together, although I'm leaving the counseling to folks with whom he's a little closer. In any case, I was asked to cover his lesson. These students paid money for their course, and we couldn't just cancel the class. I only had to lead games and activities for 45 minutes. Filler stuff, so it wasn't hard. In fact, I enjoyed the opportunity to show the other trainees some of my favorite ways of wasting time and goofing off in a classroom. The students had fun and maybe learned something, at least.

I got my trainer evaluation back on my first TP. Yeah, I've got a lot to work on. In the back of my head, I sorta knew I had a tendency to do too much teacher-lead learning and not enough student-centered-activities, but it was different seeing it on paper. The suggested solutions to that were surprising to me as well. More worksheets? Really? Alright. You're the experts.

In any case, although I've only known these troubled trainees for a few days, seeing others fall apart isn't something anyone with a heart enjoys. Unfortunately, just like with Reality TV shows, that's part of this experience.

Time to lesson plan.

1 comment:

  1. Getting constructive criticism can be very valueable, even when it hurts yoeur pride a little. You can't improve if you don't know your weaknesses. For now, change what is suggested. Evaluate the result, and when you are back on your own, use the elements that work best. Your way? A new way? Or a combination of both.

    Get good night sleeps, and don't drink to much.


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