Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Being a new teacher and trying to do the RIGHT thing.

So....I've started teaching again which is absolutely wonderful. I thoroughly enjoy teaching and I'm much better at it than I was at fruit picking AND as I love people I am so happy to have that regular interaction and also the ability to share something that I know about - the English language. I've had a few days at the school covering and they were great - one day was less great but the rest of my cover days were superb - left me feeling amazing and for that I felt they were successful days. Yesterday was test day and again - successful day! The students did their preparation before the test and then did the test, marked the test and mission success! TODAY was for me an unsuccessful day as a teacher in my books and I came home feeling pretty bummed. SO many things that could go wrong in a classroom did and my reactions were not always as good as I would have liked them to be because I was trying soooooooooo hard to do a good job and follow the rules and I started teaching the lesson and not the learners. I failed today and I don't really like failing or feeling like I've failed. I don't think anyone does so it's not as if I have discovered a new emotion - but the overwhelmingness of the emotion caught me by surprise.

The day started alright - some error correction - some eliciting of vocabulary related to where people live - some ranking and then please open your books - and BAM everything went downhill from there. The moment you open the books some people really exploit the speaking exercises and enjoy the process - and then others say two words to one another and then complete all the rest of the exercises in the book because the quest to finish everything is more important that speaking and using the language and then my detailed plan on how I was going to transition on the next exercise is lost because 1/3 of the class have already done the exercise and are sitting there wanting to use their phone and all that I have to say is useless because alas the task is completed and thus why would they need to listen! ( I sound jaded but I'm purely speaking from my emotional point of view so excuse the slight irrationality of my thoughts). So then I was juggling some people who were firing though the exercises as exercises cause they've done it before...others learning it for the first time....others focusing on the talking and following instructions to a T. Then some expressed how BORING the subject was - others expressed how HARD the subject was and others just had their phone. THEN....one of my most diligent students started crying and then my most arrogant student became more arrogant and then I spent time trying to convince him that if he doesn't know something rather than saying yes I know it he should ask and I would do my best to assist him. Then I blew my fuze cause people were using their phones then I set a speaking task and they wanted to go outside and the half of the class that couldn't be bothered BEGGED me to let them go and do the speaking task outside. And I acquiesced and then they stayed out for 30 minutes (which was a relief cause I could pay attention to the other half that were in the class) and then they returned and it was obvious that they had done nothing out there but relax in the sun - which wasn't so bad but they LIED and told me they had been doing something but they hadn't been. Oh.....and then the class ended and I felt like a failure got home and CRIED like a baby!

Tomorrow is a new day and I'm sure it'll be better but for now wah wah wee wah is my feeling. I have over the period of writing this drank a glass of wine and have to admit I'm feeling better. I think when I taught at EF I was so used to the system of trying to move away from the book and teach the point then come back to the book and solidify what you have taught whereas now I'm trying to accomplish all the tasks in the book and also add extra stuff to jazz up the lesson. I'm also doing my best to teach all the points in the one session because I'm not the sole teacher of the group and don't yet feel the freedom to organise my week according to the whole picture but am focusing on the small blocks that need to be achieved in a day.

I still love teaching and I'm looking forward to going in tomorrow and consolidating what I feel was a mess.

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