Saturday, 21 January 2012

The Fickle Face of Teaching

It's been a mixed week for me.  On Monday I had a run in with a student.  He challenged my teaching methods, and I challenged his attitude.  We came to a mutual agreement to move forward, but it left me feeling rather despondent.

On Tuesday, I had quite productive lessons with my usually more difficult learners.  I feel we've built up a better relationship, and that we're all benefiting from this.

On Wednesday, I had a great lesson.  We had fun, we learned lots, and the students were fully engaged.  I even came away from the lesson with the next session fully planned out in my head.

This seems to be the normal way of things in teaching.  I don't think I'm alone in going from one extreme to another on an almost hourly basis.  I am constantly experimenting with what works and what doesn't, and there is always the unexpected reaction of my learners to deal with.  Whilst this makes for an interesting and challenging career, I do sometimes wish for a simpler life!

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Leaving them to it

I did some discussion / brainstorming work with a couple of my groups this week.

At some points, the discussions became noisy and even heated.  For once, I put on my own brakes and left them to it, only steering them back on course when I felt they had digressed too far from the point.

It was somewhat chaotic, but it was great to see everyone engaging and getting enthusiastic about the topic.  Far better to have a noisy, energetic (if a little disorganised) session, than one where everyone sits silently wishing the clock to tick faster.  Sometimes not saying anything gives the learners a chance to voice their own opinions.