Friday’s lesson went better than Wednesday’s.
What I did differently: I ‘copied’ what Grace did to ensure participation. The class had already been divided into groups. What I did was to introduce a point-system. The way to earn these points was to participate in class. However, to ensure that everyone participates, each person who answers can no longer answer until everyone in the group has answered. This prevents the stronger students from dominating and ensures even the weaker students have a chance to speak.
Next, I told them that every week, the points will be tallied and on Friday, the group who scores the most point will get a reward from me.
Thirdly, bite-seized chunks and focused topic. Previous lesson, I tried to do too many things without giving them ‘take-up time’. This time, actual teaching/explanation was only 5 – 10 mins with sufficient concept check questions. Once the students have demonstrated they understood the concept, one more ‘stretch’ question is given. the ‘stretch’ question is a question that is just a little bit more challenging and if students are able to answer it, it shows that they really understood the concept instead of memorising a set formula.
After the concept checks and the ‘stretch’ question, students were then given the rest of the lesson to complete the exercises provided. While they were busy working on the questions, I went around to monitor their work and I’m happy to say that all were on task.
It’s a good end to the week.
Yesterday was my first ever lesson with the Primary 3s. It didn’t go as well as I had planned.
First off, my class management skills were ‘meh’. I guess it was due in part to me not knowing the class well enough as well as me not setting expectations. My CT was in the class and I assumed (erroneously of course) that the students will behave. They most certainly did not.
Second, I had four periods to fill. Four 30 min periods. Two hours. 120 mins! So what did I do? I filled it with activities! (Kind of.) It didn’t work. I wanted to do too many things. I wanted to teach adverbs as well as to get students to read as well as get students to complete two worksheets as well as teach students to annotate the text they were supposed to read as well as get them to actually annotate the text as well as… Yep. Too many things. For a Primary 3 class.
Third, I realised on looking back, I was engaging only with the higher ability pupils and neglecting the lower ability ones. I did realise it mid-way through the lesson and I did try slow down to allow the slightly weaker students to catch up. However, in doing so, I forgot about engaging the higher ability students and they became bored and distracted. And then they started distracting the other students. Silly mistake for someone who’ve been in the classroom for a while now.
Tomorrow, I will be teaching my second lesson. Thank God tomorrow’s lesson is only one period. Now, reflection is one thing. Knowing my issues is a third of the battle won. Let’s see if I can implement it properly.
I have passed the CELTA course. I am now a certified ESOL teacher. On paper.
In real life however, I am not an ESOL teacher. I have applied to a few schools and I have been rejected by all of them. Some cite the fact that I have yet to finish my Bachelor’s as a reason. Yet some others cite the fact that I do not have any relevant ESOL experience as a reason to reject my application. So here I am, stuck in limbo.
My final exams will be held in May 2016 and if everything goes well, my convocation will be held in October 2016. The longer I stay in my current job, the longer I end up not being able to teach ESOL. Not being able to teach ESOL means I will not be able to garner experience in teaching ESOL. I fear my time is running out.
I do not want to teach English in a mainstream school. I want to teach ESOL, not English.
I fear I may have to give up my dream if this goes on. I fear I may settle for teaching English after all.
God help me if that happens.
Actually, all I want is just to teach…