Second Lesson

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.


Velleity (noun): a wish or inclination not strong enough to lead to action.

I recently came across this word and I could not believe just how much this actually describes what I am currently experiencing.

My previous post was about my difficulties in finding a job in ESOL. After coming across that word, I wonder if my difficulties are actually difficulties or just excuses.

A good friend asked me a year or so ago what were my plans. I told him I have not made any plans as I have not completed my degree. I am now an exam away from completing my degree and I still have no plans. I have dreams. But dreams without actions will only remain as dreams.

Unfortunately, even though I have these dreams of teaching ESOL overseas, I have no real call to action. I am afraid.

I am afraid I am not good enough. I am afraid of failure. Why bother when I am safe where I am?

Fear has paralysed me.

I will get out of this rut I am in. Step by step.

Word. By. Word.

CELTA (iii)

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…

CELTA (ii)

I’ve just booked an apartment on Airbnb (it’s really just a room) and I am all set to head to Bangkok this November! All that is left is to purchase the plane ticket and my travel insurance.

I have paid a US$600 deposit to my CELTA centre to reserve a place for me. Never having made an overseas bank transfer before, I’m kind of worried that they may not have received my money. That seriously would not be fun. I will check with them within the next two days as I assume bank transfers do take some time. This is the first time I have even heard of SWIFT.

This feels even more nerve-wracking than the time I bought the engagement ring. How so? At least the ring is something tangible. The deposit? No idea if I did it right. If I did it right, that means I still need to transfer the rest of the course fees by October 16. If I did that wrong…? I don’t even want to go there.

I don’t think I can sleep tonight.