a story about bad grammar and non-existent punctuation and my TEFL adventures
This month I’ve found myself back in the classroom, not as an EFL teacher but as a trainer. Teacher training is one of my favourite aspects of my career; watching the trainees become more and more interested and excited about TEFL always reminds me how much I love this industry.
This is the first training course I’ve done for a while and I feel like I’ve developed a lot as a teacher since the last one and it’s been interesting for me to realise how much I have changed as a trainer. My recent stint as a Young Learner teacher really proved to me that I have finally begun to truly understand the concept of patience, and now I have realised that I am generally more understanding and emphathetic. I feel like I used to expect magic from my trainees right from the word go so I would always wonder why they would fall into the same traps again and again – too much TTT, unclear instructions, all the usual suspects.
This time around, it has been much clearer to me that there is so much knowledge to be taken in (and we hadn’t even started dealing with language yet!). It didn’t take long for me to realise I was seeing them absorbing the information but then not really understanding how this it was all going to translate into lessons. In other words, complete information overload with little practical application.
What I started to do then, from a very early stage, was give them demo lessons and them get them to come up with lesson plans for other lessons with similar content. Of course they weren’t giving detailed lesson plans at this stage, but it got them thinking about the different lesson stages, procedures and classroom management. We’ve had amazing discussions on Dogme, flipped classrooms, authentic materials and relevance and appropriacy and it’s been awesome to see how these discussions have fed into their ideas for their lessons. When it comes time for these students to teach lessons, I am already confident they will have a solid foundation on which to develop.
It’s always such a great feeling when you know you are sending our competent EFL teachers into the wild.