That went surprisingly well.

November 21, 2011

My students have to take a speaking test. This usually drives even the most confident of students to tears. I don’t like driving my students to tears, so I try to make it as painless as possible. I tell them to breathe, and set my face in the most sympathetic and encouraging expression I can muster. 

Most of my students do pretty well, and I can tell they studied the questions, but like all teachers, I have The One Class. The class that sometimes drives me to tears. So I had already told the class that if the majority did well, I would have music and games, but if the majority say “pass” to all the questions, we would study instead. 

Well, I almost didn’t bring the music clip because like I said, this is The One Class. I was most pleasantly surprised today. One student who is normally very shy and doesn’t speak much tried, and although it wasn’t an A, she did make more of an effort than I expected. I told her I was proud of her, and she looked at me like I was crazy. But I was proud, because she went out on a limb, and did something that was very difficult for her. Her spine straightened a bit. These are the moments I love.

The rest of the class did well, and I had a few more surprises, so we listened to some music and I gave them some free time and talked to them and tried to encourage them.  Even though it was a Monday, it was a pretty good day.


I didn’t realize…

November 19, 2011

I had been gone so long. So far grad school is going well, and my students are still pretty awesome. I am going to try to work a bit more on this blog, and try to get more of my teaching philosophy in.

A friend is doing an online teaching portfolio and all the cool teachers have a teaching philosophy, so being a semi-cool teacher, I want one too.

I can tell you what I love about teaching- it is creative, no class or day is the same, I work with people who want to make the world a bit better, my work is something of value. I believe that education is a key to happy life. It can help bring people out of material poverty and mental poverty.  I love that ah ha moment when one of my students finally get something I’m teaching. I love working with my students, I love planning a lesson and tying to make sure that the higher level students are challenged and the lower level students can build on their language.

But I don’t have  a  philosophy of teaching. That is going to be my new project – after the final project for grad school.