Wednesday, August 26, 2009

How can I be an effective teacher while I know so little about teaching?

I know that sometimes I talk to fast or I explain things in a complicated way but just let me do it. I will learn from my own mistakes (usually by the dumb-founded looks on my students' faces).

The past few days have been moments of learning.

After my super terrible demo for that News Camp last week, head office has been all over me to make sure that the one I have this Saturday goes better. Unfortunately, it's a little too much too late. I wish that had just told me up front what they were expecting.

They have quickly realized they shouldn't have given a solo act to a brand new teacher. I'm going out of my mind with all of the "feedback" I've been getting. Some of it really is helpful, but sometimes it is just a swift kick in the pants.

Have you ever just gotten too much feedback to the point that it irritates you a little and then you sort of shut down?

I know I'm not the best teacher ever and I certainly don't expect myself to be after only two months at it. But in knowing that I push myself to learn.

I want to be a good teacher. It's in my nature to want to be good at the things that I do.

I always ask people (other foreign teachers, my co-teachers) what I can do to be better. Sometimes they have great answers. Most of the time they aren't sure.

But now all of a sudden, head office has plenty of suggestions.

They observed my kindie class last night. There were plennty of suggestions after that. I was really nervous, mostly because I knew it would be terrible. I haven't observed a kindie class and it's only my third or fourth week in there. I haven't really figured it all out just yet.

In fact, I asked to observe a kindie class so I could get ideas but head office told me there isn't anyone to watch.

I'm sure you can see how this would beat up one's self-esteem. At lot of it just comes from the fact that I've always been kind of a natural at my jobs. I mean, food and beverage service is kind of a no-brainer, but I was really good at it. I was the kind of person that people came back asking for.

As a reporter I always got compliments with flying colors from editors and readers. Not that I never had anything to learn. I certainly learned constantly while in reporting and editing positions.

But now, it's ALL learning with no time to learn it. Then you add the fact that while I'm learning, I'm teaching. I have trouble understanding how I can be an effective teacher when sometimes I feel like I have no idea what I'm doing.

1 comment:

  1. hang in there, lady! the lack of training is definitely the most frustrating thing you're going to encounter. the best thing you can do is what you've been doing; be honest with admin about how you just simply don't know what you're supposed to be doing and you haven't received adequate training. they can't fault you because it really comes down to them.

    aside from that, all of us learn as we go. the only thing you can do is remember that the games and everything youre doing is to help them speak better conversational english. the coteacher will do the grammar, you just need to help them with their listening, speaking and pronunciation. if you pick a few sticking points (like TH, S, plurals, the be verbs) and really focus on those, the kids will follow you.

    listen to the teachers who really know what they're doing. dena has some really good, effective strategies. so does justin. so does josh justice.
    good luck :) don't let them get to you! by the end of your time there, you'll be able to see changes in the kids and yourself. it just takes time.