Posts Tagged teaching
Hello TKTer’s Past and Present!
Several TKT graduates who are now working in public schools are interested in presenting together in a poster session in the next MEXTESOL National Convention to present a series of posters about how they work without technology in their teaching situation. We are looking specifically for teachers who are planning to go to the 40th International MEXTESOL Convention, are members and are interested in presenting in a combined group effort iina poster session.
Please respond to this post if you are interested.
In the past I have made the analogy between onions and learning situations. Not just any onions: the big, round sweet Spanish onions that saute up so sweet. When you eat them before they are ripe, they are strong and have a sharp, unpleasant taste, but left to grow layer upon layer of sweet goodness, they grow into a delicious taste treat.
After having class on the Moodle platform, I wanted to share the onion analogy with you. Having the opportunity to work in a variety of contexts provides different levels of engagement with students just like the layers in an onion.
- Those that run away from technology have the opportunity of working with the pages in the Anthology dedicated to the Learning Theorists.
- Those that missed class could use the Moodle platform to access the class and not miss important information, although they missed important face to face discussion. Discussion could be facilitated through other contexts, such as through the blogs, and discussion forums in a classroom that are set up for a mufti-layered delivery.
- Those that like to work online worked at their own pace.
- Those that like to work in groups and do not like technology are able to work supported in small groups to access the information and draw conclusions by filling in their matrix.
- Those that want to look at the information again can do so anytime, as long as they are enrolled in the Moodle course online.
This experience provided a differentiation that is seldom available in our regular four walled classrooms. The contexts in which we worked during class on April 27 were multiple and provided a variety of opportunities for all types of learners. We figuratively knocked down the classroom walls and opened up the classroom to expand our possibilities of learning.
I’d like to share this article from an online e-zine in which educators share their views on flattening the classroom walls, or as they say in this article, flipping the classroom:
Favorite Strategies for engaging students in class discussions
Then to wrap up the topic of motivation, I’d like to share a post from one of the teachers on my international PLN (personal and professional learning network) who posted a reflective entry after her visit to IATEFL last year.
Please check out Eva’s blog..
Eva, thank you. I couldn’t have summed it up better.
Ever get caught in the “explanation” game, where the teacher-centered explanation, the worksheets you supply, and the extra practice you give on drill exercises don’t seem to help all your students get the grammar point?
Sometimes you just have to use material outside the coursebook.
Teachers around the world who blog share ideas about waking up your classes. Eva in Turkey’s suggests maintaining and adding information on a excel page that she started: songs to teach grammar. Check it out; it contains more than Beatles songs and you can get many ideas for using songs int he classroom.
If you like movies and would like to use those in your home collection, Claudio in Brazil has collected a mountain of information and linked movie scenes from present and past films to grammar points with great lesson ideas to help your teaching become student-centered.
Try it…it is more interesting than teacher explanations of grammar! Movie Segments to Assess Grammar.
From the e-zine Faculty Focus, Edition September 24, 2012, I’d like to share a letter that Dr. Dawn Kaiser, a faculty manager and fulltime online teacher for American Intercontinental University shares with her adult students. When I read it I said, aha! that is exactly like my students and me.
Many TKT candidates feel so nervous about returning to study, about using new technologies, or about achieving their educational goals that they do not even know where to begin. Like Dawn, I feel luck to be able to work with adult students who are going back to school or continuing their preparation for a myriad of reasons. Some people need help following writing guidelines, preparing an academic essay, or using online tools, thus affecting their self-esteem or even academic achievement.
Dawn began sharing a letter of advice to her students, and the result has been positive, opening dialogue and preparing the way towards hard work and commitment. Like Dawn, I want my students to learn that I care about my them and am here to help them succeed. I would also like to remind them that it is going to take hard work, and that they are the ones who are ultimately responsible for their learning. So, as Dawn’s letter invited to do, I adapted it to meet our TKT needs to let our learning and self-esteem grow. Here it is with changes made to adapt the letter to our situation.
You made the choice to work towards a TKT certificate and are taking classes which invite you to work online. Now what? It does not matter when you begin your journey, as any time you begin to reach your educational goals is the perfect time. You are looking at a long road ahead of you, and I will not lie, it will not be easy. Committing to your educational endeavor is like a lifestyle change that will take just that, a commitment, and it is a big one that will take a lot of work. However, believe me, as I am speaking from experience, when I say to you, it will be worth it!
Although you have the option of working on paper-based portfolios and products, I know you can beat the steep learning curve and learn online techniques; and I have shared four tips to help you get on a smart track in order to reach the finish line and get certified and prepared for today’s teaching world.
1. Guard Against Self-Destructive Behaviors — You made the first step by applying to to this course and signing up for class. Now, the real work begins. We all have the ability to choose our paths, to reach our goals, and build the life of our dreams. The challenge is in believing in yourself.
Next look at how your behavior, emotions, and thoughts are affecting your study habits. Are you procrastinating reading your assigned work, thinking you can just pull whatever information you need from the Internet, not starting your assignments until the last minute, etc.? Examine your self-destructive behaviors. What can you do differently to be more positive and to gain the best experience out of each and every class?
2. Set Attainable Goals — What is your vision of your future? Look at next week, next month, your current class, and each class after right up to the end of your degree. Include goals for all the roles in your life. What is important in attaining those goals you have set? To make a permanent change in how you study, and balance school with the other roles in your life, you will need to set short-term goals — what is due this week? How much time do I need to set aside to complete this assignment? Then look at long-term goals, the class as a whole, and every class you need to take. Once you set your goals, continue to track them so you can see the progress you are making. Tracking your goals will keep you motivated as you check off each task you accomplish.
3. Set up a Support System — You are responsible for your own success, but we all get by with a little help from our friends and family. That is why it is important to build a healthy support system. Share your educational goals and how you are planning to accomplish them. Let others know how important this is to you to have their support. Enlist coworkers, as you never know you may find yourself a study-buddy. Do you have school-age children? Study with them. I actually spent an hour every evening with my son studying. It was a great bonding time between us, and he saw just how important learning was for the both of us. Lean on the people in your network when you feel discouraged or ready to give up due to a difficult subject, and celebrate with them when you reach your goals.
4. Ask Questions — This is your education, and you will get out of it what you put into it. Any time you find yourself struggling to figure out a specific problem, an assignment, or even just not sure what a term means, ASK. I am here to help. If you do not ask, I will not know that you are struggling. I am part of your support system, and I want to see you succeed in the class just as much as you do.
Going back to school may not be easy, but with the right mindset, motivation, and support system you can do it. Believe in yourself, and your ability to learn, and you will succeed!
Thank you Dr. Dawn Kaiser for putting it so well.
I came across an interesting article and wanted to share it. In TKT preparation classes, we usually end up at several points discussing the pro’s and con’s of using L1 in the language learning class. Before we begin to discuss this in our present classes, I would like to share this article with my readers to give some background information and food for thought.
What do you think?