Education

What the hell are you doing woman?!

… is what I’ve mind-shouted at myself numerous times today.

I absolutely, completely, utterly, totally messed up my Upper-Intermediate lesson today after going over the notes SO MANY TIMES last night. I had it all planned out nicely, had a little conversation / starter ready, had a movie trailer to link in to the ‘film review’ section we were working on.

And guess what guys? Guess what?

I COMPLETELY FORGOT TO MENTION THE FILM IN ANY WAY, SHAPE OR FORM.
I. FORGOT.

I ended up just washing over it completely and moving on to discuss writing a film review, then getting the students to write one themselves, then pair-check for errors and suggestions.

I could have just smacked myself on the head for my complete stupidity and total lack of awareness of my own plans.

I felt guilty. I’m not going to lie. I spent a good hour questioning my worth as a teacher.

  • Did I let my class down?
  • Were they bored?
  • Oh god they hate me.
  • Why am I such an idiot?
  • Why can’t I teach?!

Above are the thoughts that flashed in my mind continuously throughout my afternoon.


I’m sorry guys. I am.

I’ve spent the last 4 hours planning for my lessons tomorrow, and honestly hope that it all turns out at least 100x better than today’s disaster.

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Education

Monday morning writing’s calling.

My first class tomorrow is based on writing, and I really don’t want to jump in straight away. 

I’ve been wracking my brains for an hour or so over how I can kick start the class with interest.

I came across a website with 15 ideas 💡 but two that definitely seemed relevant for tomorrow’s class…

(What do you guys think?)

9. With A Write-Around

Hand the first student in each row a piece of paper with a sentence stem, question, or topic on it, tell them which direction to pass when they’re finished, then give each students exactly 30 seconds to write and pass. This is a powerful way to get hesitant writers and speakers to give their opinion, and build off the statements of others.

AND / OR

15. With A Write-Around

Write a “conversation starter” or thinking stem (e.g., ‘Summer reminds me of…’) on a sheet of paper. Actually, try four sheets of paper–different stems on each. Place them at different points in the classroom, explain to the students how the papers are to rotate so that everyone gets each sheet in even time.

HUGE THANKS TO TERRY HEICK FOR WRITING THIS ARTICLE ON TEACH THOUGHT 💭 

Education

Back to school

(Not just for the majority of the UK, but also for me.)

I’m heading back to BEET language center for another 3 months and I’m ecstatic!

My classes will be different once again as I go on to teach Pre-intermediate first thing, followed by an Upper-intermediate class before lunch. I’m super excited and I’ve been told that the majority of my Upper-ints will be Italians… So I thought I’d brush up a little.

Key phrases to remember

  • Buongiorno! (bwohn-johr-noh) (Hello! and Good morning!)
  • Come si chiama? (koh-meh see kyah-mah) (What is your name?)
  • Come sta? (koh-meh stah) (How are you?) (Formal)

I’m sure they will be absolutely wonderful and have no reason at all for me to speak any Italian, but I’m hoping with a few greetings they’ll at least be pleased! I never did get the hang of Italian.

On another note, teachers, what’s your favourite way to start your first lesson on a Monday morning? Surely not everyone wants to talk about their weekend, right?

Let me know in the comments if you have a favourite ‘opening’ chat or activity.

xo

Book Reviews

mad girl – the book everyone needs to read.

Bryony Gordon, what can I say? Well, let me start my saying this woman shook my world up just ever so slightly.

I was having a day out with my mum, wandering around the shops, when naturally we stopped in Waterstones to browse at their latest books, the deals, the ‘big this week’ books. Bear in mind, I was not reading at this point. I was still desperately struggling with depression and only the thought of reading made me feel better, yet I never actually did. On this day I was feeling particularly determined, and started browsing the latest books, where a bright yellow covered looked up at me. I grabbed it and instantly fixed on the back page review – with Bryony’s shocked face staring back at me, I had a feeling I would read this book.

I couldn’t put it down. I read it that afternoon in one sitting, pausing only for a toilet break and a biscuit. I laughed and giggled, I cried, I teared up, I moved. This story struck me in a way I had forgotten that books do.

Growing up, Bryony explored the parts of life that we all do, except she had a few additions. The voices convincing her someone would die if she didn’t say / do something a certain amount of times, bulimia controlling her behavior, battling drug use… these aspects of her life are completely non-existent in mine, so far those parts I couldn’t relate. However, the depression, the bizarre choices we make to encourage a more positive feeling (putting up with shitty men, moving in with shitty men…) I can relate to.

For the next few months, Paul is a dream.

What this book made me realize was that it is perfectly possible to live a functional life, whilst battling with mental health issues. It’s possible to go to work, to have a relationship, to be kind to your friends, to make changes. Whilst she wasn’t always coping well, she carried on.

I AM COMPLETELY MENTAL!

What Bryony has made me realize is that you can get through this. Perhaps we won’t always completely get over our mental health issues, but we can always work through them. We can learn to understand and take care of ourselves in a way that works for us. We can be happy, have families, keep our jobs. Bryony Gordon inspires me on my bad days. She reminds me that things can, and will, get better.

And, as her sub-title suggests “A happy life with a mixed-up mind”.

★★★★★

Go and buy yourself a copy. Now. Go.
More reviews on Goodreads
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