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 ūüí° 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 ‚Äúconversation starter‚ÄĚ or thinking stem (e.g., ‚ÄėSummer reminds me of‚Ķ‚Äô) on a sheet of paper. Actually, try four sheets of paper‚Äďdifferent 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 ūüí≠ 

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

Education, Personal

AWOL.

Happy Friday lovely followers!
Hopefully you’ve all had an enjoyable week.

I realize I’ve been awfully quiet the past two weeks and this is mainly due to the fact that I’ve not been working at BEET. I have been inundated with emails, interviews, skype calls etc all for heading out to China.

Last Thursday I had finally made my decision – the offer was great and the people seemed absolutely wonderful – the contract was being drawn up and then¬†dot dot dot¬†the Director of Studies at BEET called and asked if I wanted to work until December. I couldn’t say no. It’s what I wanted from my second week of working there. I just¬†knew¬†I wanted to stay.

I wasn’t quite ready to leave Bournemouth (I know, I’m always complaining about it), or my boyfriend, or my somewhat settled life. It felt awful to have to turn down the other company in China though, especially as I’d been talking to them for nearly a week. My heart was set on going, but it just wasn’t ready to leave, if you catch my drift.

So I’m heading back to BEET on Monday, I’m beyond excited and desperate to improve (quickly) as a teacher. If anyone¬†has any suggestions of courses or top-ups to help, please let me know in the comments.

xo

Education

Level up, level up!

The words I hear so often at the moment. All these students want to do is ‘level up’, even if they don’t put the work in to actually improve.

It’s literally draining my brain and body of energy, each time I have to explain why they cannot ‘level up’. This is not super mario or some gameboy. You don’t just complete one piece of homework and then ‘level up’.

Hard work, determination, perseverance, discipline, structure.

These are all components of a good student, in my opinion. The qualities that enable you to improve, to learn more effectively and to retain information. 

I love my students, every single one of them has a set of amazing qualities. Not all of them share the same qualities of course, but I feel proud to have been allowed to teach them. They come to England for a time to study, to improve their English, and yes, to have fun, but that is something I didn’t do. I never went to a language school or summer camp so I cannot understand the position they’re in.

I did however, travel. I know what it’s like to be determined to learn a foreign language. To study. To push myself ahead. All I want is for these lovely people to do the same, because they are all capable of progressing. The question is how much do they want to?

Education

Slackin’ slightly.

Firstly guys, thanks so much for your lovely comments and messages of support since I started teaching – they are all greatly appreciated!

Secondly, I apologize for my lack of posts.

I am absolutely exhausted! My lovely friend Helene stayed with me over the weekend before flying home to Lyon, so I had to play host. We spent the day in Winchester having coffee, rummaging through second hand book stores and buying friendship rings, which are gorgeous. Our day ended with a fantastic meal at a local pub in Ringwood, The Railway, which serves the best variety of burgers and pretty delicious wine. Technically, it was supposed to be to celebrate my new job offer, but since then I have turned it down.  Still, it was a lovely day!


The first two days of the week have gone by in a flash! Trying to find a job asap, trying to see my boyfriend despite him working 93248034283 hours a day and sorting out lesson plans. I’m already feeling pressured. Unfortunately, I must admit that my lessons did not go too well today. My intermediate class had covered what I had planned for them, and I wasn’t aware of this, and my elementary class seemed to run riot for no apparent reason. I absolutely love my elementary class, especially as I’ve taught them all for nearly four weeks now, but I swear to God they are giving me grey hair and wrinkles already. Fingers crossed they’ll settle down tomorrow.


Another extremely exciting thing is that the Headmaster wanted someone to run the summer newsletter this week, and as I piped up first, I got the job! It’s just a small student paper, but trying to get other teachers to ask their students to write or draw something for it has proved to be less than straight forward. So far we’ve got book / movie / music reviews and a few excursion reviews… if we’re printing it Thursday I need a hell of a lot more! (Keep your eyes pealed for the outcome…)

Finally, I’m just so desperate to read. Once Saturday rolls around I’ll be having a mega lie-in, staying in my PJs and reading two or three books. I can’t wait!