Saturday, December 31, 2016
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
We teachers should bear in mind we have a great help for our dear daily teaching: the transcendent. We can lean on the transcendent. Man has a thirst for the transcendent.
We can turn to God, and count on his big help, and this is a grand truth! As well on his blessed mother, and our mother alike, Saint Mary.
We human people have a soul, some spiritual part of ours: this is a plain truth, I’d say. Material things are okay, but we also need the spiritual. We long for love and happiness. And we can see it in novels and films, is that right? We need transcendent values, we cannot confine to material stuff, which is okay anyway! / Photo from: Osterrike-Alpene www comwest fi. We also long for beauty! And that’s a beautiful photo. - I think it is from Finland.
Tuesday, December 13, 2016
We teachers have to learn to keep serene when we are hectic.
We may have a lot of work accumulated, okay but let’s keep serenity, in order to be able to think about what’s the best in such and such circumstances. We may be hasty but let’s be careful for we’re treating people, ultimately!
If we’re upset at a given moment let’s not scold that disruptive student, until tomorrow, when we may be more settled and in good mood and shape. That student also would appreciate it: a terrific scolding can be counter-productive. Don’t me lose your temper, ever and ever: we could regret later.
If we have a lot of work, let’s keep serene and carry out one thing after another, one by one, step by step. Serene, always serene, to be able to think properly and in a sound way. What are we to gain if we’re uneasy? Can you tell me? Let’s keep what some people name cold blood.
Also let’s stay peaceful, albeit we may not sense and feel any progress from our dear students. A lesson may have turned out bad: tomorrow it’ll be better, also because we have got more experience, don’t we? Even so whenever we think we weren’t accurate at one lesson. Take it easy.
Alike let’s rest upon God’s care and providence. I want you serene and easy. Take a quick relaxing: relax your body members, relax your face muscles and listen to silence or quietness. Trust me. / Photo from: 1920x1200_tree-field-plain-green-sky-lonely-day-summer www 1freewallpapers com
Monday, December 12, 2016
In some way we teachers have our students’ souls in our hands, what a responsibility…, and we can influence on their education and even on their salvation, up to some extent!
We are like their shepherds and influence on their souls’ salvation, through our daily work in and out of the classroom.
Educating is also an art, a fine art, I would say. What a responsibility, because our students and their minds and their souls are in our hands! We’re like potters, who mold them as better students and better persons alike. Whatever we do or whatever we don’t do influence on them. Even our private life, I would say.
Yesterday I found a beautiful text by Spanish writer Eugenio D’Ors, published in 1915.
Pero yo te digo que cualquier oficio se vuelve filosofía, se vuelve arte, poesía, invención, cuando el trabajador da a él su vida, cuando no permite que esta se parta en dos mitades: la una, para el ideal; la otra para el menester cotidiano. Sino que convierte cotidiano menester e ideal en una misma cosa, que es, a la vez, obligación y libertad, rutina estricta e inspiración constantemente renovada. / Photo from: Planes de familia Esquiando en Sierra Nevada. On the photo you can see children, probably with their dad. I live in Granada, close to Sierra Nevada, where you can go skiing now.
Saturday, December 10, 2016
I guess and assume that with my adult students I should let them choose between two possible ways of learning English and carrying out their activities for learning English.
Ultimately they’re the protagonists of their learning and acquiring English processes!
For example when I ask them to summarize a given text, I tell them they can either read their written summaries or say those summaries orally; this is, they can choose between either reading or speaking. My experience so far is interesting and positive.
Even at the next class I will tell them that when I let them choose between two possibilities what I want is to make them responsible of their learning process. I think we have to offer the chance of choice among several different ways of learning: in that way they become more aware that it’s them the ones who have to organize both their learning and acquiring English processes.
Even in teens’ case I would offer them several different ways of carrying out activities, sometimes at least. I would tell them they can choose because they’re the ones who should wish to learn and acquire English as a foreign language.
And when they tell me, one by one, what they’ve chosen, I would reply with a serious mode, so as to let them know I respect their (more or less) mature way of learning. Even so when they could choose and select modes that are simpler and easier – I then would also respect their ways of doing things!
All this is educative too. They can see I treat them in a serious way, and that’s educative, definitely. I treat them as mature people, and not as children, and they like it! My experience at treating kids in that way is pretty positive. / Photo from: YouTube How to repair a flat roof leak. This photo has to do with the one on the previous post: they show dangerous tasks, as it’s risky to give our students the chances of choice: that’s risky too but worthy anyway!
Friday, December 9, 2016
My class-groups are mixed-ability ones. Like any one of yours, I guess, right? Anyway, what to do?
For example I catch myself translating something I just said or explained, into Spanish, our mother language, for some of my students, while I try to create and make up immersion into English, and so in that way I could facilitate acquiring the language.
But the quick solution for some of my rather low-achievers is to turn into Spanish. I said low-achievers, but it’s not so: just there’re so many different levels of English amongst my dear adult students. All of them are nice and so willing to learn and eager to participate!
Any suggestions are tentatively welcome.
I’m thinking of, on the other hand, making up worksheets of a higher level for those who can go faster and can reach a more thorough communicative competence. Something also I can do is making the high-achievers monitor my lower-level students, whatever they may do, even translating into Spanish, while I won’t translate myself. In that way I could be making up that atmosphere in English – in other words, immersion into English. / Photo from: Roofing Doctor. That man is mending his roof, in a risky and hazardous way, like the difficult way of teaching mixed-ability groups of students.
I have the purpose and resolution of publishing more, perhaps today. I have findings from reading and from my dear lessons, which may help you hopefully! From the picture we can remember that we all can learn a lot from our elderly, can't we? Oh, I could also write from other teachers' findings!
Tuesday, December 6, 2016
Women are important at school, because they’re important at home, for education, and also they’re important at society, at any level.
In case women are rotten, society is rotten. They’re so important. And at boys schools they’re important, at least as cooks and lady cleaners, and as admins alike. Because they provide a role which is indispensable. And it is something indispensable because they’re indispensable at education, together with dads.
I’m referring to their special features and qualities as women: femininity is indispensable at education, at home, at schools, at society. At any social association – I’m aware of the redundancy – they also are indispensable. And their absence is something to be noticed. Something we cannot stand.
On the other way round, if they’re present, all is easier – because of that also they’re indispensable at kindergarten, while at upper grades men can teach children and teens – think of single-sex education for example. But men can teach and educate because there were women at early education stages.
Thus we have complementary roles: both men and women are just necessary.
Boys need to see manly features in their education, both at home and at school. For their education men are necessary. And that’s so because boys need to see what men are like: they need that reference. As simple as nature. They both are complementary and necessary. Indispensable, both of them. / Photo from: ryanair-snow-shower-take-off Microsoft Flight Simulator screen shots www Mythical Ireland. The picture is just a nice illustration.
Monday, December 5, 2016
Young people have to be rebellious, in the good sense. Rebellious against what makes them be mediocre and common place. They have to be rebellious nowadays, against what makes them become like beasts.
Because the young people who don’t find obstacles cannot be good and virtuous: they show themselves as good when they find obstacles to jump over: hard times, wars, lack of what’s necessary for living, hard day-to-day, even just daily education!
Now there are good young people at many places: those who have to behave as human people at those difficult and tough situations, or at simple daily situations too! For example they don’t want to be dragged by drugs, alcohol, sex, but they want to be as they are, human beings.
Spanish famous doctor and writer Gregorio Marañón used to say a good young person is good when he or she has to find obstacles in their way, because good with no difficulties is simple and easy. He wrote about this in an article of 1966.
Think now of a rebel: a good one, in the good sense of “good”: he or she is capable of jumping over and overwhelming obstacles in his or her way to become a mature person. Young people shouldn’t be dull, blunt and obtuse. What youngsters do we want to educate? Youth is the age of ideals, which can be traced and observed in young people’s thirst for what’s genuine.
Think of ideals like generosity, patriotism, helping other people, love, citizenship, environmental friendship, manliness, solidarity, beauty. We teachers should remember all this when we have our dear students in front of us, day after day. / Photo from: great-family-excursion TripAdvisor. The picture may show nice family relationships.
Saturday, December 3, 2016
I’ve advised you to plan your lessons, right? Now I would tell you we teachers should be flexible about that planning.
I mean, you know, if we see an activity is not right at certain moment, because our dear students need something different, we could skip that activity and proceed into the next one from the planning.
Flexibility is a necessary skill every teacher should have. Also if you notice such or such activity is getting boring for our students we should also skip it, and proceed into the next one or even sometimes the best thing is to right away change all the planning thing. It’s up to you and your students’ needs.
So remember, flexibility. Practice and experience will tell you about that point.
Something else: planning our classes and lessons provide prestige to us as teachers. Lesson planning shows a thorough labor from you and gives you prestige, something you need to enhance a moral prestige and authority. You need those authority and prestige to help your students - I don't mean prestige for a selfish end. / Photo from: man-at-computer Essay World. The picture might be showing a committed teacher.
Friday, December 2, 2016
If we’re English language teachers it is sensible to say all in that language, in case our students can understand us in the target tongue.
We should bear and resist the temptation of saying for example the meaning of a word in the students’ mother language – namely Spanish – when they can understand all in the target language. Even when their level of English is not high. And this is so because we wish to create an immersion atmosphere in English, where things are thought in the target tongue.
If we said something in Spanish we could beg their pardon by smiling and then turn and shift back to English. We should say all or 99% in English.
I would like you readers reckon we teachers are connecting people by means of communication among them! We teachers are carrying out something human and humane: making people communicate in English! Even at a world scale: it’s something we can’t forget and leave to oblivion: we’re doing something grand – people link to one another by means of communication, and we’re making that goal into something possible! / Photo from: Police HowardWill. The picture shows two people communicating with each other.
Thursday, December 1, 2016
Something great among our students is friendship.
And generosity enhances and boosts it. The friends you meet when you’re a schoolboy or a schoolgirl you don’t forget them ever, do you? We can remember some or many of the classmates we had in our childhood and adolescence.
Our students are creating friendships that won’t ever be forgotten. Giving to others, being generous with one another, lending school material greatly reinforce that comradeship.
Something curious that happens to me is that I can better recall my friends’ last names or surnames than their first names…
You have spent time with those people that you’ll never forget. You have spent some experiences that mark your life. The first experiences at important things: the first girls you liked, exams and tests, the first confessions, the large science lab, the best teachers ever, firecrackers and bonfires, the first climbing the city walls, I don’t know, the first sport teams at basketball – I was never taken out to play, since I was so bad… In few words you’ve shared nice common things. At those friendships you used to give the best from you! As also our teachers gave the best of them: how grand they were, most of them! / Photo from: touroperators0915 Travel + Leisure. Also family experiences are recorded forever!
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Who has not worked on readers and abridged and simplified books when teaching English or any other language?
They’re great. In my opinion the first goal is for our students to understand and enjoy and delight what they’re reading. The main point when reading a novel can be enjoying reading it. For that goal our students should be able to understand what they’re reading, and so they might have to look up some words in their dictionaries or online dictionaries. Or they could try to guess the meaning of new words from the context, which is good practice for them!
Moreover classics and other books bring about educating values: generosity, love, friendship, patriotism, endurance, honesty, sincerity, courage, magnanimity, professionalism… Those books foster kind of a school of values and virtues alike.
Besides they can be useful as assigned homework, but always taking into account our students also have other school subjects and probably other homework tasks to fulfill. As well at home the main goal could be reading and enjoying. On the next-day class the teacher could ask them what new words they have learned and how, opening up a nice discussion about learning strategies. Some students could so learn from their classmates, and from the teacher too. Literature is great! / Photo from: crystal-cruise-shore-excursion Luxe Travel
Monday, November 28, 2016
I’ve written for long about class management and classroom discipline, and you can consult the labels or tags at the right column of my blog.
Okay then, I would add that the best discipline is the teacher’s moral authority, the one gained because of his prestige as a teacher. Moreover also the best discipline is self-discipline: the one gained by some students that are convinced they wish to learn and acquire English.
I’ve seen it in real life.
As well and in order to reinforce those discipline and class management the teacher can, from time to time, talk to his students about the positive value that is paying attention and behaving well: they will gain more than if otherwise they become disruptive.
Discipline and class management are built day after day, with a perseverant labor and welfare at the classroom, both by the students and by their teacher. Thus we as teachers can converse, discuss, talk at the classroom with our students for these latter ones to get persuaded the best thing they can do is to behave well. It is them who wish to learn, and so they just do not confine to be silent, but to intervene and contribute to the lesson by their nice participation.
As I said, this is something gained day after day, but it is a realistic goal anyway. It is something gotten over time, let’s be patient, and let’s also talk with veteran teachers about our everyday struggle. / Photo from: Green flag. I like sport cars but I think they're a luxury.
Saturday, November 26, 2016
Let’s be careful, because some of our dear students could be suffering from solitude and loneliness, although they may be surrounded by their classmates and teachers.
I knew a case, a classmate of mine when I was a schoolboy, when I was 12 or 13 years, who felt so lonely. His name was Sebastián and had a tragic end. From here I make him a homage.
So both teachers and students should be on alert. Better if male teachers receive male students’ pains and sorrows, and the same for female teachers and female students. Tutoring sessions can be a nice chance to observe and learn about these problems.
Let’s be watchful because those poor students could be not sharing their wounds with other people, neither with their families... We people are not made to live in a lonely way: we need other people and other people need us too! A person develops himself by counting on others.
Oh, and there could also be lonely teachers as well – think of novice teachers for example. Also we count on God, and that is always so, and it’s a big help, also psychologically. Other times students and teachers might feel the great feeling of a need to tell about their joys too! Or for instance a student at a given lesson might feel the need of telling a funny joke that came to mind, and start to be uneasy because he has got to tell the joke: we as teachers can discern whether it is better for him to tell it aloud or stay silent, which may be sensible and convenient for him as well. / Photo from: panoramio. Police officers on duty are on alert, aren’t they?
Friday, November 25, 2016
We teachers should also talk with our students apart our classes. And we’ll do so in order to be updated about their likes, with prudence. Even more if we’re over 40 years, I would say.
In other contexts different from classes themselves we should chat with them, and also they will get to know us better, in other contexts, as I said. Because of that it may be sensible to run short excursions or escapes from the school.
Our students thus will see we’re human and normal people. We might positively influence on their education thanks to and due to the prestige we will have gained from our teaching and classes, well sketched and drafted – remember I told you we should plan each and every lesson.
We have to be updated about their likes, with a convenient prudence. Do we know about their videogames, cell phone gadgets, etc.? Or otherwise we think any past time was better than now?
We teachers and adults in general should be enthused with modern times, which have both positive and negative things! We have to be enamored of our times and our world, and we should empathize with our dear students. Something practical and tiny we can implement is to repeat what they’re saying, as a tag or periphrasis of what they just said, and so we’ll show we’re following their discourse.
Thursday, November 24, 2016
In Spain at least many students don’t know how to study English and its correspondent school subject, and therefore they also fail at learning and acquiring that language.
They don’t know what to do with their textbook and activity book, for training for a test for instance. It is a school subject so different from History, Biology, Chemistry, Literature, etc. Therefore too there’s a big failure at getting good grades: those students get bad grades definitely.
There was a case in which a student one day thought of carefully re-reading the texts from the textbook at home, trying to understand the gist of the story plus each sentence within that story… and he did improve his grades, over time!
No one had ever told him how to treat those texts, which on the other hand were interesting – a story about some specific characters, and funny besides.
Those students who do not know how to study, moreover, have to face up with tests they do not know how to answer: they weren’t trained for that at all!
Something we English-language teachers can do is to devote a couple of classes to explain how they can face up with their books, plus with some challenging sense of humor too. Otherwise as well the teacher can ask a student that gets good grades and is a high-achiever to explain what learning strategies he follows.
Summing up: the students should have fun by studying their textbooks and find out that it is practical for them to learn English, because they can participate more frequently at lessons! / Photo from: carcel antigua y leda That place is close to the one where I was born and close to the time when I was born too, in 1969 in Badajoz, south-west of Spain.
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
I’ve been writing for long about teaching English and educating our students. Since 2009.
I do like to teach and educate, in their parents’ name. I like to treat people, both young and adults as well. Teaching and educating are just great. You know that you can leave a nice and fine trace in your students: what you teach and educate now, and the way you carry it out is like a seed that will yield fruit soon and during all their lives too. What a responsibility!
Whatever you do and whatever you don’t do influence on our students for a great deal.
What teachers can we remember and recall more frequently and better? Those ones that were really good teachers, right? They planted a seed that configures your life for a lot, doesn’t it? The idea you have about life influences on your students, and this is irremediable. Perhaps teaching is a job that can gratify for deals. Perhaps it is one of the jobs that can hurt you most or otherwise gratify you most.
It is nice and beautiful to be a teacher: you’ve been involved in all an adventure! One that maybe you had not thought about when you began! / Photo from: autumn wallpapers
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Only can we educate our students if they’re free.
They should be able also to choose extra-goals we may plan for them.
There are goals for everybody, and there could be goals for those students who would wish them, who would like to expand their knowledge and skills as well: listening, speaking, reading and writing, in English, their target language.
For example you may think of high-achievers: when they’ve reached common goals for everybody they could choose extra-activities, or something else we teachers can implement in our lessons is for high-achievers to monitor low-achievers, sitting next to them.
If our dear students are educated in the context of freedom and liberty, they subsequently should have responsibility. Freedom and responsibility should go parallel and together. “Responsibility” comes from “response” and “respond”: one nice and fine way for our students to respond about their duties as students is doing tests, in which they have to respond some questions or activities, practical ones.
Our students should do test activities similar to the ones we have implemented in our lessons, not very different ones, not ones they wouldn’t expect at all! We teachers would ask our students for their and about their responsibility at fulfilling common goals and extra-goals as well – these latter ones for high-achievers that had chosen those extra-goals. / Photo from: Future City from Ming Tang. The picture is just a nice illustration.
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
In order to educate our students we have to love them. In order to teach them English and help them learn and acquire that language we need to love them. Otherwise we cannot educate them, neither can we teach them English!
The school should be a home extension: we teach our dear students English because their parents cannot know all the knowledge areas, competences and skills we specialized teachers can teach them.
School is a home extension: we’re teaching and educating daughters and sons of families. Their parents have entrusted them to us to be taught and educated! Which means a big and nice responsibility, doesn’t it?
If we love our students with love of benevolence, we will wish the best for them. This entails specific and tangible everyday things and actions. We will actually address each student, which implies looking in their eyes, and maybe treating them as if they were the only student in the classroom.
I try to treat them as children of God, and that helps me quite a lot. Perhaps that is the noblest way of treating them, which implies kindness and politeness, oh and also wishing the best to them, which is God himself.
As well I will seek their happiness, as a result. I don’t just have people in my lessons, but people I have to try they would learn how to be happy, and this is a thorough insight: I’ll teach and help them to learn English because if they become good and nice workers they’ll more likely be happier, right? If they become better students they’ll be able to find their development and improve their specific personalities. / Photo from: old plane 4 old-planes-history blogspot com. The photo is just a nice illustration. I like planes.
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Are you concerned about discipline and class management? Today I would tell you that the teacher who respects his students, and is serious in the classroom, and plans his lessons and tries to improve his teaching, that teacher will gain his students’ respect. More likely than not. He will be respected by his students. Over time. Be patient.
Also if you love your students with love of benevolence, this is, wishing and seeking their good, you will be respected and loved, over time, with also love of benevolence. No doubt. More likely than not. I can assure you from my experience.
Get interested in their things. For their benefit. Get interested in their learning. Sometimes students may be disruptive because they can’t learn and work well, and they see no sense to learning. With passing time, when you’re gaining their respect, you may feel the need of even smiling, with a challenging smile, attracting your students to the challenge of learning. / Photo from: backingham palace guards The Telegraph
Sunday, November 13, 2016
I just realized about the point that for our profession as teachers “the other people” is of a paramount importance.
We live and earn our living by “the others”. For us teachers communication among people is pretty important, isn’t it? Every day we’re building up relationships among people and we don’t know how to live without “the others”. “The others” are our dear students, their parents, our colleagues, the lady cleaners, the school cooks, the admins…
Either we know how to build up nice and human and humane and humanitarian relationships among all of us each and every day or we’re building up something-against-the-person.
But stay calm, for us teachers, each and every single day are building up, or trying to build up, nice relationships. We don’t know how to live without other people. Each and every single day we face up innumerable occasions and chances to build up nice relationships among persons, though our students might not be willing to build up those relationships… sometimes or quite often anyway.
However, if we love those persons, namely our naughty students, or some of them are naughty, we will ultimately reach a human and humane small nice society in our classrooms and in the school.
We teachers are expert at humanity. And we show it up at our brave everyday labor. We don’t want to live without people: parents, teachers, students, and the rest of the school personnel. Our lessons must be full of humanity, and we’re after it, and you my colleague teachers and educators and parents show it to me with your actions, each and every single day! / Photo from: top-college-professor-in-mississippi Her Campus
Saturday, November 12, 2016
It is also sensible we teachers should have scheduled goals and objectives concerning our teaching labor, and with our students in mind.
So those goals would be general and the same ones for everybody. However it could be also sound to have extra-goals for those students who can progress more, and otherwise, with no extra-goals they would get terribly bored in our lessons...
As well they could be objectives or goals those high-achievers might freely choose – it is clever to give freedom and responsibility to our students, and educate them in those freedom and responsibility.
In my case, as I am an English-language teacher I used to provide extra-material for those high-achievers. Namely and specifically I used to hand them material for training for First Certificate level of English, according to Cambridge University, or in other words B2 level of English, the first professional level of that language – it’s high-intermediate.
In the school subject of English, moreover, there are very different levels of that tongue in the same classroom!
Alike we could give those students the charge of assisting and monitoring low-achievers, as I explained on another post, a few days ago. It would be a dull thing to get less from those students, when they actually can reach farther! / Photo from: autumn wallpaper
Also those high-achievers might repeat aloud with their own words what we teachers just said and it's pretty difficult for low-achievers.
Friday, November 11, 2016
Yesterday I wrote that it’d be okay we second or foreign language teachers would speak in the language we’re teaching to our dear students, and it’s so; and also I said that I usually speak in English to my Spanish students, before and after the lesson.
But think that communication among people is the first priority for us human people, and for teachers and students too, obviously. Anyway, communication can be held in English, the target tongue.
We can enhance and facilitate communication before and after the class with a challenging and helping smile: we can be pushing and gently compelling our students to take risks and speak in English, our common target language. With creativity and a helping smile we can build up communication in English, which will help our students step forward and use that tongue.
However I could also tell you about the experience a female teacher told us about: she used to have nice conversations with their students, female ones above all, before the class, when they all were waiting for the time to start the lesson, in their mother language, Spanish. In that way she arranged to assist and help out her students a lot, and I guess she could hold more communication than those students at home with their families, in some cases; she outdid communication among them.
In a few words, try and hold conversation in English, and little by little you’ll destine more time to nice chatting and talking, but if you see that this attitude (speaking in English) hinders communication, turn to your common mother tongue, namely Spanish, before and after the lesson. And perhaps you could try to create a friendly immersion atmosphere in English. / Photo from: chess-player PaperTo Stone How playing chess enhances the brain power. The photo is an illustration that has to do with education.
Thursday, November 10, 2016
If you’re a second or foreign language teacher I’d advise you to speak in that language to your students at the classroom, all the time. The more you speak in the target tongue the better.
What’s more, try to speak only in that language or 99% of the allotted time for your classes. That’s the only way for our students to acquire English for example – if the case. This is, our students will be acquiring English and not only learning it. With massive clear though English our students can gain that tongue.
We have to be careful because we easily may have the temptation of turning to our common mother language, this is Spanish, for an easy translation. And we would so be not doing our students any favors.
Besides by using the target language and so making up immersion in English in the classroom we are motivating our students to also speak in English, for we’re creating an atmosphere in which English is the communication vehicle!
Let’s take advantage also that the USA president elect Mr. Trump is appearing on TV and the Web for a lot, and thus English is kind of fashionable and trendy now among Spanish people – close to every young person is willing to learn English, because they need it for a job.
In a few words: We’re going to motivate our students to learn, acquire and speak in English if we speak English from the moment we arrive at the classroom, until we leave it! It is my own experience and it works. / Photo from: piperhire2-1168x500 the scottish piper club scottishpiperclub com
Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Oh Bernardo, of course I remember you, of course I mean it. My congrats for being training for B2 level of English. And glad to hear from you. I tried to post a comment but it won’t work. I wish you all the best. I’ve seen you hanging around in the cyberspace sometimes. You’ve got my prayers. Readers, he was an old friend of mine. Like I said I tried to post a comment but Ooops, something failed so I gave up and wrote a post. Spanish youngsters are training for English language examinations. More and more.
I reckon we teachers should plan each and every lesson, and we have websites with material by real teachers, and that’s pretty nice.
Also we should think of a specific goal or a few goals for those lessons we plan. For example: to give a summary of a text by speaking, and that’s also okay. Sometimes the objective or goal can be more general, as for instance to practice speaking.
But do we teachers have specific goals for the whole school year? It’d be sensible and you may agree with that assertion.
In other words, we should propose short-termed goals and long-termed ones as well. Alike we could concretize some tendencies, which could be trends our dear students should take over time, but they’re not very specific goals, like to gain a communicative competence in English, which is the language I teach, as you know. Or I help my students learn. Those tendencies are like attitudes we foster at lessons.
Sometimes we’ll plan just activities, but with an implicit goal in mind, like for example: to write a summary of the worksheet texts, which would have the implicit goal of acquiring English language or something more specific: to write an essay or composition in that marvelous language.
You know, now we have some insight about tracing goals. Hope it be useful for you all! / Photo from: happy moms raise happy kids! Allparenting. The pic is just a nice illustration… but right now I think also parents should run some educating goals, right?
Tuesday, November 8, 2016
Our students have many different school subjects: math, science, history, sports, a foreign or second language, grammar, spelling, maybe religious doctrine, biology, chemistry… And there should be something, some thread which should unite all those knowledges, skills, paradigms, practices, lab practices. By the way, we may enjoy teaching those disciplines: I do!
Something unitive can be joy, yes, a somewhat mature intelligence, a joyful one, which knows how to be over all those subjects, taking them to a common goal: personal growth. In the school subject of English, which one I teach, so I’m the master of it at the classroom, I can ask in English about what my students are learning at all those subjects: What are you learning in history? And I can help my students talk about those knowledges in English, so I will provoke, say, a conversation in English, a real and naturalistic one, for some minutes.
Above I said joy can unite, join and combine all those subjects: a smart student can override those learnings and findings together and draw his own consequences, conclusions and convictions. I mean, the point about all this is that the main goal of our job as teachers is educating persons with freedom and responsibility, who can orientate their decisions toward their maturity as free and responsible people.
And also remember that school is a home extension: It is parents the ones who have the main mission at educating their kids, and we teach those kids school subjects their parents don’t need to have: biology, chemistry, history of the ancient world… Our job is great! / Photo from: a cool old car www tajihi com. It is clever for our dear students to gain for example a thorough knowledge of our rich Western civilization, and its foundations and basements: Ancient Greece, Christian roots also, science development along our medieval history, etc.
Monday, November 7, 2016
I’ve noticed that something nice works fine at our lessons: a student explains to a classmate of his something I just explained but it wasn’t clear enough to some of my students.
The first student explains the same I explained but with his own words, which make the second student understand better.
Even sometimes we teachers can set monitor students to help low-achiever students. They may sit next to a low-achiever student and help him carry out the activities they have to do, at a silent allotted time within the lesson. It works and turns out fine!
Have you ever tried so? It’s sensible. Also because the monitor improves his grades, his attitude at learning, his aptitude to learn, and he matures quite a lot.
I’d advise you all to implement it: you’ll get amazed about the results. Spanish expert at learning Víctor García Hoz explained that in the seventies some research was carried out about this kind of monitoring and the results were also fine. Give it a try yourself.
Even more in the case you’ve got many students per class. At foreign or second language lessons a small number of students per class is necessary. So if we happen to have too many students, we could arrange some monitor-students who would repeat what we said at them all at a more general mode, I mean when addressing the whole class-group: they can help their classmates at silent activity moments. / Photo from: www wpmayor com. The picture might show one worker helping and assisting another.
Saturday, November 5, 2016
Without our students’ responsibility we cannot educate.
Responsibility is when the student can response about his behavior – “responsibility” and “response” have the same Latin root, as you can observe. He’s free, and subsequently responsible of his conducting, behavior and learning. “Subsequently” not in time but at the same time he’s free.
And he can learn only because he wishes, because he wants to! Otherwise he won’t learn at all.
We teachers can teach but the student can only learn if he wishes. Learning English is a free situation and process. The supreme and an everyday moment also is responding an exam or test. The teacher asks him for his responsibility: he can show what he knows and about his communicative competence – tests and exams should be communicative: we’re teaching how to speak in English (and how to write, to read, to listen), and not mere language facts or theories!
Let’s be careful: we cannot confine our teaching to just facts, but we should help the student reach a communicative competence in English. Teaching and learning are practical, essentially.
I was writing about responsibility: it’s the other side of the coin – the first side is freedom. At tests and exams we appeal at the student’s responsibility. In few words: we can only help our dear students if they choose to learn and apply their force and effort to learning English, to acquiring a nice communicative competence. / Photo from: Tom and Jerry old school cartoons Andrew cmu edu. The picture is just an expressive illustration about our childhood: we enjoyed funny cartoons, didn't we?
Friday, November 4, 2016
We English-language teachers often ask our dear students about different things; we ask them a lot of questions, right?
But can our students ask questions? That’s a good question, isn’t it? Our students must learn how to make questions too, not only answer them.
With my adult students we’ve practiced this activity with long sentences, with many complements we can ask about, like for example “Mary arrived at the airport at 6:00pm, to take a flight to Norway, where she would spend the Holy Week holidays with her grandparents.”
About that sentence we could ask: Who arrived at the airport? Where did she arrive at? What did she go to the airport for? Why did she go to the airport? And other questions with Where? When? Whom with? Etc. (well not many more questions, as a matter of fact).
As you all can see we also practice past simple for questions, with the auxiliary verb “did”, except when “Who” is the subject of the verb. First I ask the students questions that they’ve got to answer, and afterward THEY ask those questions or others they can make up.
I would advise you not to stop at this activity for too long – it could be tiring in the end, but it’s okay to implement this exercise from time to time. Obviously we could use other verbal tenses. As simple as that. Try to use meaningful sentences when doing this activity: meaningful sentences for the real students you have! You can accompany this activity with a smile, and that makes for it! / Photo from: bicycle-desktop-background. The picture is just a beautiful illustration.
Thursday, November 3, 2016
We teachers have to educate our students in an atmosphere of freedom, freedom and the subsequent responsibility, subsequent not in time but at the same time they exert their freedom.
They will be able to learn if they’re free to do it!
Only the person who wishes to learn will learn. I can recall a teacher that told me that I used to scold the students that were chatting in class, and that teacher told me, ok you’re right you have to gently scold them or call their attention, but ultimately they should be free to actually learn: only those students who want to learn will learn.
Because learning is so a personal thing. The best discipline is self-discipline: when the students interiorize and learn that they have to learn, they will behave themselves. Discipline is not just an exterior thing, a set of rules you set in your classes, but a personal thing.
Paradoxically only those students that are free will behave all right!
They have to want to, they have to wish. And we teachers what we can do is to explain to them about discipline, and they’ll understand it’s better for themselves and for their classmates to respect one another.
Another practical point about discipline and class management: only if the students are busy they will have fewer chances to be disruptive, as sheer as that! / Photo from: balloons sky striped Ergo Trading Net
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
Teachers aren’t the only and main educators of young people.
It is parents, and families too – elder siblings for example – the ones that have the unique mission of educating their children, right?
We teachers are an extension of their home, and we educate in their parents’ name. So we should talk with those parents frequently. And we have to educate parents to fulfill their beautiful mission as parents.
Something specific we can do to help educate their children is to call parents to the school, to hold some tutoring sessions with them. I know at some centers there’s no available schedule for this duty, but I presume that’s something we teachers should do, is that so? I presume yes.
Today parents cannot confine their mission to just bring children to the world, but they have to learn how to educate those children. I mean, in the past parents could educate their children as something natural and that’s it, but now they have to learn how to educate, and here we teachers I think can do a lot.
Because we teachers for instance can read education books and so we can be updated, but often still some parents may not have those skills, knowledge and experiences. Affection is not enough, although obviously we should count on it.
So as to finish, I would say we teachers should study and read education books and material in the Web, with discernment, for not all advice is sound and sensible, though there’s a lot of clever and thorough material to read anyway! And also we could offer parents those readings and books. / Photo from: kids-playing-chess Wonderopolis