Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Learning a New Language

One of my favorite comedians is Eddie Izzard. He does a fantastic sketch commenting on the foolish phrases in textbooks (e.g. the mouse is under the table) that students learn and how difficult it is to actually incorporate them into everyday conversation check it out:

The other thing I like about it is even though I speak very little French, I understand completely everything he is talking about because of context and gestures! A great reminder to teachers that proper scaffolding really helps learners.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Worth it

I just had one of those cliché experiences where it really felt like it was worth being a teacher.

I was walking back from my 3:00pm class (where 33% of the class didn't show up today), and ran into a student from last semester.

Student: Hey! How are you? How are your new students?
Me: Good, they aren't you guys though.
Student: No.
Me: Well...except for the ones that are you guys. (I have some of her classmates again in the next level of classes.)
Student: Well, I guess.
Me: Who's your new teacher?
Student: Teacher B, he's good; he's funny.
Me: Good.
Student: He's different from you though. He just assigns essays and expects us to do them. You broke everything down, so that we just had to assemble them.
Me: Well
Student: I mean your class was a lot of work. We always did a lot of work in your class, but I feel like I actually learned the most from you.
Me: Good
Student: And, so I went home and I did it...I just wrote...and I did well! He really liked my essay and I told him, "Yeah, that's because I had Carissa as my teacher"


Later I was planning a lesson on summarizing. Usually I have them all summarize the same text, but since they are each working on a city report now I went out and found each of them a relevant article about the city they are working on to summarize. This way the summary may actually be useful to them and not just busy work. I stayed late after school finishing finding articles and I commented to a friend, "I don't know why I am doing this none of them are going to appreicate it."

The next day as I passed out the assignment one student looked up and said, "Teahcer you did research for us? Thank you that was so nice!"

So there. For those of you wondering if it is worth it to teach. No. Normally it isn't. Normally I am tired, frustrated, and underappreciated.... but sometimes... it really feels like it is worth it.

What about you? What has happened to you lately that has made you feel like your work is worth it?

Friday, February 8, 2013

British Council's Blog for January

The British Council's facebook page has shortlisted a recent Blog for their TeachingEnglish blog award for January.

"In this blog post, Carissa comes up with 6 great easy-to-follow tips for keeping your students involved in class.
Click on “Like” if you think it should be the winner of this month’s TeachingEnglish featured blog award!"If you like it too, give it a "like" here (or click on the picture).

If you haven't checked out the post yet you can find it

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