The Teaching Sensation

Posted on July 28, 2010. Filed under: My Portfolio, Training |

I was giving a training session to a group of teachers on presenting and practicing language. We got round to practicing concept questions and I remembered when I did this how difficult it was at first and now, how natural it has become and each time so rewarding.

At the end of the trainees´ presentation, I found myself explaining what an exhilarating effect you can have when you know the student really know what you have taught and they confirm this to you. When you have checked the concept and notice how well the students respond and are clear of what they have just covered in class. It can send shivers in me when this happens and it feels me with immense pride when the students really know you have ‘taught’ them something they did not know before. I think they are also proud of themselves too.

It then made me wonder how many young and new teachers miss this essential part of the class completely. It is because they rely too much on the course book which cannot explain or teach them about this important classroom concept or teachers don´t even know the importance of checking what the students have done. Not only do the students not get an efficiently managed lesson but also teachers miss out on this fantastic sensation. It is this feeling that can drive the teacher and keep them motivated If they don´t even know how to teach this important part of the lesson they can soon become disenchanted and start to burnt out.

I noticed this change recently in two of my teachers who had come back from doing their CELTAs. They suddenly found this new sensation they did not have before and it was as if they had learnt a new language and we could communicate because we shared the same motivational experience. I watched their classes and they had at last understood the importance of taking time to plan the most important parts of their lessons such as giving instructions and concept checking.

I could see that when they carried these parts of the lesson out they had changed and know I could put my finger on what it was when I spoke to the trainees. These two teachers could clearly see what they were doing and achieved their objectives well with a positive and constant student response. It is a shame that many teachers can´t see this importance and never feel the difference it makes not only to their learners but to their own esteem as they miss or even ignore concept questions or good instructions. They miss the classroom synergy it can cause.

I explained it to the trainees as the sensation you feel in your heart when something goes well and you mutually feel this connection with the students. I may seem a bit far-fetched but I think it is true. The students all start ‘singing the same tune’ so to speak, and you know you have their confidence and the learning process is made easy.

There are fewer better teaching experiences.

Supershaun

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