sábado, 12 de enero de 2013

Declaration of intentions - 1st Week

Over the coming weeks I shall be completing the practical part of this year’s course at Torre Barona.

I applied for this Primary school originally because it has a good reputation in the community as a wholesome and engaging Primary school. Also they take part into the Commenius Project.

My primary purpose there will be to observe and improve my teaching technique.

Within the month I am there I intend to:

  1. Professionally develop myself as a teacher. 
  2. Use my allocated teaching time to test the deployment of my planned classes. 
  3.  To build on my previous teaching experience from Kitwell Primary School and Nursery Class in Birmingham and Jacint Verdaguer Primary school in Castelldefels.

In Kitwell I’ve noticed that the teacher Mr. Davids was able to make the changes between subjects flow very naturally but taking what they have previously been talking about or studying and moving it in the direction of what he wished to study, for example, he once invented a fancy story about himself becoming a werewolf as a way to capture the students' attention before a class about the phases of the moon. 

I wish to be able to do the same. 

As it is going to be the second time I will have taught in English in a primary school I do not feel at all nervous, and instead feel only excitement.

jueves, 10 de enero de 2013

Last week - Conclusions

After all the classes we took about Didactic of the English language I still feel the same about teaching English in a Primary School classroom, even though I’ve taken some ideas, modified and merged/included them to my daily teaching life.

A total linguistic immersion in English classes is a priority for me when we talk about teaching, it has always been and for sure it will always be. But now, I think I may be also interested in trying to teach some units of other subjects in English too. Somehow, CLIL was really tempting. It lets you to use all the subjects in the school schedule to improve the students’ communicative skills and expand their vocabulary in a meaningful way (without using those ever so boring lists that they often have to memorise). Isn’t that what we all want as teachers? Well, now that we have the opportunity for our students to be able to communicate in English, we should use it in our classrooms.

Creating a CLIL unit in class helped me to realise how difficult it is to make it work. Everything counts, even when you have to say what you would do, the exact sentences, what you expect and how long it is going to take, you still need to be able to improvise, and you can never predict it all or plan for every single eventuality.

Although I feel our unit was amazing (here you can see the Prezi we created), I do not think that our microteaching went as well as it could have done. True, Mireia and I were quite ill and feeling very tired due the illness, but as we were saying afterwards, it would have been more realistic and people would have been more participative if they had been primary school children, instead of our fellow classmates.

This said, I’ll admit that I love the usage of new technologies in class. They are a really cool and simple way to engage students and make they learn in a fun way. But sharing ideas and being connected to other teachers by the internet? That was new. I mean, I can follow podcasts about ESL or a nice blog about creative ideas, but sharing my ideas and using social media to do this was something new. I did enjoy it and I’ll probably use it again in the future.

So after all those classes in university, I think I’ll introduce a more important affective side to mine, I’ll try to take much more into account the multiple intelligences and the pupil’s individual needs, to offer them the possibility to take responsibility and assess themselves with rubrics (that will always been written with positive criteria instead of negative, as any rules will be), and for sure, I’ll use the idea of Muffin Mondays to create a nice home-school connection.