Friday, May 04, 2007

Whew...Time For A Little Breather!

Well, finally a day to relax...well I'll be relaxing the whole weekend mind you, but none the less, I will be relaxing!

Exams are finally over, yay! I don't know how I have done; we haven't received our marks yet. The only one I really care about is the TESL course, and I know I did pretty good because the prof told me. I think I messed up on the history exam, but I'm not overly concerned about it. As for the Post Exilic Writings class, I think I did not too badly in it. But, we'll see when I get the marks - not sure when that is though; probably in the next week or two I think.

I finished up my TESL practicum this week - the actual teaching part of it. Monday morning I taught in the low beginner/beginner class and it went not too badly. I was VERY nervous, not just in teaching, but because my prof was there the entire time to observe. He was good about it though and gave some positive feedback, things that I should work at, etc. He said a lot of the mistakes I was making was just because I was new to teaching ESL, and that all new teachers of ESL fall into the same "traps". These are things that would come with time, though. As well, he knew I was nervous and that would contribute to some of it.

There were about 8 in the class that morning, and it was a little harder because of having just come off the weekend when the students hadn't spoken English since their class on Friday - it is hard to get them back into the swing of things. Actually, even their teacher said that is the worst possible day for a student teacher to teach the class, and my prof agreed and said that in the future they would probably not have a student teacher teach on mondays (at least in the mornings). The students were good though, and I didn't run into any real problems.

On Tuesday afternoon I taught the low intermediate level, and it was a LOT easier to teach them. With this level you can at least talk and they understand you. With the beginner class you are limited to what you can say because of the lack of understanding. The low intermediate class had about 7 students that day, and they were all friendly, understanding of me being new, etc. We had a lot of laughs as well, and that is always helps you relax some (or at least I found it did).

Wednesday morning I was back in the beginner class and it was, once again, a little difficult to adjust back to being limited. It wasn't so bad though, and this time there were 9 in the class. We reviewed more of what we had done in Monday's class, and started a new topic after that. We ran short of time, though, so I mentioned to their teacher what we had done and that it might be a good idea to go over it with them again because I don't think they had really grasped it yet. Also, I gave them a little handout and they hadn't finished that. I mentioned that to their teacher and said she might want to go over it with them as well.

Yesterday, Thursday, afternoon I was back to the low intermediate class and there were 10 - the biggest class I had taught to that point. It was a lot of fun again, and lots of laughs. They seemed to grasp what I was teaching, and that's always good. Their regular teacher said she thought I was doing an excellent job, and asked them what they thought...they agreed. That felt good.

Over the summer, I may be going to the same place (the multicultural association) to do some one on one teaching for an hour or so. The woman (actually the one who teaches the beginner class) I talked to said that would be a great welcome because there are some students who could really benefit from the extra help. She mentioned one of the ladies in her class and that they were going to get someone to translate to Spanish (this woman's mother tongue) and ask her if she would be willing to come in for some extra help. It's totally up to her, though. I'm just waiting for an email back about it. I'm not sure when I'd start - probably as early as next week. I figured that not only could the association use the extra help (they really need more people there but they don't have the funds to pay for additional staff), but also I could get some practice in teaching as well.

Anyway, that's all for now. I'm off to catch up on a few blogs and do some knitting. Have a Christ filled day!


PJ said...

I find this interesting-thanks for sharing. What are some of the traps new ESL teachers fall into..if you don't mind me asking?

Shelley said...

Well, new teachers often talk to fast (which might be your normal speed for talking, but you need to slow down), you talk a little too much - in that they don't understand half of what you say, or in trying to explain the difference between something like animal and pet, you should keep the explanation short instead of long...those are some "traps".

Jayleigh said...

Shelley, you are so awesome. In the last year, you have been so nerved up, and then down about not getting into the teaching prog. you wanted to do... but isn't this better? You've been so excited about it and you are doing so well.

I am proud of you, friend!



Sounds exciting, we are also planning to get our ESL certificate soon.