INDEPENDENTTEACHING 1

I have been tutoring for more than 10 years and have had many school kids as students. But I was very nervous before my first independent class to be delivered at EEC. There was a feeling as if I were a plane passenger who was suddenly asked to come and take up from where the pilot had left off and fly the plane to its destination! I had this strange feeling when I had to check their homework without having looked at the workbook before the class. But here is when my supervisor, the cooperating teacher, and my experience rushed to help me out!

Right after the lesson I was somewhat disappointed and blue because the children were noisy sometimes and I couldn’t make it to cover all the activities I had put in my lesson plan. But now reflecting on my lesson I can state that it was a success in terms of targeting all the LO’s I had mentioned in my LP and even one more.  However, I had failed to realize my plot: I wanted to separate the two girls who were best friends and refused to interact with any other student in class. I believed it would be a good idea to have them somehow interact with others while working in one group or as a pair. I thought that making them draw lots to find their pair and desk would be a great idea to fulfill my plan.

At first everybody was reluctant to change their desk mate and desk, but eventually I talked them into it, saying that this was the part of a game we were going to play. But it was too early to celebrate my victory. After watching one of the girls’ activity for some minutes I realized she refused to  get into any type of contact with other peers except her regular deskmate. She even refused to answer her group mates questions while doing a group activity. When I came up to her and explained that now they were a team she replied, “These are not my team! I won’t show them my homework and won’t talk to them.”  Eventually, she was sent back to her friend to relieve the tension. Others, though unwillingly at first, stayed in their new groups and interacted with their classmates other than their “best friends”.

The grammar unit of the day was Present Progressive, and I supplemented the book with a running dictation activity based on the PP sentences from their course book. For consciousness raising purposes the auxiliaries along with ing endings were bolded. After the messy homework check this activity cheered me up, as it was a success! The students were enthusiastic, motivated and serious about the competition: they dictated very quietly so that the “rival” teams wouldn’t overhear.

To make sure the consciousness raising had worked, I had my Ss  conjugate a verb in PP and fill in a chart stuck to the board. Almost every student had the chance to contribute. And guess what? No mistakes at all! In the course there were various sorting and grouping activities before the final great fun: miming! Here the students had to mime the action they saw on my tablet. There were as many action pics as the number of students. To recycle the sports vocab they had covered in previous lessons I chose sport activity pictures.  And here is when the class had to implement the present continuous in speech. In authentic speech! They had to call out the action their peer was mining giving a full sentence in present progressive. This was the time we had fun reinforcing the new grammar item.

For my future classes I guess I will be using all the four out-of-textbook activities I tried out at EEC.

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