And so the second day of independent teaching is behind. It is time to look back and reflect. What achievements did I have? What flaws were there that need working on? What was there I liked most about my teaching? What was there I wish I hadn’t done?
This time I was just as decisive to rearrange the Ss in the classroom as the last time. I knew my cooperative teacher had spoken to the disruptive girl. I knew I would succeed this time.
The students came and seated themselves. I reminded them about the lot drawing practice. The girl looked at me with despise. I went up to her and asked if she didn’t like making new friends. She said she did, and she blushed. I answered: “I knew you would say yes, I believe that you will work better this time. I know you will cooperate better.” She had no choice but to pretend she liked her new group and the people there. To create relationship between all these people and make them share, cooperate and interact I deliberately print out one copy of each handout with large letters. Now I can say without any hesitation that we succeeded in this. There was a clear cooperation among the members of each group. The greatest achievement for me was the discipline and cooperation, which we lacked at the previous class.
During my previous lesson, I noticed that Ss were much more enthusiastic about out-of-coursebook activities. Moreover, the reading material and exercises from the textbook were not interesting and not related to armenian reality by any means Thus, I was decisive to create a whole lesson on my own, though sticking to the grammar and vocab from the textbook. I printed out a pile of handouts. The first ones were for consciousness raising, which pushed the kids to deducing the grammar rule. And the Ss did it! Then came guided and controlled practice of the grammar item and vocab. Lastly there was communicative practice where the Ss interviewed their pairs. Afterwards I randomly picked up a number and asked the student under that number to tell me a certain info about his/her pair that he discovered through the interview. The Ss loved this activity! They took it very seriously. As the number of Ss was odd, i urged the left out student to interview Mrs. Gohar. He felt very privileged.
What I would change in my class was the way I introduced each next activity. Though each of my activites was the logical continuation of the precious, I failed to create a nice flow from one to the other by introducing and making logical connections orally. After the class I had a feeling of a choppy lesson plan. The last part of my class was based on an activity we watched at one of our TEFL 302 class. In the video, the teacher had the students group word pointing out that there was no right and wrong answer; any categorization was correct as long as the Ss could support their choice with logical reasons. To revise the vocab from the last 4 classes I printed out and cut all the words, and asked my Ss to group them. I pointed out that they were free to put them in any type of group they find reasonable. However, I was surprised to find them narrowing down the criteria for each group to say, days of the week, or names of the months. Some of them were annoyed as they were trying hard to find the “right answer”. They were surprised to hear me saying that I would put days of the week, names of the months, parts of a day, and other time adverbs all in one big group as they denote time.
If I were to conduct the same lesson again, I would still use all the handouts I had prepared, I would conduct all the activities, however, I would try to feel more at easy and guide the Ss from activity to activity more fluently.
I wanted to say that my cooperative teacher is the best ever! The most caring and supportive teacher I could ever have dreamt of. Thank you, Mrs. Gohar.