Microteaching is not “Micro” at all

June 2, 2008

In the past one year, I had two chances to do the microteaching. One is 澎湖 and the other is in 彰化, but this time, I had to teach before so many observers which every of your mistakes might be awared of or pointed out. So last week, the day before my microteaching, I spent almost all night thinking about how I organize the teaching and picturing the embarassing situation for being too nervous or acting like a fool. My dad used to tell me that if I could stand before my audience just like staring at many “watermelons,” it could be much less scarying. Easier to say than done, I was still anxious about it. When I was confusing about my microteaching, Alice’s advice came to my mind,”before you become a teacher, firtst you must know what kind of teacher you want to be, and hold your belief.” It really calmed me down and also reminded me to concentrate on the teaching. First, I told myself, I want to treat everyone in my class the same and never give up any one due to their grades on the tests. Second, if my students don’t do well on the exam, it’s not because they are too lazy or what, but it’s my fault. I should really make my teaching interesting enough to arouse their motive to come to school to learn, and they could also learn happily and consider the process of obtaining knowledge a kind of exciting game. Therefore, I started to reorganize the teaching mainly based on these two belief, at least try my best to achieve the goal. Also, in this short twenty-minute teaching, I have to show the observers about my teaching belief and reflect what teaching looks like in my class, this is an important part I should notice. At last, it came out to be what you saw last week, at the beginig I devided students into three teams because it can atrract their attention and related to my belief ” learning is an interesting game,” and I try to organize my action zone that I can have sufficient interactions with every student both in the front and the back. Then some activities and games continue to reflect my teaching strategies. After this microteaching, I think next time I should practice more to prevent the situations like skip some part of my teaching or mistakenly present in the wrong order. What an really impressive and interesting experience!  


The Second Adventure—–Lishan High Schools

May 19, 2008

This is the second time to visit a school, and based on the previous experience, we become more familiar with this kind of observation so that we can control the main ideas better. First of all, I must say, Lishan is really a gorgeous school that it has picturesque scenes in the campus and also, there are many passionate teachers and creative students.

In the class, I was surprised that teacher taught them all in English, and they can still have good interactions. Undoubtedly, when we’re immersed in a language, it’s hard to ignore it, instead, you must get used to it. In Taiwan, we should really diversify the way of teaching English, not merely concentrate on the grammar or tests. What’s more, teachers there are all creative, they may use graphic diagrams, ppt, movies or other technology aids. And just like what Alice gave us in the class, they could have role plays, make films with students or offer some games. Students’ works and creations are demonstrated on the wall, which is a strategy for them to review what they’ve learned or done.

After this visit, I’ve learned that if teachers can form a teaching group, discussing and designing curriculum together, they’ll create more interesting ideas and elevate the whole quality of the classes. In Lishan, it looks like every one is passionate in education, from the principal to teachers, they devote their time to make students better. We can see in the school motto, they want to build a scientific school which can provide students many chances to create and be responsible for doing some researches or reports.

In the tour to Lishan, I saw what the education should be and I got many inspirations for the teaching in the future as well.

Try, Try Again

May 2, 2008

Recently, a closest friend of mine is struggling for the coming future. It reminds me of  an impressive conversation which is embedded deeply in my mind from a teacher in the senior high.

When you fall down on the ground in pain,

Don’t give up, just try, try again.

When you face the crossroad  in front of your life,

Don’t hesitate, but just pick up a way and try, try again.

When you succeed one day,

Don’t be full of yourself, but try, try again.

I hope that it could give you some inspirations and also you should know that you have my best wishes. Good Luck!

A Great Adventure in Long-men Junior high(4/1/2008)

April 6, 2008

      I can’t stop being anxious about the visit in Long-men until I saw the partners there, since it’s on the April Fool’s Day, every thing could happen. When we entered the school, I really couldn’t move my eyes away from those marvelous buildings. Looking at the signpost, lighting, floors and so on, it gave me an illusion, like being at the department store. And through Ben’s vivid introduction of the campus, we could see both archaic and modern part of this downtown school precisely that it somehow shows the process of progressing in education from tradition to modern society. After this short sightseeing tour, we went back to the conference room discussing about teaching, and the teachers also shared their career experience with us.

       An issue mentioned in the discussion is ”teaching in a small class.” I believe that a small class can bring the better quality of teaching, since teacher can communicate with their students much more and cares about every individual’s problems, not to mention learners can have more oppurtunities to practice and express their own opinions. However, even school with great teaching resources like Long-men, it can’t really put the idea of small class into effect. And comes with another problem is that many schools don’t have sufficient aids in teaching, like those on the off-shore island or the eastern part of Taiwan. Judging from the above, it reminds me to think about how to srike a compromise between implementing the idea of  small-class teaching and the reality. Also, to be a good teacher, we have to adjust our teaching to redeem the shortage of educational resources. After all, not every school can have such a wonderful learning environment like Long-men.

        Then the story comes to the climax, we have an observation in Miss Wu’s class. To begin with, I believe that she is a charming teacher, because students really focused on the class even we interuptly sitting behind, and the atmosphere is absolutely enjoyable and comfortable, they may have some discussion or little chat. Miss Wu uses many methods to manage her class, like not to stand in the same place for too long, instead, she may walk through aisles and calls students answering questions, which all makes them pay attention to the teaching. Basically, she begins the unit from vocabularies and then the grammar. During the end of every part, they’ll have some exercises in the textbook and some games to practice more. The lines below are some details observed in the class:

1.Teach some voc by the idea of prefix, suffix and root.     2.Always be aware of what your students are doing, especially those who are daydreaming.   3. Reminds the students about the common errors, like poor v.s pool.  4.Use daily materials to connect with the new words.  5.Interaction is necessary in the class. 6.Before teaching new ideas, make sure they still remember the old experiences.  7.Remembering a person’s name is an important thing to open your communication.    8.Make your teaching interesting and attractive, or you will waste much time in class management.  9. Setting the game rules in class well, you and your students will have a better time in learning. 



Tv or not Tv, that’s a question….

March 29, 2008

My Tv cable has been cut for almost two weeks. At first I’m really anxious about living without it, and though it’s not really a good news to me,I gradually find myself obtain much more spare time than before. I have to admit that during the past few days I got nothing to do but just constantly turn on the TV, staring at the no-signal screen, what a disaster. At last I quit thinking about all the TV things and turn my attention to other objects, like reading or writing. This chnage is truly a good chance for me to have a better quality of life. I can practice my English more often, go out exercising to lose weight,or even spend more time with my friends. These things are really important but unfortunately I was not a hard working student since I was born. I’d rather finish my assignment on the day before deadline than missing my favorite cartoon, or start to prepare the exam when it’s coming on the next week. Believe me, I regret for this behavior from the buttom of my heart, and now my cutdown TV gives me a great opportunity. Technology can either help us learn or even stop us to implement our plan. So now I’d consider the days without TV a real release for me from being captured by modern technology. After all, human invent things to make life better, not to occupy the most of our time. So let’s turn off the TV and perhaps we will see much more than before.    

Teaching Belief~~

March 24, 2008

Though our attitude toward belief in teaching may not be firm enough to keep its original face when encountering some outer factors, somehow I still believe that we should find out our personal teaching beliefs. It can’t be too idealistic, instead, it’s just like a running race that in the middle, you may fall, but this reason shouldn’t trap you to start, it’s all about the passion!So as for me, I’d like to believe that “all students are created equel,”every of them should acquire the same right to learn, that is, never give up our students. Even those who always commit many troubles and have a strong antagonism toward learning may be the preasure in the future. I think all they need is a teacher who really wants to listen to them, and be their friend, after all, they’re definitely smart if they can do all the tricks and troubles. Once they are psychologically secure, they will be more open to the knowledge in school, and it’s the opening gate to a successful achievement. In a nutshell, I consider the psychological aspect more important which I’ll put more emphisize on it from the very begining, and I also beleive that this belief is the way to arouse their intrinsic motive in learning, and is the chance to be more responsible for their own behavior and learning. I will try my best to put this belief to use, without forgetting  my original passion about teaching.

What a “lesson plan” is

March 17, 2008

From my point of view, lesson plan is just like a driver’s guidebook, which can show you how to drive the car lest you would crash it, especially for the new hands. Take my experience for example, last summer vacation I attended a teaching group to 澎湖七美島, and it’s my first time to be responsible for a whole class on the stage in front of so many “eager eyes.” Therefore, I wrote a lesson plan based on their needs and extent after I discussed with the only English teacher in their school. I got an idea that due to 七美 is an island knowned as the famous touring paradise, the ability to introduce others about their beautiful home with propriate description is very important and useful. So this ability becomes the main goal and subject of my english lesson. Thanks for this lesson plan, I can clearly know what material or equipment I need, and also the instructional procedure or time-controling. What’s more, though there are usually some accidental events for me to adjust the lesson plan, it really calms me down since I can gain some tips for what’s going to do between every part of the lesson without losting the learning goal for them. Having a good lesson plan can absolutely help us a lot to create a more successful teaching. 

My own learning strategy and style~

March 17, 2008

I believe that every one has their own learning style  and methods to learn english, so I’m pleased to share my way to all the partners, and hope we can have more discussions here. After looking through  the link ” http://lorien.ncl.ac.uk/ming/learn/ilsintro.htm”, I find myself an active learner(compared to the reflective one), it means I prefer to learn through interaction than lecturing style.  So as far as I’m concerned, I usually use my”imagination” to practice my english. Every time when I’m watching a movie at home, I’ll act like I’m a role in it and then just simulate the situation for practice the dialogue. It may be a little bit odd(even though basically no one could be in your room looking at you from the back?!), but somehow I recommend this method for those who are also active learners, since it can offer a situation of group discussion and interact with people from foreign culture as well . It’s my most common way to practice listening, speaking and learn more useful daily vocabularies. I hope this simulated-imaginational-English-practicing method could give you some new ideas.

Question 2: What strategies will you use to make your teaching more effective and meaninful

March 3, 2008

From my point of view, a message delivering succeeds only when it’s meaningful and acceptable for listeners, or it could be just cut off. Language teaching is the same, it’s just like delivering knowledge to students. so whether the communication is successful or not will all depend on ‘how you deliver it?’ For a long time, I’ve been thinking about what a good teaching is, and from affective humanistic and communicative I get some hints. Basically, we have to attract learners’ attention first, so the starting step is to ensure that your curriculum is interesting and pressureless. Playing games is a good choice, and if they could learn new language without feeling ‘learning’ itself but just playing, the teaching is much more interesting for all of us. Second, dividing students into groups or peers is a useful strategy to create a united atmosphere that everyone is willing to help others instead of defeating them. And when students stand for their team to answer the question, they won’t just give up trying so easily, you don’t need to work so hard yelling them to listen to you, so I’ll try to give my children more responsibilities and space of freedom. I’ve joined a teaching group to a elementary school this winter vacation, and I find out that a good communication is much more effective than tell them what to do totally by the teacher. So if we can arouse student’s intrinsic motivation, the whole language learning would be spontaneously effective and meaningful.         

Question 1: Which of these approaches do you hope will have more influence on your teaching in future

March 3, 2008

There is no denying that our lessons should be flexible for kinds of different students, since they may come from two totally opposite cultures or family backgrounds. Therefore, these ten or even more teaching approaches should be a possible choice. However, among these approaches, I think Affective humanistic and Communicative influence me the most.Both of them share a same main point—communication. Take Affective humanistic for example, it respects the individual, each student and even the teacher, their feelings are also respected and considered very important. When the class atmosphere makes learners feel comfortable, the teaching will be much more effective and attractive.What’s more, teacher’s role is no longer a commander, instead, a counselor or facilitator which means students can own more rights to guide themselves in learning. And for Communicative, it’s just like a further step based on humanistic that they can respect each other and have a good communication, thence language show its social functions. Working in groups or pairs offer learners a chance to cooperate with others and engaging in role play is also a way for them to learn something themselves. Here, the role of the teacher is still like a facilitator. Judjing from the above, the affective humanistic and communicative give me the most enlightenment and influence my belief to teaching a lot.