Posts tagged ‘teaching’

Motivation and me: the challenges

motivationI was recently asked ‘Why do you do what you do? Why do you get out of bed every morning?’

Big Questions! But something teachers should continually ask themselves.

The IFL’s final survey of teachers found that

“More than anything, it seems that the central motivation for teachers in FE and skills is the successful achievement and progression of learners.”

I recently did a ranking activity on skills and attributes of a teacher. The list was referenced to such places as The Sutton Trust Toolkit, OFSTED and the Education and Training Foundation, and contained words such as enthusiasm, inspiring, passion, high expectations & knowledgeable. It was a great discussion activity and an opportunity to have the time and space to think about such BIG QUESTIONS. Read more ►

A Day of Planning

I’ve had A Day today.

I’ve considered different possible assessment tasks. I’ve ditched all of those and decided to use some already designed tasks. I had a Small Panic that this was ‘cheating’. I had a timely call from a fabulous colleague who Set Me Straight.

I’ve thought about a lot of different possible tasks to support those assessment tasks. I just about discarded most of the ideas and reduced the activities down into something more realistic that fits into the time scale & the assessment brief.

I’ve printed stuff. I stuck post-its on these print outs with notes reminding me what I want to do this them. There is a lot of copy & cut instructions. I like matching activities! Read more ►

iPads apps: student explorations

I was (am) still feeling a little overawed with the class set of iPads. I am still taking the eight iPads into class every Monday, and most weeks they get used. But I have really focused on letting the students self-direct with using Google translate or images to check any new words or I have continued to experiment with using the app Ask3. Beyond this I was feeling a little stuck for inspiration and a Bit Daunted by the huge amount of apps available.

A chance corridor conversation gave me the nudge I needed I needed. My colleague has been using the iPads with her maths students. She told me she had initially introduced the iPads and spent some time letting the students explore the wide variety of maths-specific apps available. Now in class, she plans a 15-20 slot where students can self-direct their studies and she’s getting an informal idea of which apps they like by which ones they return to. (She also told me she had an evening student that was considering moving to the daytime class, but when she found out the iPads were not available in the daytime she decided to stay in the evening!!) Read more ►

a dash of differentiation & a huge helping of peer support

I had a thoroughly enjoyable 16-18 class this week. Gasp, shock, horror I hear you cry. It’s been such a long time since I posted about my bemusement of the younger age group it’s hard to figure out where the time has gone.

So what exactly have I been grappling with? Moody teenagers – check. An unknown curriculum – check. Trialling some new technologies – check. No wonder I’ve had No Brain to write!

I think I finally have a grasp of the (dreadful) PSD portfolio-building assessment & the iPads have taken on a routine-usage. As for the moods – just gotta swing with those. Read more ►

iPads and Course Books

At the last regional NATECLA conference I spent some time with the lovely Julia, who was staffing the OUP stand. She demo-ed the wonders of iHeadway and talked a good talk about the benefits of a course book.

On the whole, as an ESOL teacher in the UK, course books have played a pretty minor part of my repertoire, they always seemed to take so much adapting it was hardly worth it. Read more ►

crime, criminals & keeping your online presence private

crime/criminal

crime/criminal

I have reflected previously that I would embed the topic from PSD into developing the students ICT & digital literacy skills, however as the end of 1/2 term approached I felt that it was becoming increasingly challenging to keep the students engaged for 4 hours on a single topic. So today I have changed tack and had two distinct sessions: 2 hours of PSD and 2 hours of ICT.

Over the past couple of weeks I have also been increasingly aware that the iPad project has been dominating my thoughts and my planning with this group so I was keen to have a more balanced lesson this week. Read more ►

Tech for Learning Round Two

The second course starts tomorrow night. I’m disappointed that more internal staff aren’t doing the course this year, but I understand that having to find £200 to part self-fund is a big ask in these financially challenging times.

But I am excited to have some external candidates this year. I think it will bring a different perspective to the course.

The interviews last week highlighted the variety of experiences of everyone, in terms of subject specialism and experience with technology. The themes that came from the interview : Read more ►

The fog lifts

Attribution: Image: ‘White sunset’ http://www.flickr.com/photos/22705478@N03/6831414535 Found on flickrcc.net

I may actually be starting to get my head around my new 16-18 ESOL group. I definitely spent the first two weeks in a kind of fog where I felt every thought I had led down the dark alley  of cluelessness.

The first week was a pretty traditional ESOL-y first lesson, with getting to know you activities and a college induction and class rules. So far so predictable. Except it wasn’t predictable. I wasn’t at all sure how the lesson would go at all – as it turns out the much over planned college tour using QR Codes and iPods was a Big Flop while the ‘draw a good student/a bad students/a good teacher’ went fairly well. Read more ►

Class iPads – a new challenge

As if I don’t have enough on my hands with a new age group (yes, this year I am teaching 16-18 ESOL. Gulp), and two new curriculum (it’s no ordinary ESOL- if such a thing exists – I’m teaching PSD and IT. Double Gulp) I am going for broke and want to trial using iPads in the classroom.

Being a bit of an iPad fan (s0 much of my professional development revolves around the ease of acccess to my fabulous PLN through my device) I very much see iPads as personal devices. So I have been very reluctant to consider using them in the classroom. Read more ►

taking a step back

step back

It has taken me almost a week to be able to get enough of a perspective to be able to sit  down and write about my first two weeks of my new 16-18 ESOL. Why? I have struggled to really unpick what has been so challenging about the first two lessons.

After my second lesson on Monday here’s about all I could manage in 140 character installments Read more ►