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

A bit of time, chats with some lovely colleagues and a helpful blog post has helped with this.


As Sam said so well, teaching is an emotional job. Why I need reminding of this I don’t know. I see it on a regular basis with my CELTA trainees!! But hey ho. I want to make my lessons interesting and relevant for the students, I want them to enjoy them and of course it would be an added bonus if they liked me. I was not getting such positive feedback from the students but then, in week 2 we weren’t really doing the most exciting of things. We were talking ‘rules’, creating portfolios and doing a PowerPoint task (so I could gauge their IT skills)

I tried hard to make these tasks interesting, and used the carousel technique to keep everyone moving. But still, pretty dry stuff.

ESOL or embedded ESOL

My sessions are on PSD and IT, not straight ‘ESOL’. Two new syllabus’s that I have yet to fully get my head around so still very much out of my comfort zone. This realisation has really helped with my planning for next week, where I have ensured there are some good old-fashioned ESOL-y type activities. A bit of vocab work. Some listening skills. Feeling much better about the class.

Beginning of the year

I had such a great end of year. I think I was buzzing for most of July. So coming back in September and everyone seems to be having a bit of a tough time, as discussed in the very useful #ukesolchat

An imprompu lunch time chat reminded me that you can’t compare students at the beginning of the year with those at the end of last year. All that ‘learner training’ and relationship building that has been going on.  Good to be reminded how important it is to foster those relationship both with and between the students.

moving forward

So my plan for Monday is to continue to build on those relationship. Encourage students to peer support each other, especially in using the IT. I need to think about what groups I want and how I am gong to create these groups.

I’m using some tried and tested techniques – giving out ‘hint’ cards to encourage peer support, giving a broad ‘task’ rather than step-by-step instructions. I’m using some familiar technology – Word, internet, images mixed with something that may (or may not) be new – creating charts in Excel.

I’m also bringing in what I am definitely assuming will be new tech.  I’m going to use the class iPads for the first time and I’m going to use Pinterest (thanks again Sam for the great idea) so I want to introduce a section on passwords and user names and start to introduce the idea of digital literacy needed in the web 2.0 age.

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