14th of September (5th blog entry)
I have to apologise again for not keeping up my blog!
I feel especially sorry for you - Simon, who is forced to the role of an "one-man-band".
It's nobodies fault really, I suppose, because I applied for this blog as early as April and hoped to use it as a preparation tool for the course I'm attending now.
It's pretty much half time and looking ahead I must say, I doubt that my course will allow me enough extra time for other obligations like writing this blog.
So, it would be sensible to take me off and give the person next in line a chance!
Well - let's me report how my course is going!?
My first teaching practice was on Thursday and it went better than the micro teaching session (teaching to your fellow trainees).
I was actually less nervous, which isn't really surprising because I was in a situation were my students knew less English than me (their teacher) while in the micro teaching session the teacher (me) knew less English than the "students" (my fellow trainees).
I think I was able to build a rapport to the students, to engage them in the task (a role play) and respond to their needs. My planning was flexible enough to allow me a good time-management.
I still have to improve on my voice (to speak clearer and slower) and I also made some mistake how I used the English language.
That is actually my main concern: Am I a confident enough English speaker to teach English to foreign students?
Back in Germany I thought my English is pretty good! But I compared myself with other Germans, of course!
Now the bar is much higher - I compare myself to native speaker and think my English is actually pretty lousy!
Then I ask myself - why did they accept me to this course in the first place?
Wouldn't it be fairer to say - sorry your English is not good enough to teach it to foreign students.
I would have been disappointed at first, of course! But now I've to find it out the hard way, which is even tougher!
Simon - that's exactly the point where your metaphor error=learning opportunity doesn't work!
One can argue that four weeks aren't long enough to become an English teacher. But they are certainly NOT long enough to become a perfect English speaker.
To boil it down to one sentence: I can't concentrate on good teaching and good English at the same time yet!
So, I'll continue to use incorrect English in the classroom. I feel sorry for my students but, however, I hope I can help them somehow to improve their English.
My second concern is my level of energy. I don't think that's a specific problem of mine. By Thursday morning everyone in my class had black rings around their eyes and talking to my fellow-trainees confirmed that observation.
On Friday I was so tired even a long cold shower was unable to make me feel awake. Yesterday (on Saturday) I just walked around like a brain dead zombie and I was suppose to come up with creative ideas for my next teaching practice which is tomorrow (on Monday).
I just wrote an email to my course director telling him, how I feel about the physical limits of my mental energy (being 39 certainly doesn't help). I had to write my report within three hours on Friday evening, at the end of a very exhausting week.
I don't see that the coming weeks will be less demanding - quite the opposite!
Instead of just one teaching practice, there will be two per week and the number of reports also continues to increase.
Funny enough - I don't want to be the one who is declaring defeat (that's a matter of self-respect). I would rather them telling me "Sorry we made a mistake in accepting you to this course - you are simple not good enough!".
Well - maybe I worry to much... but this is certainly no holidays!
Best wishes for everyone!
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