Yes, it is time to confess.
Even though I haven’t talked about this since the beginning of opening this blog, now it is time to finally say the truth:) I opened this blog not because I initially had the desire to, but because I had an assignment for one of my Master program classes. It has become, however, something that I did with great excitement and sometimes even spent more time than I could actually afford. That’s why I hope you will forgive me for this 🙂
Keeping a blog, it turned out, requires lots of commitment and impacts very positively on improving one’s writing skills. Assigning blog writing to your learners will also be a great way to develop their critical and creative thinking, peer feedback and cooperation. Teaching them how to use the blog to connect to bigger networks will also be very beneficial for your learners. It is very important also to keep your learners always active on the blogging platforms so they would read each other’s posts, start discussions which then will be brought to the actual classroom for further discussion and analysis. Blogging, I believe, is one way of making your teaching more learner-centered. I enjoyed the experience as a learner for sure. Now as the semester is close to finishing, we have yet another assignment: to reflect on what we learnt in the class and what we will consider using in our future classrooms as teachers.
Now the second confession!
I am not sure on what kind of a teacher I will make. I am not sure whether I will ever become a teacher or not. My teaching experience has been limited to teaching individuals, small groups of adults, people who are themselves very excited for learning, where my job has always been the facilitating of the environment so their learning will happen in a more productive way. When today I went to an actual classroom of a public school for an observation, teacher left the classroom for few minutes to bring something and I decided to introduce myself to the 8th grade kids who study English as foreign language. I stepped in front of the classroom with a big smile on my face, but the anxiety in my chest was reaching unimaginable levels. I have never had that feeling before. Usually it takes me a second to overcome the stress, but this time even though i was not going to teach, the feeling of responsibility of entertaining those 27 kids for 5 minutes was really overwhelming (not exactly in a negative way however).
This incident made me once again think about my role in a classroom. When people ask me what I will be doing in future, I usually answer that whatever I will do will be targeted towards education or will try to be beneficial for education. Saying that, I want to admit that classroom research, observations, investigation and analysis, the acquiring of educational data for various academic purposes seems closer to my character than the actual teaching practice.
Thus from today on, I will be updating my blog with my reflections on the research that I am doing for my Master Thesis on the Armenian EFL teachers’ attitudes towards learner centered methodologies. Meantime I will examine my own attitude towards everything that is really happening in the public school classrooms.
In the end I want to say that after the teacher of that public school EFL classroom came back and started shouting at kids for not being ready with homework and during the first 10 minutes assigned even more homework (which was almost identical task as the previous one), I realized that public schools do need the input of students trained to introduce more interactive, low -anxiety and exciting methods and tasks into the classrooms.
As for now, I would really appreciate if you could share your opinions on using modern technologies in EFL classrooms, advantages and disadvantages of those.
Thank you for following my posts during this few months.