Week 1, Day 4 (Friday) *extra note

Well, I remembered one other neat thing about it. The student whose reading sheet I made a copy of also had jotted down some of the vocab the trainee teacher was treating as it came up in Sts’ questions during the reading. The teacher was well prepared to give really nicely efficient and accurate core-meaning descriptions, etc. but she only gave them orally. She didn’t get any words up on the board. It was sort of ‘hit-and-run’ vocab clarification. And pretty good for what it was. But the need to solidify it further was clear.

So this student’s sheet, happily, had another clear message for the trainee when she saw it.

The first vocab that was (too) quickly dealt with: she wrote the word + definition. She got that one.

The second item had the word, but then some scribbles clearly indicating she’d *missed* the definition. She lay down a marker there, a squiggly line, to illustrate something – unprocessesed/uncaught input. Perfect window into the comprehensibility of the teacher’s output from the learner’s point of view.

As clear as your treatment might be in ONE mode, it’s still only in ONE mode. In this case, that happens to be the most difficult ONE mode to process accurately for most learners, especially when they’re already multi-tasking.

But I didn’t have to explain to the trainee why more than passing oral clarification was needed. The learner and her sheet did it for me. 🙂

Or rather, for her, the trainee. That was my message. THEY are giving you the best, juiciest training. This is why it’s so important to try to pay as close attention to them as possible, even as it’s ‘all about you’ on this expensive, intense, aspirational training course – even if in this moment (in your life, in the course, in the week, the day, the minute…) that extra attentional ‘muscle’ seems weak/sore, there’s simply not enough mental space left during TP performance, or it’s just kind of alien/disorienting..or it just seems ‘wrong’ in a way. Yes. Yes. And yes. All are there, and true. But be aware of the need, and just try as much as possible to…counterintuitively? for sure!…ignore the training, almost, and prioritize this wonderfully paradoxical relationship…as you are “taught by the learners”. Get comfy there. If you can do THAT now, here, at THIS stage…: $$$$$$!

I don’t want to go to far with this, but this had also got me thinking about more regular collection of TP students’ work for analysis and reflection purposes. In fact, because trainees don’t give homework, etc. during the 6 hours of assessed teaching practice on the CELTA, they rarely get a chance to sit down with a pile of learner’s work. This does not reflect real teaching, and could be a blind-spot and/or a missing opportunity. Perhaps I should think about finding a good time/way/system for each trainee to give ONE homework assignment over the course of the month.

Some TP students have even been *asking* for homework, so I doubt it’d be a problem on that end. Hmmm…

Bye diary, see you next time.

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