Week 1, Day 4 (Friday)

Dear Diary,

Nice wrap-up to week 1. Input sessions were energetic, and the final TP2s were solid. The vibes were flowing in a focused way. Momentum! That’s all you can ask for minimally. But the week was far beyond the minimum.

There’s really just one thing I want to get down in this entry, though…

One trainee did a (TP2) reading lesson today. As they do, the students attacked a detailed info task in different ways, including writing the question numbers on the text. The trainee monitored a bit, but it wasn’t clear she had noticed this. So I asked a TP student for her paper after class and photocopied it. I showed this in TPFB and gave it to the trainee.

Part of my feedback was (to the tune of):

We monitor not just to look, but to learn. Not just to help students, but help ourselves. Not just for this lesson, but for the long term. This is our “lab” and it may be the only lab-type class situation you’ll ever have access to (sadly!!!). Try to make the most of this chance to ‘observe’ how the students ‘behave’ when they do, for example, detail question reading tasks. If you leave the course having noticed 4 different ways learners approached a similar task…well, you’ll thank yourself later, trust me.

So, we have to stretch in, perhaps you could say: an almost unfairly challenging (CELTAAAA!) – but compelling! – way to take advantage of this: even as we’re focused on ourselves, learning to teach…we need to focus on learners, learning how they learn. And the latter is, ultimately, the BEST trainer.

The learners teach us what to do. The trainees task instructions contained no specific suggestion for particular ‘mental moves’ (what Underhill calls activity at the ‘Inner Workbench’) to get from A to B. The students choose amongst preferred and plausible options themselves, then.

I’ll stay on the lookout for more opportunities to record unseen students’ work for the trainees.

I don’t want to train them. I want to help these teachers get trained by the learners in their classrooms.

Thoughts? Agreements, questions, challenges, relatable associations?

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One Response to Week 1, Day 4 (Friday)

  1. springcait says:

    I can’t but completely agree – never ending analysis of how learners ‘behave’ builds teacher’s teaching strategies and approaches. It’s great that your trainees got to know it during the first week.

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