2010년 10월 2일 토요일

My Research Plan – Still Vague

I have been teaching for about 20 years in public schools. There are two kinds of major duties as a school teacher: subject teacher and homeroom teacher. These two have been connected closely and unable to be separated from each other in my work place. I felt sorry for my class and my students especially at the end of each semester. So I would like to reflect my teaching management skills on the base of my substantial research.

Today, I narrowed my topic to “How to manage the classroom effectively and searched it in Google. I found out the related articles and flipped though some parts of them. Wang, Haertel, and Walberg (1993) said “Of all the variables, classroom management had the largest effects on students’ achievement. This makes intuitive sense students cannot learn in a chaotic, poorly managed classroom” As I have taught students, I need more knowledge about teaching and more skills. The concept of teaching requires more than what I defined in the past. I want to look for the concrete problem cases and solutions in the different situation.  Then I will find out general principles for the effective classroom management. I expect that my topic will show enlighten to my establishing classroom management skills and philosophy.

2010년 9월 27일 월요일

Response on reflection is at the heart of Practice

This article encourages instructors to reflect their teaching for the better teaching practice with the help of guided reflection or critical incident protocol. Sometimes teachers in Korea share happenings in their lessons one another, their conversation is just talking about their experience, even without specific steps of analyzing it. However, this common conversation sometimes gives an insight into the other instruction. Therefore, if the episodes in the teaching situation are reviewed deeply, they can be much more significant pointers. The reason is that education is interactive between teachers and students. Learners’ behavior or response during the class expresses how they feel about what is studied. When almost students don’t concentrate, and exchange the gossip during the class, their behavior might mean the level of teaching is not appropriate for them. With this realization teacher can choose the easier material or teaching method for the next lesson.

Unforgettable Memery In Learning English

The memory of best learning English                                               
Learning English has been part of my life for several years. The reason is so clear and valid that I couldn’t escape from that duty. It looks like a bunch of burden to me. To have a title as an English teacher is an obstacle to learn English. Most people expect them to be perfect commanders of English. This expectation could be a limitation to be better user of English. As a result, they avoid exposing themselves into English environments. I also have no exception. Therefore I found out the alternative choice to learn English: joining the teacher training sessions, which would be done with English teachers. They make me more comfortable, though I make mistakes, or even lack of competence. Anyway, a moment came to me. I may not forget that experience for the rest of my life. Too exaggeration!!
It was not long that I met that chance. It was last summer vacation. That training was called SIT certification program. It took 180 hours, which means spending whole vacation period. It also required 7 demo classes and thick portfolio-file. Our 2 trainers were over 60s’. One was a Canadian old lady, the other was American gentleman. Phillip, American trainer had a conspicuous eliciting technique and humor. Susan was very sensitive to our needs and dealt the difficulties during the session. They showed their teaching demo and elicited our ideas about teaching four skills. They used color papers, big-size white paper, tape recorder, small cards, scarf, … for teaching aids. Whenever we watched their demo lesson, we are amazed at their idea, technique over human mind. Although they didn’t show the splendid pictures and crafts on the screen, they know the secret to move our mind. For example, they taught “Three Little Birds”, they encouraged us to think about the lyric, showing the hand drawing pictures- farm house, sun, birds… and then gave lyrics cards and asked us to stand when the phrases were heard…. Lastly we danced and hummed the song all together with trainers.
We teachers demonstrated our teaching and reflected it all together. This part was so demanding that most teachers couldn’t sleep well that summer night. We tried to get ideas and prepare for the teaching until the session finished.  We were not supposed to be graded in the program. However, we did our best for our teaching. A teacher brought board –size world map for the lesson. A classical guitar was introduced in the classroom one day. We always discussed ideas, found the reference books in the teachers’ room and helped other teachers make teaching materials and aids such as copying, stapling, cutting, drawing… I also got lots of help from other teachers. When I was finding the ideas for my topic, direction, every teacher got together around me and gave a piece of advice to me. I was so impressed with their support. I stayed late at night and finished my preparation. I got thumbs up for that lesson.
After this program, I realized that my English competence had improved a lot. Language learning pattern may not seem continual rise curve, but steep steps after long slow horizon. At that time I experience this feeling.

Reflection On My Writing Class

It was a writing class, which I was taking in the hot summer days. The age of students was various from the 20’s to the early 50’s. That day teacher gave assignment- write a paragraph within 30 minutes with laptop computers or desk top computers in the lobby. The students in the classroom were trying to write a composition, wracking their heads. However, a problem occurred in the lobby. The students in the lobby didn’t write a paragraph. They just wrote three topic sentences and emailed to the trainer. The Next day, one student complained about the way the trainer taught the writing. He said writing composition could be done by electronic translator. The teacher gave us our revised paragraph with many red letters. Some students were surprised at his composition covered with red letters. There were no left his original composition except for two or three lines. What surprised me the most was that the teacher said, “No more writing in the classroom” 

    The cause of the problem was that all the students were not well motivated to learn about writing. Some students didn’t know the basic concept about writing: Writing ability is acquired by writing.  Another problem was that some students need to learn how to elaborate the idea because they were having difficult time for doing that. Lastly, students were not prepared for the tough correction. It made learners less interested in that class

     Even though the aim or purpose of the lesson is good or best for learners, it should be set on the base of learners’ pre-knowledge or their level. Most of all it’s essential to motivate students before entering the main instruction. 
This incident reminds me of the importance of the motivation and evaluating the students’ pre-knowledge before introducing the teaching activity. I will allot amount of time for motivation and explain the need for certain activity or knowledge. In addition I set the aim of the lesson on the base of learners’ level. To hurry to the teaching aim without any negotiation with students can’t make sense in the end.