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LADO TEFL Journal – Week 2

My first class of students.Tanya, Natalia, Christina & Adriana. My first ESL students.

Well, I made it, the half way point. I’m not really sure what to say about how I feel. The work load is still very challenging, I’m not sure that I really have it comfortably under control. I can say that I feel very at ease in front of the class now. My stage fright has been disappearing more and more with each class. The flow of things feels much better. I understand the general structure of the class, but I do have trouble stringing everything together and making lessons that are cohesive and well constructed. I think that part of my problem is the short amount of time we have to prepare the next days lesson. I understand the limited amount of time we have for training and the importance of keeping things moving quickly, but it does sometimes get frustrating.

I’m starting to focus now on more details within the lesson. Things like wait time, slow and simplified speech, and also simplified written instructions. I think I’ve made progress on these fronts, but I still have work to do. I think I’m getting to a point where I can start to absorb more information and focus on trying to refine techniques and lesson plan details because of my confort with the first “level” of information that has finally sunk into my brain… Well I hope it has anyway. 🙂

LADO TEFL Certificate class - week 2Vance & Caralyn our trainers and my fellow TEFL trainees, except for Shireen, who was home sick.

Classroom presentations have been fun and engaging and there is so much to absorb. It helps so much to see classes modeled effectively, I just feel like I can’t absorb as much as I’d like though. But that’s just the way I’m sure it is when you take the “crash course in brain surgery”. It has been challenging working within a group but also very valuable. Managing personality differences and making sure there is a happy consensus on leson plans has been tough at times. But the insights from other teachers and the benefits of watching their styles of delivery and the way they structure information logically in their minds is very useful. It’s also useful to watch them make mistakes so you can learn from them.

Overall, I’m feeling a bit better than the first week, but still a bit tired entering this third week. I do feel that though I’ve made significant progress, I’ve exposed so many more things that need to be refined further. I think it’s because I have absorbed a first layer of information and now I’m ready to try to pack a little more in on top of it.

Vance said once that he wished he could have us for six months instead of one month. Now I can see why. I just hope I can learn as much as I can in the last two weeks to form a solid enough foundation. I really just want to build good base practices so that I can expand on them once my adventure begins in Korea. My fear is not having enough of a footing and then building bad habits as I amass experience abroad. I think I’m on the right track, but I want to be sure I have a good idea of which direction I need to continue to grow in once I leave the tender arms of Vance and Caralyn…

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