Tuesday, March 31, 2009

TEFL and the Village People

I love my TEFL course! It is rapid and intense and full of all kinds of teaching tools. I feel like I have learned so much, am equipped with so many more tools and concepts than I was before. My brain is busy with new teaching techniques, rapid-firing, full of curiosity and questions.

Something about teaching English as a second language feels really wonderful. There are a lot of parameters to take into account when lesson planning, which keeps me focused and from spinning out of control. As a teacher, your goal is for your students to talk, so you spend little time talking, your directions are short, and you plan your lessons with "potential issues" in mind, as well as solutions. You have to have clear learning objectives, and specific tasks and practice for how to reach those objectives. Having these guidelines and structures to follow iws so comforting to me! I know I have tendency to be scattered, and to try and cover so much in my plans for teaching, and this keeps me focused! It felt great during my mini-lesson to feel so prepared, in control of the classroom and my material. Not to say that it is rigid; teaching so far has been fun and creative! The students are a blast.

I have class observations this week, and I'm teaching a mini-lesson on a specific grammar rule or concept on Monday. We start practice teaching full classes for full class periods (60 minutes) next week! It's crazy to think that I only have three weeks left of this course, and in my homestay. I am putting the feelers out for another place to live, considering working at Máximo, and I sent my resume to the progressive bilingual preschool.

I adore my classmates, and we've been hanging out after class as well as in class. It's great to be branching out on my own, meeting new people, taking on the challenge of "being a great teacher." We're starting to study more English grammar this week, and I am excited for that challenge as well. My head can feel so messy sometimes, but everything is simple and calm in my TEFL classroom, whether I am in my role as a student or a teacher.

It just occured to me that I also have similar feelings about teaching Preschool. I still keep vocalizing that TEFL and Preschool are the only "school" settings in which I can see myself teaching. I wonder if this is true, or if I will continue down the educational path and find that I can fit in other avenues, with other grades or subjects. I am so curious as to what lies ahead of me!

Also, 20 soles for a ticket to see the Village People on Saturday. In Cusco. How could I not? A bunch of people from my class are going. And with the current exchange rate, that works out to be 6.34 USD.

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