Constructive criticism

Middle of another week – they seem to go by so quickly – and hopefully tonight I’ll make so serious headway with winter holiday planning. However, this week’s Junior 2 lessons haven’t gone that well. I had an observation recently, which said I did some things well (ICQs, which is good as on the CELTA I kept forgetting these, and writing on the board). But also, that the class was pitched at quite a low level – Junior 2 are a mixed bunch. Quite a few of them have good levels of English – well, okay levels – and usually do what I ask. Then there are those who are less good at the language and struggle through everything. I accept that the observation lesson was a bit too easy – I was teaching it off spec, without a PowerPoint (which was commented as a positive, due to the fact I wrote everything on the board and that can help students more than a PowerPoint).

The theme for this week’s classes has been the environment, which nominally was great. It is a good topic and one I know a lot about. However, I was not responsible for planning it this week (we each take it in turns) and, as is usually the case, you don’t get this until last thing on Sunday evening. So, when I went to bed about 10 or 10.30 on Sunday night, the others were still working on it.

I had done my own and tried this on Monday. The first class was okay, the second – and this class had to be cut by 15 minutes due to a class meeting the students had to attend – told me it was too hard and they wanted more games. This is good criticism, and stuff I can take away and use and try and adapt lessons accordingly. Trying to pitch to mixed classes is never easy and I don’t have the balance right at the moment. I need to do more of that, and get students speaking more and do student-student interaction. I might even consider moving students around the classroom, sitting them with different students to make a change. So onwards and upwards…

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