I have learned a great deal from this course. Because my only previous experience as a teacher was very unstructured, this course’s focus on ESA lesson plans was quite revelatory. From the first unit, I began to examine my career as a student, from my youngest days on, recognizing techniques my teachers put to use. I’ve been able to critically examine past classrooms, taking note of what worked and what could’ve been done differently. I have a new sense of awareness that extends beyond the classroom and into all communicative interactions.
It came somewhat as a surprise, but I learned a great deal about my mother tongue. This newfound knowledge of grammar will help me disentangle the english
language for my students. And, realizing the value of student talk-time, I will take care to assign plenty of pair and group work. I feel comfortable with the ESA structures, and, acknowledging that flexibility will come with experience, I am confident with the methodology that forms the foundation of all my lessons-to-be.
Although nothing can quite prepare a new teacher for the first day in the classroom, this course has warned me of many common problems that may arise, from behavioural issues to lack of school supplies. Far from expecting the worst, I have developed the expectation that it’s natural to encounter difficulties. Acknowledging this allows me to plan accordingly, to have solutions ready, to have backup materials, to be ready to consult fellow, more experience teachers.
This course has taught me that, no matter what the skill level of the students, constant encouragement is needed. I will strive to build my lessons while keeping their point of view in mind. Patience on my part will help the students gain confidence in their abilities, leading them to participate. The better rapport I build, and the sooner, the more the students will enjoy the class, and the more they will take away from it.
In addition to the general knowledge of the language, the methodology, and the many resources, materials and websites I have acquired through this course, I have built a collection of lesson plans. Though some of them may prove to be the work of a novice, they provide me with a record of, and insight into, my development throughout the course. Indeed, I have been a student for the past few months, and this course has fostered in me an eagerness to step into the classroom.
I look forward to providing young students with a welcoming, safe and stimulating atmosphere, giving them the group and individual attention they need, when I arrive in Shanghai one month from now.