This course has especially helped me out in two areas: lesson planning and grammar. Both of those areas of teaching were things that I didn’t take seriously enough while teaching the past three years. For lesson planning, I’d usually rely on my Korean co-teachers to plan the lessons and tell me what I should do. When I had no co-teachers, I’d either follow the textbook or go to class with a half-put together plan and if the plan wasn’t adequate, I would just kill for time. Both of these can be bad, as the students got bored of strict textbook learning, or I could tell they were frustrated by my lack of direction or organization. For grammar, at first I thought, I speak english
, so I will automatically know it. After I realized how foolish that was, I usually would answer grammar questions with either, “I’m not sure why it’s like this, it just sounds better,” or “Ask your Korean teacher, she knows a lot more grammar than I do.” Obviously these were not ideal qualities in a teacher, so having done this course, I know my teaching will become better as both my grammar knowledge has increased, and my lesson planning will become stronger.
Through this course, I found out a lot more about the different areas of lesson plans. Before I merely relied on a “Review, Content, Wrap-up” style of lesson. Breaking it down by “Engage, Study, and Activate” will allow me to better control the class and will hopefully make the activities flow better and thus be more useful for the students. If something I want to do in class doesn’t adequately fit into one of those three areas, or fit into the flow of the class, I will now try to change the activity or use it for a different time. Before, I may have just thought to cram it into the lesson because it’s interesting or because I have ten extra minutes and don’t have any other ideas.
Also, making all of the lesson plans and coming up with activate stage activities for this course will definitely make my lessons better. Before, I especially struggled with creating games or fun activities for the students to do. Now I feel like I can come up with a fun activity for any topic or grammar point. This is great for me, because I would typically be stressed when trying to create these activities.
As for grammar, I now have a better base of knowledge in the subject. It’s sad to think how little of our own language us english
speakers really know. Finding out about the variety of tenses, conditionals, and clauses was great. It is really interesting to learn why we speak the way we speak. Besides the personal gain I received from the grammar units, the professional gain and growth I will experience as a teacher is even more valuable. I will be able to help students better with grammar questions and more importantly, I will make fewer mistakes in my teaching. It’s always embarrassing when I teach something and am then a student questions me about the accuracy of what I taught. I just laugh it off, but teaching the wrong things can have serious consequences both for me and the students. I feel after this course, which has provided me with basic knowledge and a desire to learn more, the mistakes I make will decrease.
Improving on mistakes, knowing more about my own language, and being able to better prepare for classes are why I am happy about having taken this course. It provides me not only with the important certification, but also with the skills and tools I need to become a better teacher.