Reflection

You can’t teach without reflecting. Apparently.

You sit in a staff room an listening to people moaning about “them” being idiots/dummies/dehumanized amorphous masses; about “them” not being capable of independent thought; about “them” not giving a monkey’s.

You chirp, “It’s because the students are not used to dealing with communicative classrooms and they don’t want to make mistakes. Why not try group work and reporting group opinions if they’re shy or unresponsive.”

You mean ‘I wouldn’t talk to you either if you carried that attitude about me. I’m putting in my two-pence worth because it’s frustrating listening to you.’

“Well, I’ll give it a try but…”

At the same institution you have had students enjoy TOEIC lessons by drawing the focus away from the book and on the thought processes behind the questions set. Students work together to produce their own TOEIC-style materials. You’ve had students give group carousel poster sessions about language study and motivation. You’ve had students survey their classmates and then reflect on whether their survey design was flawed or not. Only one of these was your own idea. Mostly everyone has been on task. Either you have remarkable classes or your students are just in a better mood for studying.

You are exploring your practice. You share ideas. You can advise what works for you and something that might be good to try. In a class full of “them”.

You can’t expect everyone to be enthusiastic all the time. You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.

 

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