Friday, 24 April 2015
From Another View…
"Friday afternoon, time to go back home from school, but there is something is calling me to write from where I am sitting now, my school desk. A different place where I always write, I love writing at night in my room with my silence and feeling the peace of being with my own memories and researches. This is the place where I am staying now, and where I want to spend the rest of my life, sharing with my kids…The School."
I always thought growing up was something exciting as I was going to live new things and older people than me would let me do what I wanted to do without limits, I was so wrong!!
My first experience teaching YL and teenagers was ten years ago, after a radical change in my life which made me think it was time to add something to my adults teaching, that plus was the other view of how kids and teenagers learn, but mainly it was to EDUCATE…
In 2005 I started teaching teenagers and by my surprise I was chosen the tutor of the senior high school students, it was something really challenging for me, my first year teaching teens and I was in charge of adolescents who were at their sixteen, seventeen and some even at eighteen. I had to think a couple of days to give a response to my headmaster, it was not easy at all for a teacher like me who had been working all time with adults going to be the tutor of seniors teenagers and be in charge of their last year of their whole school education life.
For me it was something really meaningful as my memories as a teen came to my mind and it was great to share breaks, chats, classes, jokes and experiences with those teens who had seen me more than a teacher, as a friend who was there to lead you, not just in a subject, I was there to support them in a hard age of their lives.. Adolescence.
Learning is a life for me, a process we can’t stop it, as it is part of our everyday for me, for you, for them…
My first year teaching at school marked in an awesome way my strengths as an educator, I was a teacher, a psychologist, a mum, an aunt or the oldest sister for some, a best friend for many of them. Sharing with those teens made me grow as a person more than a teacher.
After that year I still taught teens and adults as I could not leave my adults classes either, but this time something else was added to my classes, it was to see the happiness, the innocence, the needs, the trouble each of my learner whatever age they were, need to face somehow.
This year I have come back to teach YL and I felt really frightened of them as my last time with that age was when I was at twenty, but this time it was special, this time I was beginning a new experience teaching kids and teens with special needs. It has been a pleasure to see how those souls are integrating and my other kids always help them to integrate to society and real life.
Teaching is really more than having an objective achieved in your syllabus, teaching in real life is being remembered after years and years like the one who was there giving a smile, encouraging them not to give up in any circumstances, the one who laughed, cried with them, and last but not least the one who was listening to them and believed in them when others may have thought their saying was not important.
Being back to school to lead lives of kids and teenagers has been the best decision in life this year so far.
“Never forget that whatever we do and say to these marvelous souls is part of an experience your students will always keep in their hearts.”
Tuesday, 14 April 2015
Looking back to my teen times and thinking about how a teacher touched my life in a way to let me think that girl called Patty, has had the call in life to be an educator. Then.. What does being an educator imply for a teenager at that time?
Well, to be truly honest I always thought in a teacher who can feel like me, like my peers, our fears, our thoughts, our doubts in adults.. Being a teenager was and is still a really though time in a society like the one we deal it.
Sometimes, I thought if my teachers took time to be in our shoes while planning activities for the class, thinking about what it was stiiting for eight long hours and sharing with them most of the day, many times more hours than what we used to share with our own parents because of their jobs and life duties.
As soon as my questions came to me again and again I thought why nobody cares about what I do have in mind about my education. maybe my partners were having so much fun in our teenager time and of course I did too, but there was an internal call which let me think and rethink the way to learn by living and feeling ...
My like for learning languages was increasing so fast and suddenly the time for applying to a career came to me, I still remember my dad insisting on applying to the management faculty and also still having in mind the many arguments I had with him at that time because I knew I wanted to be an educator, Everybody knows, educators are not the best paid in society, but the ones who really got the spirit of touching a life through teaching, know that the sensation and the reward is something we can not describe with words , something you just feel , something that makes your eyes shine when you talk about your students, their accomplishments, their strengths, their weaknesses, their goals, their happiness, their sadness, their lives...
It was not just teaching a subject or getting people full of contexts as if they were a computer to store information, then why storing information? Was Educating about it?
My personal answer after twenty years is : Not at all!
Teaching young learners, teenagers, adults imply not only to be an instructor, it is to see we, teachers work with human beings with needs, with feelings, with worries, with hearts...
It might be many teachers who could say teaching different ages has got a huge difference, I can only say teaching marks a huge difference in someone's life, as a educator and a life student as my job is teaching I do believe we have a huge responsibility and deep honour in this society to be the ones who are called the responsible of a future generation for a postive or negative outcome.
I have lived the experience during all these twenty years and believe me I agree it is not easy at all to lead a life and being a teacher, as maybe our career is the only one which never stops, of course we have a time to end classes, but we never have a time to end our duties and tasks as educators at home.
I have met many colleagues who were in a time for questioning themselves if it they were in the right path ot it was time to do something else.
Our duties as educators are not only thinking about how to present a class, what activities, which tool, technology, aids, method, if you are reading me and thinking I am not meaning the academic site, you are right! One of the things we are well known to mark someone's life and make a difference in a human being is the emotional side, the way to see people we have in a class as humans, not just as learners of a subject.
"Take a deep breath and try again", still remember it has been one of my useful phrases with my kids ( no matter age)
Nobody is saying this job is easy at all, but I do not think that people that do something with passion and love can call that something a nightmare job.
Many times we can end a day really tired and at the same time start a day very tired from the previous one, but after these twenty I am really convinced I can figure out myself doing something else than leading people's lives through educating.
Then this short post is for all of us, teachers just a reminder of the awesome blessing of what being an eduactor is against all odds that may show up in our path.
Enjoy your teaching time!
Friday, 27 February 2015
The Power of Understanding and imaginately entering in to another person's feelings... Let them be autonomous!
"The child seeks for Independence by means of work, an Independence of Body and Mind." - (Maria Montessori)
Burcu Ozgur an experienced EFL teacher from Turkey is giving her saying about the importance of promoting "Learner Autonomy", she agrees that the greatest gift we can give our learners are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.
Autonomy is about how people control their own lives, so when teaching/learning process is taken for granted, teachers create an environment that the students feel themselves autonomous. So autonomy is analyzed both from the teachers’ and students’ perspective.
It analyzes whether the students are independent or not throughout the learning process. The scope of the research is to analyze the teachers’ perspectives towards learner autonomy during the class activities. For that purpose the literature part of that research paper is based on teachers’ perspective towards their learners’ autonomy. The empirical research is conducted on one of main private university in Istanbul. Convenient quota sampling has been used. 37 English Language Teachers covering a wide-range of departments participated in the research. The questionnaire is in Likert Scale form from strongly agree to strongly disagree and a space is provided on the questionnaire in order to analyze participants’ opinions. Additionally correlation analyses and mean results are found, the results of the questionnaires are correlated with the findings of the literature review. The participants are given a questionnaire that analyzes how teachers assess their learners in terms of they are autonomous or not. The findings reveal that teachers have a significant effect on autonomous learning is general.
Learner autonomy is one of the most important issues in language learning. To start with, after analyzing the general concept of “autonomy” it should be put the forward the autonomous learner in classroom. An autonomous learner in class, whom engaged all the social activities in class and who can internalize the new information and make connections to what she/he knows. According to Dam et.al (1990:102), it is put forward that learner autonomy one can take responsibility of his/her own learning. Furthermore Gardner and Miller (1996: vii) add that autonomous language learners are people, who starts the planning and maintains responsibility for their own learning process. But on the other hand Nunan (1997:193) states that autonomous learners are the ideal rather than realistic one. He puts forward that there are degrees of autonomy and learners can’t succeed in all degrees of autonomy, so the learners who can reach the highest degree relies on factors such as personal traits, the philosophy of school and the cultural context. But Nunan suggests that the levels of learner autonomy might differ even within single language skills such as a learner has high degree autonomy on listening but whereas in writing skill he/she feels dependent himself/herself to instructor.
So as a result, it is suggested that training independence learning gain importance in other words the biggest responsibility is on the trainers’ shoulders, it is stated trainers should be very careful they make learners analysis, so that first of all teachers train their learners in order to become an independent learner.
Training for Independence in Learning
To start with, after analyzing the general characteristics of autonomous learners, the point that should be taken for granted is, how students become decision makers own their own teaching process.
So in other words teachers have big responsibility, they are rarely aware of their students’ learning styles, but in fact learning styles are the most important determiner that shapes learners achievement while learning a language.Because of that before teaching a language, the learners needs are analyzed and accordingly choose the effective strategy in order to reach the learners to points that they want to. Moreover, maintaining a pattern-based approach provides the learners with taking the responsibility for his/her own learning with the aim of becoming autonomous.
Sinclair and Ellis (1985) propose a model of learner training for learner autonomy which encompasses 8 areas for learner training:
1. Self-awareness - helps the learners to be aware of their selves, attitudes
and feelings towards language learning and using the language.
2. Language awareness - helps the learners to have insight into theirlearning problems, and research is shared from teacher training courses.
3. Language needs and goals - trains the learners to set learning goals.
4. Preparation and organization - helps the learners to discover the value of organizing their learning and how to do it.
5. Risk-taking - helps the learners to take a more adventurous approach in such things as guessing, predicting, and so on.
6. Personal strategies - encourages the learners to experiment and find those which are appropriate for them.
7. Self-assessment - encourages the learners to check up on how well they are doing and record the results of their self-assessments so that they can recognize their progress, and thus be motivated to continue.
8. Preparation for autonomy - helps learners to schedule their own learning, maximizing contact with the target language.
On the other hand the most important point that should be taken into consideration; before applying learner training activities, it is significant to determine the certain fields where the learners need to become independent, and then it is the teacher’s job to create materials and activities which enhance the strategies in demand.
Activities for learner training can be categorized into 5 classifications:
1) The activities that foster awareness of self and language.
2) The activities that provide good self-monitoring practices.
3) The activities that guide the learners in the field of particular task learning.
4) Those that sustain ‘global practice oppurtunities’.
5) Those that enable the learners to manage with the communication breakdown.
On the other hand there are 3 pedagogical principles in order to facilitate autonomy. According to these 3 principles, the teachers should use the target language and ask students to use merely the target language during the classes. Moreover, guiding the students to plan their own learning, goals and learning activities and putting the learners’ choices into discussion, analysis and evaluation through the use of the target language, are the responsibilities that a teacher should conceive as important, in addition to this teachers should also enable them to work collaboratively in small groups. It would be beneficial if the teacher asks their learners to write what the learners have done in the lesson so far by writing reflections and keep a record of their works (i.e. plans of lessons, projects, lists of useful vocabulary, and learner generated texts).
· What are the teachers’ perspectives towards learner autonomy during the class activities?
According to the findings, it is stated that teachers play a crucial factor that affect learners’ autonomy, for instance experienced teachers are aware of what to do throughout the teaching/learning process, which is proposed in the review part of the research as well, Boud(1980:30) states that the key factor is the teacher, because if the teacher analyzes their learners’ needs and accordingly applies the activities then the communication between learner and the teacher is enhanced and the most important of all is, learners don’t feel themselves dependent to the teachers. For that purpose teachers should be as reflective as possible so teachers have to promote their professional profile, the best way to do is, attending in-service training programmes, because they have opportunity to analyze their students needs and design a syllabi that to be addressed to all types of multiple intelligences. So that ITI model can be applied in order to address all types of learners. To sum up, learners’ motivation is a crucial issue not only for students but also for the teachers as well. Because generally becomes a problematic issue throughout the teaching/learning process. As a result, autonomy should be analyzed both from teachers and learners perspective. Because the findings of the research also indicate that teachers’ perspective become one step further. But at the end of the research the hypothesis is proven that, teachers’ attitudes towards learner autonomy play a crucial role.
" I believe in hard work and independence, and that everyone deserves the chance to be independent."
Al-Shaqsi Saeed, Thuraiya. Dakhiliya, Region. (2009) “Teachers’ Beliefs about Learner Autonomy.” In Borg, Simon (Ed.), “Researching English Language Teaching and Teacher Development in Oman” (pp.157-166). Ministry of Education, Sultanate of Oman.
Benson, Phil. (2010) “Teacher education and teacher autonomy: Creating spaces for experimentation in secondary school English language teaching” Language Teaching Research Sage Publication.
Benson, Phil. (2006) “Autonomy in Language Learning” Retrieved on August 10, 2006 from
<http://ec.hku.hk/autonomy/what.html> and <http://ec.hku.hk/autonomy/#k>.
Kemp, Jenny. (2009) “The Listening Log: motivating autonomous learning” ELT Journal Volume 64/4 Published by Oxford University Press.
Lamb, Terry. Hayo, Reinders (2008) “Learner and Teacher Autonomy Concepts, realities, and responses”John Benjamins Publishing.
Littlewood, William. (1999) “Defining and Developing Autonomy in East Asian Contexts” Oxford University Press.
Murphy, Linda. (2008) “Supporting Learner Autonomy: Developing Practice through the production of courses for distance learners of French, German and Spanish” Language Teaching Research. Sage Publication.
Pemberton, R. Toogood. S, and Barfield. A,(eds.) (2009) “Maintaining Control: Autonomy and Language Learning” Hong Kong University Press.
Sabancı, Sevgi. (2007) “EFL Teachers’ Views on Learner Autonomy at Primary and Secondary Schools in Eskişehir” M.A Thesis English Language Teaching Programme.
Sawkins, Maureen. (1987) “Training for Independence in Learning” Tesol Canada Journal.
Spratt, Mary. Gillian, Humphreys. Victoria, Chan (2002) “Autonomy and motivation: which comes first?” Language Teaching Research. Sage Publishing.
Tuesday, 24 February 2015
I have always thought that this word is so deep.. Freedom for me is to let things flow in a natural way, to let people be the way they feel, to let animals grow in their natural habitat. Sometimes I do think what about if we ares still like in ancient times without many things arounds us, such as globalization, technology issues, and world development, what about if today we just do not want to compete with the rest, what about if today we just behave like real "Humans".
Some days ago I watched a video documentary based on Humans and the reason of our existence, nothing related to religion issues, but very close to humanistic ones.
After watching that I realized that many of us do not have a single of idea why we are here alive and what for.. the video suggests the greatest to meet ourselves with nature and find yourself there, it was a journey to the deepest part of subconcious, it seems to be simple but in words it is not possible, we definitely need something else to encourage us to find it, what could it be? Curiosity? Cultural awarness, or as simple as to feel free in a real way, then that phrase came to my mind again and again until I decided to start writing this: "Before learning about Humanity, you have to learn to be Human."
It was last week I watched in the news, the last current issues of cruelty which many people is in risk for lack of "HUMANITY "to them. According to wikipedia, Freedom is Liberty in philosophy, involves free will as contrasted with determinism, then what about you? what does Freedom mean to you and how important is the role of this single word in our lives?
I was not sure if I should have writen a post about all of this as my blog is an educational one, but then the magic word "EDUCATION" cleared up my mind inmediately as I consider education is a key factor to solve many of the consequences of the lack of this precious gift: Freedom.
Then, Is it too much if we can also consider in our planning a Love lesson? or maybe a lesson based on values, trying to wake up in our kids why the importance of being human must be learnt before we learn about humanity, contents, and so on..
I am not trying to convince people about the huge importance to be successful in life with a good degree and an awesome job, but I am a believer that we can not make students (human beings - who are in charge of us as educators) far away from something which is vital for the personal development, in one of my blog post I said, we eduactors are not heroes to save the world, but I will not tired to repeat this, we have a big responsibility in the future of an era.
We do not need to break the rules of our institutions or planning lessons if we search for activities with a sort of tendence to how to be more human, how to develop values, how to defend your own saying with an accurate supporting argument.
Some ideas in our lessons.-
Ice breaker activities with videos to analyze and develop critical thinking and let students think in how it can influence in their own lives and if it is a case also it can work with someone they know, I remembered many times working with songs such as: "Perfect" Simple Plan, "Run away train" - Soul Asylumn, "Another brick on the wall"- Pink Floyd, "You get what you give" - New Radicals, "Stuck in a moment" - U2.
I really recommend to use this songs in classes specially with teenagers as they are most times tending many issues related to them.
Collaborative writing activities help a lot to develop peer achievement and rapport, so we can also try working on a current topic in society and based on writing letters for a change, stories which can say pros and cons of the situation living, comics working on the topic discussed, poems and acrostics related to how students react and feel to the current situations or news that you all discuss previously.
Storytelling based on stories students can create and work with them in virtual big books or hand made big books for sharing with the little ones so we can also work on joining two ages in a task.
Your saying- Speaking activity based on how students can defend what they think and share their point of view in a realistic, coherent and respectful way, such as debates, role plays, and reporting local or world news to he class with their personal beliefs and conclusions after making a good research about it.
Seven things every child need to hear:
1. I love you.
2.- I am proud of you.
3.- I am sorry.
4.- I forgive you.
5.- I am listening.
6.- This is your cresponsibility.
7.-You've got what it takes.
Last but not least, videos showing the importance of courage and integrity of the human being courage, integrity. It is time to satnd up all together for a single reason there is no possible way to treat humans like objects, there in way to only watch it and say it is not happening in my country, there is no way we can tolerate more abuses and attacks, we are all here to eduacte , no matter who teach or not, we as society has a huge role if we want a better tomorrow.
I would like to give express my respect and huge thanks to people around the world who support many projects related to human rights such as: " The No Project" which is is a global award-winning, anti-slavery campaign that targets awareness through dance, music, art, film, sport, education and social media.
"Speak up because the day you don't speak up for the things that matter to you, it is the day your
FREEDOM truly ends."
Tuesday, 10 February 2015
The term dyslexia has been used because it seems to be the most widely used and most appropiate term. It has been coined from the Greek and literally means difficult with (dys) words (lexis). It refers to difficulty with words read, words spelt, words pronounced, words written, and association of meanings with words.
In most research projects it seems that there is a small group who do not fit nealty into the particular findings. This underlines the danger of dogmatic statements with regard to the nature of dyslexia and emphasizes the paramount importance of seeing each pupil as an individual.
An awarness that there are certain teaching methods and practical approaches which are effective with such children is essential for class teachers of both junior and senior schools and, in many instances, may also be of relevance to adult literacy tutors.
The Dyslexic Child's Feelings
It is worth repeating that difficulties with reading, spelling and hand-writing may have nothing to do with intelligence.
Such difficulties can be found in a perspn of any IQ, from low to high. They are, though, easier to spot in a brighter person because his literacy difficulties surprises parents and teachers. Professor Tim Miles, who has done much research into dyslexia, often says of the dyslexic child's performance, it just doesn't seem to add up! The brighter the child the more frustrated he can become. He cannot analyze why he cannot cope. His friends seem to be able to read and spell without any problem. Why can't he? If teachers tell him either that he's stupid or lazy, or even merely fail to provide reassurance to the contrary, he comes to believe just that.
In every classroom there is probably a dyslexic child; it is probable, of course, that in many classes there are more than one. The situation is often masked when a very bright child gets by as average and is told that he must improve his spelling, handwriting and reading accuracy. Class teachers and subject teachers cannot be expected to give enough individual attention to any one pupil experiencing difficulties, but recognition of the learning difficulty and support in the form of learning strategies can do much for the confidence of a dyslexic child in class.
WHAT CLASS TEACHERS CAN DO:
As all teachers know, children get teased by others and ridiculed about their misuse and mispronunciation of words. We should think how we feel in a foreign country , especially if foreigners start laughing at our attempts in their language! Steps need to be taken quickly to scotch such mockery.
The following are some suggestions for helping the child with a speech and language processing problem:
1. Listen carefully to the child’s speech – and believe your ears!
2. Speak more slowly and face the child.
3. Children need to develop good listening habits, including eye contact. Time for exchange of news in pairs or small groups is well spent. It often helps if small groups in, for instance, infant classes sit in a circle and face each other for News Time.
4. Tapping or clapping rhythms. Children may begin by tapping or clapping the syllables/beats of their own names, including emphasizing any stressed syllables - e.g. Joh-a-thon, Ka-tie, Paul, Al-ex-an-der, Ja-mie. Gradual progression should be made to words which they tend mispronounce, and later to words that they tend misspell.
5. Communicating through rhythm alone, as with the African Talking Drums. A game may be played by the teacher clapping the rhythm of a nursery rhyme or po-song seeing who can recognize it.
6. Ensure that a child understands the meaning of the key words when he is being spoken when he is reading. Viaul clues (pictures) are useful back up to spoken or written information. If working on a particular topic in class, the child may require the key vocabulary to be repeated several times before it is firmly established. Older children value flow diagrams with colour support.
7. A string of requests should be given separately, if possible going on to the second after the first has been accomplished, and so on. Parents' help can be enlisted on to iron out confusions over their requests of the Take off your boots, go upstarirs and wash your hands type. It is helpful to encourage children to create a picture in their minds of the information to be remembered, e.g. taking off dirty boots, seeing themselves walking upstairs and washing their hands; or similarly, doing a task in a school.
8. Requests need to be constructed for such children to ensure that the meaning is really understood. Gestures by the teacher or parents often preclude the understanding of words; it is the gestures alone that are understood.
9. Over a period of time the number of a string of requests can be gradually increased. This can be played as a game in class; e.g. the teacher asks a child to go to the front of the room, take three pencils from the desk, give one to Gavin, one to Karen and one to Stephen, then go and sit down.
10. It often helps to give children opportunities to demonstrate their understanding in practical ways. They may not be able to find the correct language to classify the arranged materials
11. In a classroom discussion or in a family discussion, people should try to ensure that the child is involved in at least one direct remark. The child should be given time and help, and not put under pressure, for he must a) understand, b) find the appropiate vocabulary, c) string his thoughts into a grammatical construction which can be understood. All this may not come easily initially, a one- word response maybe all that he achieves, but he has at least been included. As confidence grows he can be encouraged to attempt more complex replies
12. When a new concept has been introduced to the class it is helpful if, on ocassions, the child with comprehension difficulties can be a teacher and explain the new information to someone else or on to a tape, it will then become more secure in that child's understanding.
"There is a saying that If the child does not learn in the way in which we teach, then we must teach him in the way in which he learns.
Let dyslexia, be looked at from a different angle, not as a learning disability but a different learning ability and treat the dyslexic child accordingly."
Reference: Day-to-Day Dyslexia in the ClassroomBy Rody Politt, Joy Pollock, Elisabeth Walle
Wednesday, 21 January 2015
Why being Grateful?
Thanks from the bottom of my heart to let me open my heart and mind with you all. This first month has been an awesome experience for me.
This is just a little note from me to express how grateful I am with life, my beliefs, and you all.
A humanistic Side in ELT is deeply honoured and thankful in its first month of life with your 1,131 visits.
"She turned her can'ts into cans and her dreams into plans."
¿Porqué estar agradecida?
Gracias desde lo más hondo de mi corazón por haberme permitido abrir mi mente y corazón con todos ustedes. Este primer mes ha sido una experiencia increíble para mí.
Esta es solo una pequeña nota para expresar cuan agradecida estoy con la vida, mis creencias, y todos ustedes.
Un Lugar Humanístico en La Enseñanza de Inglés está profundamente honrado en este primes mes con las 1.131 visitas.
Saturday, 17 January 2015
Is the Emotional Side Playing a Role in Your Planning? I think, we all should have a look at ourselves before adding it.
I should be sleeping by this time, but I feel I can not close this day without saying what I do feel about what I have learnt so far about people's emotions and mine as well.
The thing is how many people care about others emotions nowadays, and if we as human beings or individual ones out of a classroom do mind about them, or we just do not care so much about what other people feel and maybe our own feelings as well, then the big question has come to my mind... "How can we pretend to understand or feel our students in class if we do not start with our own lives?"
It is so common and I may say a routine to see headlines full of bad news and of course I am not saying anything new with this, but what surprises a lot it is the increasing of the indifference of people about how others feel and how people are getting their heart harder and harder in order not to be touched so much about others, or maybe do a thing for a change, or at least give a try.
Sure, we teachers are not heroes and heroines to save the world, but I do believe we are involved in such a vital role for the society as we are the ones who are the responsible for the generations coming.
Now, this is the time when most of us have started a new semester of the winter season or like us in Peru our summer courses as we are on holidays, all of us are busy working on planning and working in programmes to make our classes more interesting with creative activities, lovely engagement tasks, integrating technology and so on.. I am sure all of you are doing a great a job, and once again it has come to my mind how much we care about our students emotions when we are plannifying.
What do we think about how our learners can feel about a specific topic or how can we manage when a situation is out of control because of a specific issue of one of our students?
How do we plan to evaluate thinking in the learners as humans with emotions?
In my humble experience, I could say that by thinking not only as a group, but also keeping our learners in mind as individual ones with their own worlds and trouble even if they are very young kids really works a lot. By knowing a bit more than their data info can also work, so of course I am pointing at the dream word: "Rapport", then how do we build rapport for getting all these factors to consider in our classes?
Here are some tips from my experience:
We build rapport by caring, by listening to them, by letting them to express what they feel, by sharing a chat out of a classroom, by letting them know how important they are for us and for others, by making them feel aware they are loved for who they are, and.... one last single thing that I always have in my reflection, by reminding ourselves "why we choose this career", when we were in our first year steps of teaching with the greatest passion on, then go back to that marvellous time and say to ourselves I teach because I feel!!
Emotions .. how many of us need to lead with them? Everybody, raising both hands here, and I believe it is more important now than the academic side, the emotional one is seemed to be forgotten in our planning somehow, we may be busy thinking about how to reach the academic aims of the course and to get our heads happy with good marks at the end of the syllabus or a good number of learners who achieve international certifications, but what about the feeling of making ourselves happy after a lesson, and by the end of the day when we are taking notes of our own self assessment we could consider a tick in the emotional side, how many times we can say, Yes!! today the shy one smiled and had the time of his/her life, I could see him/her interacting with others without asking him/her or being part of a task, how many times we can write today I feel that I did not want to leave my class, and you go home saying Yes!! I also had the time of my life; the essential is not perceived with the senses, it is perceived with the heart.
Time for evaluations? - Everybody is in tension because you are in the front side and your students are the ones who will receive the punishment, how can we avoid that?
Once again, this humble teacher has found very useful to make them work on breathing exercises, stretching themselves, work on a previous musical activity for relaxing and saying how they feel, take them to the garden of your campus or school and make them take off your shoes feel the grass and why not make them round on the grass, personally I have done that and we all came back to class full of good vibes from mother nature and the greatness of being together supporting each other with only one aim to make tension go away from them. The time of evaluation comes and of course you are not in front of them, you walk around making them feel you are there not as a judge, but as the person who has been all the term next to them.
Emotions are always in our lives and manage them adequately mark a huge difference in the quality of life.
To close this short post , I believe that if we stand next to our kids, teenagers, adults to listen to their hearts, they could find that thing they love making in life, and in that way they will feel motivated to reach it, and help them creating a space to develop this emotional side, a goal maybe for some?
Difficult, maybe a bit hard to negotiate with the institutions we work for, the good news is that the one who is the chief of your class and life is "YOU", of course it is able to happen, key words:
- Remember we work with human beings.
- Believe in your approaches and own beliefs.
- Keep in mind your roots and early ages.
- Do not give up.
- Keep your dreams up.
- Do not follow stereotypes.
- Be yourself.
- Enjoy every single thing in your class.
- Keep in mind you are making a difference in the life of others.
- Never ever forget why you have chosen this career.
Finally, I would like to thank a very good friend from my own high school, who has made me feel in the mood about writing on emotions. Thanks for inspiring me J.L.!
" DO NOT DREAM TO BE SOMETHING IN LIFE, YOU ARE EVERYTHING!"