Lessons To Be Learned

Had some feedback a couple of weeks ago from my observation lesson at the start of May. This should have been the day after that but I asked for it to be postponed as I didn’t want to get up early that day as there was a big football match in the early hours of that morning. A justified reason I thought!

My ADOS (assistant director of studies) observed one of my KG lessons where I had to get the kids to identify a few stationery items such as a ruler/pen/pencil/pencil case etc as well as asking the question ‘What is it?’ and recognising when we use ‘a’ or ‘an’. Of course this sounds very easy to you but for 6 and 7 year old kids its not such plain sailing.

You can speculate among yourselves about the negative thoughts on my teaching but what he did like was my enthusiasm, use of space and realia and also music!

A month or two ago I decided to glam-up my lessons a bit by a quite simple method. I made a couple of compilation CD’s and introduced my classes to intro and outro music for each lesson which started off with the students walking into the classroom to the sound of the Star Wars theme and leaving to that of ‘Matsuken Samba’ which is a famous cheesey Japanese song.

Since then the Rocky theme and famous classical music pieces by Prokofiev and Carl Orff have been used at the start of lessons and ‘The Exorcist‘, ‘Terminator‘ and ‘Back To The Future‘ themes playing lightly in the background while they’re doing the boring bookwork bits is an idea resurrected from my training course in London a couple of years ago. I guess all this is bringing out the frustrated radio DJ in me!

Also, I photocopied my page on Keikotomanabu.net and placed it on my desk for the students to blatantly see. In this game you have to amuse yourself how you can so it made me smile when i could practise my David Brent (of ‘The Office’ fame) impersonation by asking the students “is that in your way?”. Ah, how little things can amuse but I figure if I’m cheerful then that will hopefully transmit its way to the students who will also be happy.

In the world of teaching you tend to steal ideas from whoever you can. This doesn’t just include other teachers where I’m concerned but also includes knicking radio features such as ‘Guess the intro’, ‘Guess Who?’ and ‘Defend The Indefensible’ from BBC Radio Five Live’s excellent Fighting Talk which I play in my TOEFL lesson.

About tokyofox

A Leicester City fan teaching English in Japan
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