Posted in blogging, teaching, web 2.0 tools

Teaching English To My Kids

 

 Being a working mother is not easy. Being a teacher and a mother is a real challenge. Sometimes my kids grumble to me about my job. They complain because I spend too much time working for other kids. They complain when they get lower marks from English and say I never do anything for them. However, I’m sure you all experience the same thing with your kids, sisters or little brothers that they never study with their mothers, fathers or elder sisters ( my younger sister used to do that )

Anyway I promised them we will do something for their English this summer. Maybe you had heard before that they also complain about my blogging, twitter, etc but they are also very curious about all these things. Finally, on Saturday we started with vokies. It was a miracle. My daughter was never willing to do anything for more than 10 minutes with me but she really liked creating characters and wrote about their lives. She created several vokies and emailed me. Instead of playing games, she spent a lot of time recording her voice and listening to it. My son is not as eager as she is but he also tries one or two. Then I decided we should have a blog for our summer work and then I created a new blog for three of us. I will write the posts and share the things they create. I hope we will manage to work till the end of this summer.

Do you have any suggestions for a helpless mother to engage her kids and teach english to them? I’ll be happy to hear them.

Posted in teachers, teaching

Teachers are Learners

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I’ve been thinking about being a lifelong learner for a while. Attending ISTEK ELT in March and IATEFL in April reminded me that teachers are learners too or I think teachers should be learners too.

One of the challenges of a 21st century teacher is integrating technology into the lessons. Well, technology is a scary word and because of its threatening image, ignoring technology won’t help anybody. Will we be replaced by technology? Will mobile learning be the future of schools? Will schools be institutions which will just prepare certificates?

I don’t know. I guess we still have some time to be replaced by technology but I guess the ones who resist using the technology should be replaced by the ones who integrate what’s new to her teaching and I believe there are really great teachers who are enthusiastic, eager and motivated to learn. These teachers are not only the young ones. There are many old and experienced teachers and I saw them at the conferences I attended. This reminded me something my mother-in-law says, ‘When work finishes, life finishes’ and I want to adapt it to our situation, ‘When learning ends, teaching ends.’

Posted in From my PLN, Guest Posts, teaching

I don’t want to be a teacher by Vladimira Michalkova

Part of the series From my PLN

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I wanted to be an archeologist or work with animals. Well, definitely anything really dynamic, changing and what would include my constant learning and development – I do love learning! I studied Teaching English as a Foreign Language but during the last year of my studies I came to conclusion that, actually, I don’t want to be a teacher. I couldn’t imagine not learning anymore and rigorously (and willingly, as I see in many cases) follow given teaching materials no matter who is in your class or what is going on behind the walls of your school . Well, now, five years later, I still don’t want to be a teacher!

Yes, I don’t want to be a teacher!

Not, if that means a person coming in the classroom, sitting down and starting a lesson with words like “open your book…”.

Not if that means a person always complaining about the students and using red pen to correct their works just to show them how much they still need to learn.

Not if that means a person who thinks that teaching is a job where no further development or learning is actually needed.

Nevertheless, I have a job I would never change!

“By learning you will teach; by teaching you will learn”

Latin Proverb

I have found the joy and happiness in the work where I can (hopefully) inspire, motivate and support the learning and exploration of the opportunities that are offered around us. You may call it a moderator, facilitator, mentor or just a teacher if you still insist. And besides that, I have discovered that this job involves constant learning, developing and creativity. I guess, I couldn’t wish for moreJ.

On my way, I have met many fellows with similar beliefs and opinions and as I go I try to influence and inspire (again hopefully) those (teachers as well as students) who find it difficult to look for the inspiration on their own.

So, I do not think of myself as a teacher (at least not the generally accepted connotation described above). And what does it mean for my students?

Well, I guess, they would describe it as “expect unexpected”. In my experience, they are usually shocked at the beginning of term but eventually get used to that and welcome any kind of “experiment” in learning a new language. I admit that I often fail or come across obstacles on my way but after all it teaches me something new (again and again).

One of the most fascinating aspects in all this experimenting is that I gain really a lot from it all, more than I could hope for. There are times when I have to look for and reveal the skills I didn’t actually know I possess (singing and acting in my case J – still working on storytelling, especially telling the jokes which I am terrible at).

Another one of the amazing things is that using all those styles, variations, techniques and possibilities I can help my students see what is around them and what they can actually use for their benefit but also help them find their own way on the path of learning (which neither starts nor finishes in the classroom).

Yes, I don’t feel like a teacher and the people in my classroom are certainly not the only ones to be called learners.

If you would like to get a notion of what is going on in my classroom these days, see the following links – my RECENT experiments with adult classes.

technology related activities easy to use in various situations

 “I never teach my students. I simply provide the situations in which they can learn.” Einstein

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I want to thank Vladka who kindly accepted to write a blog post for my blog. I’m so happy that I had the chance to meet her and I’m so happy that I have wonderful people in my PLN to accompany me during my journey.

vladkaI am an English language teacher in Kosice, Slovakia. I have MA in Teaching English as a Foreign Language and Ecology from University of Presov in Slovakia and certificate in Teaching Business English from English Language Centre in Brighton. I am trying to motivate and inspire my students so that their learning do not finish with the bell in the school. My favourite areas are Learner Autonomy, Homework in the 21st century and Teacher Development. I blog about my teaching experience http://vladimiramichalkova.edublogs.org/ and you can also follow me on Twitter @vladkaslniecko.

I was chosen as a winner of Diana Eastment Commemorative Award 2011 for a lesson plan using technology in the classroom.
Posted in teaching

My Teacher

  ImageChef Sketchpad - ImageChef.com

 

It is that time of the year again. The time to make resolutions for the future and the time to recall past to take some lessons…

I have lots of plans again. However, the thing that I want to share now is a bit different…

I’m thinking about my 4th grade teacher… I have been thinking about her since my kids started 4th grade this year.

Most probably she isn’t alive now.bomonti

Mrs Garabetyan was my 4th and 5th grade teacher…

She was a tall, middle aged lady with short wavy grey hair. She was elegant. No, not in that sense that she was wearing fashionable clothes. When I was a kid, fashion was not as important as it is today. People didn’t have hundreds of pullovers and skirts. Yet they could still look elegant…

She was elegant as a lady. She would wear turtle neck grey pullovers and a long chain with a round pendant.

She was fair, she was hardworking…

In the Friday afternoons, she would choose a book from the class library and read it to us. We used to listen to her attentively because she had a lovely voice. From time to time she would stop and ask a question from the book or would ask our opinion. It was fun to wait for those Fridays.

She was the oldest teacher of the school but I never felt I needed a younger one. She was young in spirit. I think I was lucky to have her. I learnt so many things from my lovely. She was incomparable, she was a role model…

Well, when I think about her, I remember her enthusiasm, patience and affection…

Posted in teaching

Teachers

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image source here

What does ‘being a teacher’ stand for?

Does it only mean a person who teaches?

A person who teaches what?

Is it that important to teach maths, science, English,etc?

When do we lose the kids?

Do they all want to start school and learn immediately what he they have been taught?

What will happen to that poor child while he is crying after his parents if kindergarten teacher doesn’t even notice his feelings?

Or if she just grabs the kid from the parent and add him to the flock?

What will happen to the kid who is not analytic but is more scattered?

Will he be called too slow? Hyperactive?

Who will erase those labels later?

Who will change?

Who will help ?

What will happen to the kids until a hero arrives to save?

Can’t we just start to make them all love the school?

Can’t we all just start to teach them not to bully each other?

Can’t we all just start leaving all our prejudices of a brilliant student?