Day 2, First teaching practice, aka Students? Profiling the trainees is more fun!

by celtaconfessions

CELTA First teaching practice

The Fab 5. Copyright 2012 Chiew Pang

If you’ve read Day 1, Part 3, you would have seen our schedule and each of our aims for the lessons. The coursebook we were supposed to be using for this group was New Headway Pre-Intermediate. But, this “event” took place “so long ago” what can I say about it? It’s all a hazy memory now. My fellow trainees hardly speak to me so there isn’t any point asking them, is there? Seriously, I was lucky to be in this group which had two perfect women. The men, well, men aren’t supposed to be perfect, are we? 😉

Hatty. The only flaw she has was her addiction to aubergines ;). Well, she has another, but I won’t say it behind her back.

She was on first, and, boy, was she on. The topic was ways of communication. As soon as she opened her mouth in front of the classroom, I knew this one had voice training. Only later did I find out that she is an accomplished actress and a singer, to boot. Needless to say, she gave one heck of a show.

Chris must have known what he’d be up against, so he chickened out. LOL. On top of that, what did he have to do? To give reading practice! He must have figured it’d be wiser to stay in bed.

Seriously, we thought he’d overslept because of jet-lag. Bear in mind, some trainees came a day or two before the start of the course – not much time to get acclimatised at all. The truth was he learned, like the rest of us, how easy it is to get lost in Seville! A journey that ought to have taken 10 minutes took him 40 because he was walking around in circles! Poor Chris!

I don’t think he’d like to be reminded of this lesson, so I won’t remind him.

Next was Freya, the other perfect lady. She was nervous, I could tell, but she kept it under control the whole time. To give a lesson on detailed reading on your first TP? To be applauded. I think she was Ian’s favourite.

The only problem with her lesson was Ian had to come on for a good few minutes while the police were out searching for Chris and he “stole” a part of her plan, and she repeated it. She had little choice, really. Not a criticism, Freya! 🙂

Then, it was Al’s turn. He was sly. When he spoke to us, I told him I couldn’t understand a single word of what he said, but he spoke oh-so-clearly to the students! You see, Al, if not for me…! Al’s from Australia, you see. What? Did I really say that? LOL. Al knows I like teasing him. I’m not sure which is the more serious crime, confusing a Canuck with a Yank or a Kiwi with an Ozzie… What made it worse was the students couldn’t point out NZ on the map, let alone identify the flag!

Anyway a display of a little haka and the students were falling into his pockets.

And what better person to come after a Kiwi than an Ozzie? I think Ingmar suffers from an identity crisis – just like me, haha. An Australian with a Swedish name, and whose second language is Swedish! And who plays a mean Spanish guitar à la Paco de Lucía. If he had brought his guitar in, I think all the students would have been doing the flamenco!

What was Ingmar’s aim? To look at the “grammar box”. He might have read Scrivener from cover to cover, but grammar isn’t exactly his strongest point, poor Ingmar. But, it was only 20 minutes, and he got away with it.

By the time it got to my turn, the students had nothing on their minds but home, coffee, or the arms of their loved ones. There’s still 20 minutes to go, you all!

Can you imagine an engine that’s been revving for 100 minutes? Well, that was me. Release the brakes and off I went, down the rollercoaster at 95. Mph, not kph. I had a plan, though it wasn’t required of us for this TP, which was just as well. I don’t really remember what I did – maybe my mates do and will comment – wishful thinking – but the plan went out the window. I think I felt the students didn’t quite grasp the meaning of have/have got and I took it from there.

I also think this taking off from where the previous teacher left would, in the future, get me in “trouble” as diverting from the written stage plans wasn’t looked too kindly upon. My priority was and is always the students, plan or not; it’s inbred, period.

I don’t understand that something that ought to be valued, in my humblest of opinions, gets quite the reverse reaction from the trainers.

Analysis on assessment and feedback on these lessons coming up on the next post!