Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Youtube on education

Teachers of English really need to expose the language to the students as much as they can. The use of technologies has helped to do so.
Youtube is the most important page to watch video, and the good thing is that you can even download videos from it (now I wonder if that is legal ... mmmm).
Youtube is full of pedagogical videos, courses of English, classes, and teachers teaching English. But don't be so narrow to think just like that. I remember using a video of how to use organic pesticides in plants (which is the topic my students study about), and even the video didn't have a pedegogical used related with grammar of the language, my students were trying to get the main ideas, extracting vocabulary and deducing some points. But the great thing was not just the use of the language, but the fact that they were using the language in a context they know. And in addition, they were learning more things about their own theme of study.
The use of videos on youtube is endless.
I can recommend you some channels on youtube that can be helpful for you.

http://www.youtube.com/user/BritishCouncilLE  (Learn English)

http://www.youtube.com/user/BritishCouncilTE   (Teach English)

http://www.youtube.com/user/podEnglish  (EF Language)

http://www.youtube.com/user/OUPELTGlobal  (Oxford University Press)




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLpwuQsNiLg  (Shaping the way we teach series, University of Oregon)

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Advices for new teachers

Even though, I have already been working for 7 years as a teacher, I still consider myself as a new teacher. If I compare myself when I just started with the one I am now, I am far away better, but I am still far away from even better. I still have to learn so much more, so I am still "new".
When I was in the university, I prepared a speech about points to be considered when we are new teacher (honestly, I don't remember what I said, expect just one point: Speak English as much as you can). But those days, I had clear ideas about being a new teacher. If you ask me now, if I speak English to my students every day, the answer will be no.
The reality is totally different, so I would like to say some words to those who are thinking in being a teacher, or are about to finish their career as a teacher.

Think big, but don't dream too much in advance. You have to live the experience of being a teacher to know what to do or what to dream. Universities are "the theory", but being a teacher is what you really need to know what is "the action".
Don't give up, the first year is hard, you will be disappointed in some many different ways, you will really know the inner side of the people, you will learn that not all people are nice or good from heart, you will know envy people.
Students are not the ones in the books. They are people, and they are not perfect, they are hard to understand, but not impossible. They will be hundreds, and you are only one, so keep that in mind. Don't give up.
Be prepare to be strong, to fight a hard battle. Be strong to be judged, to be considered the best, and the worst. Be prepared to be a leader. Be prepared to be a father or a mother. Be prepared to be any possible person you can be (nurse, doctor, counsellor, etc.)
You have chosen a really hard work, you will criticized if you do or if you don't do something.
Stress, anxiety, depression are real. But be strong and don't give up.
You will receive a plant already grown up, So don't be responsible if it is not in good condition. But do your best to improve it.
You will receive a plant from which you won't get fruits. But be happy that it will have a lot of fruits if you do a good job taking care of it.
You can love being a teacher, or you can hate being a teacher. But after many years of working, if there is student still remembering you, and calling you "teacher", then feel already paid.
Keep in mind all I have said, the day you teach to a group of students for the first time.

One last thing, the first day you teach, take photos, many photos of those students and photos of yourself. Because that day is the first day that you will start changing this world.

Monday, 6 February 2012

The best of planning your class

I haven't written so much in these two months, because as I said, I am resting, but I have been planning my lessons plans for this year (so it means, it is not a real vacation, right?) Anyway, I am supposed to be disconnecting a bit of my work, but even though, I am still searching for information, learning, and investigating.
Planning is really good. We all know it. But it takes time and sometimes it is tiring.
But I have discovered something new about it. Something that is really great about planning. It is called "Hope".
The moment you plan, you are already "hoping" for the future. You are hoping that things will be better. You find a new activity, or resource, and you imagine the reaction of your students. And you imagine they get happy, and they get excited. It is the moment when you project yourself as a great teacher. It is the moment when you really feel that you will do a great job.
But we all know that dreams are dreams, and the reality can be a bit different.
We don't mind that. Because we are creative people, we are not afraid of trying new things. That is the beauty of this job. Everyday is different.
Planning means that we are already hoping for good results and we feel motivated to try new ways to teach.
It is the same as planning a journey. That period is as better as the real travel. Because you have nothing, but you wish for all.
Planning is really believing that things will be great, and you are the main character to make it happen.
So, don't think the time of planning as something lame. Actually is one of the most inspiring moments that we as teacher can have.
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