28 May 2008
I always knew that the stuff we make our students do in the classroom in an effort to get them to use the language rather than just ‘study’ it off the page, was not something that I’d like to do if I were learning a language (which, technically I am…but that’s another story). I mean, tonnes of research goes into making up all these games and activities in order to make the students move around the room and use English with different people, and they seem to like it. Maybe it’s generational??
I can see that the tutors on my current course are making some half-baked attempts at getting us to learn in an interactive and communicative way, but some of them don’t exactly get the idea behind it. If we work in groups or move around the room, it should be for a purpose other than just working in groups or moving round the room. Anyway, it annoys me no end. I really just want to be left alone to take in the information and get my notes down.
The other thing I’ve noticed is that I always feel, for some reason, not quite right when I’m sitting in a lecture-style class, and we are all squashed into some airless, crappy little room with blinding glare coming off the powerpoint screen and not enough table space to work on. I just think lecture-style classes should be in lecture halls. There’s something about sitting in a lecture theatre that helps me take things seriously and get down to work. The setting seems to be really important to me. I mean, how do you know you’re at university if you never sit in a lecture hall? I know this is all ridiculous, but it’s all about the environment with me.
The other thing I’ve learnt so far is that I love academic courses (ie. theory and research) I hate practical courses (“This is how we plan, and this is how we teach so run along and try it out for 6 weeks without any pay”). I love, love, loved doing my MA. Even though a dissertation is a big undertaking, it always felt like a process and never felt (too much) like hard work. It was my own thing and I got to read, research, and write intensively on my ‘thing’. But this course is just the practical and boring bits about teaching…yawn!
So, so far from this course I’ve worked out that I’m
A) old-fashioned in my learning style, and
B) a hopeless romantic-academic
They should really have a conversion course that is 10 times shorter if you’ve already been teaching for a while. I secretly resent being in the classroom for 16 weeks out of the academic year and not getting paid for it (especially since I’m skint!). Well, it’s not that secret but I’ve only told select people as I don’t want to look like a show-off, know it all. But every time a teacher at one of the schools talks down to me for being a “student-teacher who doesn’t know what it’s like in the real world” and makes comments like, “Oh, you’ll find out what teaching is REALLY about when the students don’t want to do their work and you have to do a lot of paperwork…” I’m just biting my tongue like nobody’s business!
Apparently we had no less than 13 assignments and exams to complete in the last two weeks. I didn’t count as I was on auto-mode. Talk about “quantity, not quality”! I’m still recovering from the lack of sleep and am grumpy as hell which explains this entry.
And, by the way, I know this is crap, rambling writing that has no beginning and no logical end, but too bad. It’s my blog and I’ll ramble if I want to!
11 May 2008
We have bigger houses but smaller families; more conveniences, but less time; We have more degrees, but less sense; more knowledge, but less judgement; more experts, but more problems; more medicines, but less healthiness; We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbor. We build more computers to hold more information to produce more copies then ever, but have less communication; We have become long on quantity, but short on quality. These are times of fast foods but slow digestion; Tall men but short character; Steep profits but shallow relationships. It's a time when there is much in the window, but nothing in the room.
The 14th Dalai Lama