Our second week!!! Yahoo! Things are moving so fast! We have our teaching practice already! How exciting! To be perfectly honest with you, I must say I really enjoy the studying process! More than that: I feel super blessed! Here are my 3 top reasons for it:
1.The course is fun. I have been teaching for 10 years and I feel like I learned how to be a teacher again, with a different perspective: more enjoyable, more efficient and more creative.
2. The team of TEFL trainers are absolutely awesome: a great bunch of awesome people that make an incredible team!
3. My group mates are the best people in the world. I don’t know if you guys will have the same experience as I did, but my group mates are some of the best people I have ever met in my life!
Jamie the “2 Days”.
The legend says that his nickname “2 days” comes from him being happy just 2 days a week. Well last week he was sick at the weekend, which made him Mr 0. But in fact he smiles. He does. I saw him smiling at the table during break. He was smiling to a cup of coffee.
He is really good: structured, always organized and very creative. But he balances his perfectionism with honesty and a down-to-earth approach. Jamie’s devilish 6 “Golden rules of the first lesson” that I managed to collect are super useful and handy. Here we go!
First lesson GOLDEN RULES from Jamie:
1) “Honesty is the best policy”. If you don’t know the answer to the one of the trillions of questions your students might ask you, don’t lie! Or more than that don’t ignore them, pretending you are super deaf. If the situation is absolutely bad and you are going through a blonde moment you should say: “I’ll get back to you on this one later!” or “this is a great thing to do at home!” I like this one more, hehe!
2)”Don’t throw up or cry at your first class”. It can be really overwhelming to stand in front of a lot of people and you literally can compare your first class with a first kiss: you are nervous, not sure what is going to happen and when it happens you either throw up or fly to the moon. Well we can’t afford the first one, so guys you better love it!
3) “Don’t speak like a machine gun”. Learn a magical “teacher’s talk”: speak slowly, make sure you are understood, don’t mumble, stutter or spit!
4) Timing: be specific: not too early, not too late.
5) Have “Back pocket ideas”: games to fill the gaps, extra activities to fill time.
6) Be yourself: if you are not funny, don’t try to be! 😉
Jamie also told us a very important thing that we usually underestimate—the importance of grammar!!!!! “If language is a tree then Grammar is the trunk.” My advice to you guys: listen to Jamie “2 days”: start learning grammar as soon as you start the course, between your “siestas” and “cerveza” breaks. ESPECIALLY if you are a native speaker!
Mike the Life Coach!
If you want to be successful in your career a teacher, businessman, president or even the King of the Universe, Mike has to be your best Amigo! Whatever you want you will not surprise him with your dreams. Trust me. In a competition with Tony Robins Mike would definitely win because he is:
- not bossy
- very generous in giving his time and he is always there to help
- absolutely efficient and gives the information you need at the speed of light—It looks like the answer is ready before you even ask.
- Fun to be around
- realistic career advisor ….. sorry Tony, you lost! Mike you are a priceless person! Like a rain of positive emotions and hopes for a better future! Although Mike and Jamie come from absolutely different backgrounds, they have one thing in common; they are both brutally honest creatures.
Erwin the Buddha.
When you first see Erwin, you would think he teaches yoga classes and meditation. Well I believe he does, but it’s not his only specialty. In reality, he is a phonology Guru and a big sweetheart. He turned our world upside down not only by being a supportive and nice, taking care of everything and everyone, but also by showing us that learning phonology can be a lot of fun! Erwin also has a big secret! He has always dreamt of being a rock star! But he loves teaching and he puts his heart and soul into it. Another secret, that he has is…. His favourite sound is “schwa”. But it’s just between you and me, ok? Although most of us think that Erwin is a second Buddha, Ingrid, our group psychologist would describe him as “outwardly calm and inwardly complex”.
A man in Denim
By Anna Elizabeth Davis
You know those moments when your head is full of adverbs and conditionals and stuff like that? All tangled up like spaghetti in your brain? Well clear that aside with a spoon and take yourself to a botanical garden or something like it. There you will find a tree. Under that tree will be a man in denim, he will be smiling a tranquil smile that instantly frees all the spaghetti in your brain. He will teach you vocal sounds that you never before knew existed. This man is named Erwin.
An expert on teaching children, a mother of two and a virtuoso in how to make learning fun. Games, games, games!… No wonder her husband is an Argentinean who boasts a fine moustache! I find her classes extremely helpful. Suzanne is a person with a steady flow of positive energy and heaps of ideas about making the whole lesson fun! Keep calm and let the games begin!
“Exuberant and attentive to each students needs” – that’s how one of our students described her. I can’t even imagine her without a smile on her face. It’s always there to brighten up our day and make learning grammar fun. Another thing that is really surprising is her multitasking. Lisa can do 3 things at the same time: running the school, giving lessons, and smiling! She is our grammar Guru! She has so many ideas of how to make learning fun and I love her favorite one: listening to the songs! Yeah! It’s totally contagious!:) One day we should go to the karaoke bar and sing Lisa’s favorite song!
The Group mates.
As I mentioned before, the students who came to do the course are from so many places on earth, but one thing we all have in common: we support each other and love spending time together. We travel together, we study together… We really enjoy each other’s company!
So to sum my thought up I would like to say that the course is really worthwhile because it teaches you to enjoy the process of teaching and learning. The great thing about it is that it looks like everyone is on the same page. Students are enthusiastic and entertaining and the teachers are just incredible!
by Daria Glesser (Russia)