The wonderful @stephanootis has recently posted on “Would I like to be taught by me?” – a very interesting question.
She goes on to mention what she’s learnt from her Pilates teacher, so here’s what I’ve learnt from teachers who have made their mark on my learning.
- Get a Life
I’ll never forget the excitement of our A level history teacher as he shared his joy at having got tickets for the Who‘s “Our Generation” tour, nor the hour long resume in class after the event. I don’t think I ever saw him without his badge either come to think of it. Even though we didn’t like the Who we recognised passion and enthusiasm and loved him for it.
2. Be passionate about your subject
My daughter’s eye light up as she talks about her literature lesson with “Mummy-Descombes”, as the 17 year-old class has named their teacher. She tells us how fired up the teacher gets about her subject, and I’ve seen how she got the whole class to go to the theatre one weekend, just for fun.
3.Support individual learning styles
I’ve recently finished my M.A. TESOL with Sheffield Hallam. It was tough fitting everything in, and a lonely learning experience doing it online. However my tutor (Alice Oxholm) was just lovely, she saw pretty early on that I worked best to deadlines and appreciated face-to-face contact so she was always available to skype, and asked pertinent questions about where I was going next. Her suggestions were never over-bearing and she motivated and encouraged me when I needed it.
4. Enjoy your job
I learnt this from a colleague that made it so obvious that she didn’t, to the point where students would sign up for extra classes rather than sit in study hall and get on with their homework if she was supervising. She also taught me the importance of liking your students. While I realise we can’t all be BFF, there is something to like in everyone and the secret of a good relationship is to find that something. It doesn’t have to be a shared love of your subject, I admire my students’ guitar skills or motivation at football, knowing that they’ll learn English when they need to. They aren’t the centre of my life so I shouldn’t expect to be the centre of theirs. This mutual appreciation helps us all get on and get the most from our time together.
So, would I like to be taught by me? Overall yes I think so. I’d appreciate my passion for life, running and of course Star Wars. I’d enjoy the different projects we did in class and although I’d find my insistence to use English as the language of instruction challenging to start with, I’d probably be grateful later.
What I wouldn’t be to keen on is that sometimes lessons would lack organisation, and that the teacher would come up with cool ideas mid-class that occasionally would fall through, rather than think things through first and only undertake projects she had the time to see through to the end. And that, of course is what I’ve learnt about improving my teaching this week.
Now over to you, would You like to be taught by you?