Lesson planning, lesson delivery, lessons, etc.

Hello all, I am glad to announce that reports of my dissapearance from civilisation are premature, Tom Hanks and Wilson are still all alone on that island by themselves, too bad for them. However my life has been taken over by my CELTA course, a discussion of which is forthcoming shortly.

Not that have much to report on other than the course, it has pretty much taken over my life, but I did finish the Jack Nicholson book which was a really good read and I’ve now started the Hunter S. Thompson book, I have to say that Thomson is one crazy ass mofo but his writing is absolutely spellbinding, especially thanks to his ability to say whatever he wants to say, regardless of the consequences, simply brilliant.

And thats about all thats been going on in my life other than the course, so I guess I should talk about that. So, the CELTA course, well I went in on Monday morning with the usual fears and trepidation of the unknown, especially the £1200 unknown. Those fears, so far, were not needed.

I won’t pretend that the course isn’t hard work, it really is, the work is pretty constant from ten to six everyday and you normally need to be in before then to do photocopying and suchlike. Neither is it easy, some of the stuff takes a long long time to get your head around or a lot of practice to get right. And then you get home and you’ve either got to prepare your lesson for the next day or start looking at the one for the day after so you can talk to the tutors the next day in preparation for the next lesson.

The first day, once the initial nerves had dissipated went really well, we sat around and got to know our fellow teachers for awhile before getting thrown into a classroom on the afternoon to teach without supervision, which didnt go too badly but did seem like the blind leading the blind at times.

It was however a lot of fun and our group of six got a great and ridiculously varied group of students, in my class there are two Italians, one Ethiopian, a Colombian, an Ecuadorian, a Frenchwoman and six Koreans, which is crazy and brilliant. The six teachers in my group are varied too, myself, an older Australian girl, a younger Australian girl, 2 Korean girls and a fella from Mauritius, if you’re looking for racial diversity, get yourself down to a CELTA course!!!

Day two was to be the first day I took a supervised lesson, so after planning it out on Monday night I was ready for Monday afternoon. Going last of three teachers I took a lesson on the subject of lifestyle. It seemed to go down quite well although I knew as I took the lesson that my language was too complex in parts. However I did get through everything I needed to and tried to think about what I was doing at every stage. The one thing that did come in useful, many would say finally, was my loud voice.

This morning it seemed that was good enough, when I took my feedback I was the only person in my group to get an “above standard” rating, so here’s hoping that continues going forwards (yes I know, look at me and my fat head) but in all honesty I’m hoping the amount of work I’m putting in will come out at the end. Roughly 5% of people get a pass A and the following 10% a pass B, with the next 70% receiving a pass, so I’m aiming to get a pass A or pass B at the end of it all, if I dont know then c’est la bie, but I figure and with every intention of being cliched I’m going to shoot for the stars, if I don’t make it I will at least land on the moon.

Still, to get me through I have returned to the sterling methods that have got me through such awful trials as my university dissertation and many essays: chocolate and cakes, once all work is completed for the night you get the tremendous piece of processed sugary goodness that has been sat so tantalisingly out of reach in the fridge, a modern form of the carrot and the stick, although I’m not sure how comfortable I am comparing myself to a donkey?

Tuesday night post class I was chatting away with the Italians as we left the building and they invited me to join them for a drink, and because I feel as an ambassador for my country I must keep up foreign relations I of course agreed to the excursion which was a grand idea. So I spent an hour with the Italians, having a few pints and chatting a way and came away from the negotiating (drinking) table with a great deal, they are going to teach me how to cook pasta sauces and pizza, I’m going to help them with their english; WIN AND WIN: BINGO.

Anyway today was a much easier day, owing to my not teaching today it was quite chill, going through the lessons on the morning and learning away and then watching others teach on the afternoon. Came in from the day to be greeted by the Big Birch Dizzle (BBD) preparing a sumptuous buffer for the ocassion of Sue’s (Laura’s Mum) last night in Oz!

Have to say I enjoyed a wonderful evening of fillet kangaroo steak, sweet chili prawns, chicken kebabs, duck sausages, chorizo, potato wedges with soy and cumin, salmon, limes, freshly toasted garlic bread and the piece de resistance: MINTY YOGHURTY DIP!!

After that spent the two hours working on today’s lesson plan, it was a good lesson, a little complex but I thought my plan was excellent but my opinion doesn’t matter hehe.

Following that I chilled out with theBBD, talking shit, Birchy offered to give me a Viennese finger, I’m not sure exactly what that is but I politely declined, he seems to be really missing el Chezzarinho and kept winking at me, I’m kind of worried, I do have to share a room with him!

So today on the course it was a nice easy morning as per usual, nothing too stressful but all very enlightening. This afternoon came my second teaching practice and today I was destined to go first. In taking my second lesson I felt a lot more confident infront of the students and felt that I had made a substantial leap from two days ago. The lesson seemed to go to plan and the students seemed to understand me much better thanks to my making a conscious effort to keep my instructions simple.

I sadly didn’t get to be “above standard” again but “to standard” works just fine for now and I feel good heading into the rest of the course that I’m headed in the right direction and that I am actually learning something, which is quite the revelation. Right, I’m off for a swift pint with the Italians before I chill out at home for a few hours before looking at my next lesson, which I’m teaching on Monday!

To the pub!

Love and lesson plans!

J. Xx

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