Well, we are moving right along in the TESOL Best Practices course. I am currently leading one of the three practice teaching groups we have. In this certification course, each participant has to log in at least 6 hours of practice teaching with real students from the greater New York community.
Something cool about this particular course is that all the participants get to teach 3 different levels. Sometimes they get to teach only 1 level, and sometimes they get to teach 2; so, it is really cool to give them the chance to teach 3 (High Intermediate, Pre-Intermediate, and Beginner).
We are experiencing some bumps and starts though. It is hard to jump around every few weeks and basically change not only the WHAT (the target language or receptive skills) of teaching, but also the HOW (the method of delivery the information). My participants are doing an amazing job adjusting, though. Their first 2 weeks they taught High-Intermediate and now they are making the switch to Beginner. Some of them are totally new to teaching and some of them have more experience, but they are making sure to put the students’ needs first. They are truly natural teachers :).
Without my prompting, they are already considering how to give the students the support they need to discuss ideas with a partner. Beginners really want to talk to each other, but they often lack the language structures they need to make a sentence. In practice teaching yesterday, one of my teachers put on the board, “It think ____ is the right answer because _____.” and it made such a huge difference. She had complete beginners discussing their answers with each other in complete sentences! I was so proud!
Today is our last listening lesson in practice teaching and I have full confidence that my teachers will continue to cater to their students needs! We always say here, “Teach the students, not the lesson plan.” So far, I have seen a lot of this going on!