The morning class ran from 11 until 12:50 and the afternoon class was from 2:30-3:50. I thought I'd share my thoughts on how my "classes" went:
- First off, I love morning classes that start at 11. I had plenty of time to drink my coffee, reply to emails, make a few phone calls and get ready for the day. That was a total score in my mind, and I'm sure the student teachers love it too. Especially on a Monday morning.
- Is it me, or are student teachers really just big kids? I found the morning class full of energy, enthusiasm and laughter whereas the afternoon class was sluggish and frankly - they seemed a bit bored. I even had the student-teachers open a couple of windows! Anissa & I talked to their professor afterwards and discussed the difference in the two classes. Don't get me wrong - I liked both classes, but I worried that my own teaching was really boring. What was I doing wrong? I told funny stories (or at least I think they're funny!) and tried to make the workshop as engaging as possible. But the professor advised me on what I could have done with the afternoon class. She explained that she always has them moving around, up out of their seats - just like primary kids. She was a Primary School Principal so she uses the same tricks with her student teachers as she does elementary aged students. Well how 'bout that. I didn't even think of that!
- I love the enthusiasm that our teachers have for traveling the world, and love meeting new teachers with that same enthusiasm. Our conversations are so much more meaningful to me. In contrast, I find it hard to relate to teachers who don't want to leave the comfort zones of what they know at "home." Huh? You don't want to spend your weekends in Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Prague...? Really?
- Sometimes I can be a bit too honest. But I won't change that anytime soon. Whether that be in a teacher's interview or during a presentation at a university - sometimes I shock myself with what I actually say outloud -- and now you're thinking - "what did she say?!" I will never tell.
- I like giving teachers unexpected freebies. For every teacher that showed up to class yesterday we gave them a free copy of my ebook, Guide to Teaching in London: A Survival Guide for Canadians. It saved each student $29.95 so that felt pretty cool.
- It's all about the little things. Anissa and I gave the workshops at no cost to U. Vic or the student-teachers, partly because we're here in Victoria so it was no big deal for travel and partly because we figure it's good to give back to our local uni. I knew that would feel good. But I didn't know that the student-teachers would give us each a little gift and a signed card by everyone in the class. Good thinking U.Vic! Really appreciated that simple gesture.
What would you do? Have you ever taught grown-ups? If so, please send me your advice on how I can improve my afternoon sessions! Thanks.
Resources for Teaching in London
Classroom Canada website
Guide to Teaching in London: A Survival Guide for Canadians ebook
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