Flashback: This day in ...2007
Another in my occasional series of "Flashbacks" looking back at blog entries made before this Weebly version started.
I started my trainer-training at Robert's School by observing each of the three Chinese in-house trainers in action. As you can see in the photo, they only have a few new teachers on each cycle and the course is therefore nicely informal and personalised. The three trainers are excellent teachers in their own right, especially with the younger students, with whom most of the Chinese teachers have their lessons (classes of older students are usually taught by foreign teachers).
However, none of them has any specific background in training and so they are keen, if a little nervous, to get feedback and advice. The present course has evolved into a largely didactic passing-on of how each lesson should be taught, right down to standardised gestures and umpteen steps for every moment of the class, which cannot be deviated from. I think I’d like to adapt it so that new teachers work out the most successful methods for themselves and, in doing so, understand why they are the best ways, more than simply being told so. This means having open-ended activities, worksheets to complete and group discussions where the new teachers can suggest their own answers and give their own opinions and ideas. Not a particularly Chinese way of doing things but one which, as teachers, we should already be encouraging our students to do in our lessons...
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Paul Hider lives and works in Kunming (SW China) and regularly updates this blog about his life there.
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