Teaching Teens at PARK10. 2. 2021
As one of the youngest teachers at Skola Park, teaching teens has been the most beneficial and fun experiences of my teaching career. At first, I was worried that perhaps my age will get in the way of getting my point across and will prevent me from being able to have a real impact on the teens that were seated in front of me. However, I was wrong. It was my young age that allowed me to put myself into their shoes, to understand their weaknesses, their struggles, and most importantly, their needs which I could meet. My main goal as a teacher is to prepare them. Prepare them for the exams which they want to sit and to get their English levels up significantly to a level which will allow them to do more. I take this goal very seriously and each lesson is aimed towards that goal. However, I have a personal goal of mine which I also take with me into every lesson. That goal is to Inspire. I want them to exit the classroom with their C1 Cambridge English certificate for sure, but I also want them to be inspired to do great things with that certificate, and they can say, it all started at PARK.
Teaching teens is split into 4 parts: reading, speaking, listening, and writing. I communicate these ideas through various activities. Sometimes it’s about talking about what they are passionate about, solving problems they have encountered, or simply reading a short text and analysing it deeper. Communicative activities are important to get students speaking more and more. Pair work allows the students to communicate with another person and being able to share opinions, likes, dislikes, and ideas in the classroom. I like to take things into the real world, always connect the chapter from the textbook back into what might happen after the course. Conversations, problems, projects, and scenarios. Through these communicative activities, I can answer questions they might have, show them a little bit more than the textbook can provide, and relate to them. I think that the main part of teaching teens is to relate.
This year, however, was a little bit different. It forced all teachers at PARK to adapt to new strategies of teaching because all courses were moved to the online platform ‘Zoom’ due to the current COVID-19 crisis. This didn’t stop me though; my goal was still to inspire and relate whilst preparing them for their upcoming exams. Through zoom I can hear and see my student through the screen, I can communicate with them and I can hear and listen to their ideas. They discuss questions in the breakout rooms, PowerPoint slideshow shows them different activities for the lessons with bright colours to stimulate their learning, and nothing gets in the way of learning. I share the positivity that the students need, especially at this time. We can all relate to each other, we are all here together, aiming to achieve the same goals. We have a group chat through Facebook, I can share materials, homework, pages…etc.
I like to think that my students and I are a TEAM. I am here to teach; they are here to learn, and we have to help each other. Often students need to bear with me as I look for the slide that I wish to share through Zoom, there are often connection problems which we must also take into consideration, things go wrong, and mistakes happen. But at the end of the day, we have to be a TEAM and I believe that we are here at P.A.R.K.
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