Thursday, 25 August 2011

London calling!

I had a great time in Canterbury and discovered that I simply love teaching! I taught most days for a whole month and wanted to carry on as it was going so well. It was a challenge teaching summer school as it is an ever changing feast. I would start the week with 15 students and each day some would be taken away and new ones added in an attempt to get the balance right. Apparently this is the norm with continuous enrollment and it was good to see how I coped with it. It was a bit of a lifesaver with my first class as it was literally made up of mainly 14-year-old Italian boys who were on a mission to outdo each other. One in particular was incredibly annoying with his obsession with "Turkish kebab" which was the answer to any and every question I threw at him.

Summer school was a great opportunity to try out lots of activities and teaching games that I had not done before and it is great to have come away with lots of ready made lesson plans that can be easily adapted in the future. The school I taught for provided course books which made life easier but the material often needed to be enriched with my own ideas and I really enjoyed this part of the teaching. The classrooms were well equipped from an IT point of view and I made good use of the video projector. We were discouraged from using photocopies and so I made it my policy to get students doing their own materials as much as possible. Sometimes this meant writing but often it meant producing drawings that could be exploited in speaking activities. I soon generated a lot of material that ended up on the classroom walls.

A highlight was the day that I doubled up with another class and we showed the film Kung Fu Panda with a great follow up activity where the learners created their own animal action characters and film plot which they had to pitch. Very amusing and a great way of activating their language. I will never forget "polar beers".

So now I am back in London and looking for more teaching work as I have decided to stay here for a while. I am working on some writing projects at the moment and need to be in London for a while but then I will be heading abroad again. Hmm where will I go?


  1. Glad it went so well (though I knew it would!) You are indeed a natural teacher and you've clearly found your niche in life. I'm intrigued by "polar beers"!

    Ah, so you're sticking around for a bit - interesting!

    Sure you'll find some teaching work in London very soon, you've got the skills and now the experience for anything and everything. Good luck with your search!

  2. Glad to hear it all went so well, Deborah. How ingenious to get round the minimal-photocopying policy. I'd have been stumped, I think. I remember the film exercise went down well in Zamora - the winning pair pitched a film about a local legendary hero.

    Good luck with the job search


  3. Thanks both. Have had a really good ESOL interview and hoping they will ask me to join the team as it is perfect for me though it looks like I am going to be poor for a while longer! Good thing I am used to it now. Lentils rock! Hope to catch up with you both soon in your respective places!


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