Another post on teaching

Completely unrelated to the rest of this post, but a photograph of my face (as well as the faces of my colleagues and some of school’s students) is currently travelling around Trento, plastered on the side of a bus. How is that for being small town famous.

So anyway..

When I first started teaching I definitely did not feel comfortable being in the classroom. It was all to do with knowing I should somehow be in charge, but I was lacking confidence in my subject area, feeling intimidated by the students and I (still) disliked having to stand in front of a room of people. But, like anything, if you do it for long enough, it gets better. I know I’ve posted about this before, but it’s all an ongoing process. I still read books about English in my spare time, desperately accumulating all the knowledge I think I lack. Currently it’s a book actually called About English, discussing English from the point of view of an English/Italian teacher.

I had a group conversation class last week, where the topic was ‘hotel complaints’. I had the students start out by sharing their worst hotel experiences. At the end of the lesson, a student who had known about my Florence trip asked how it was. Appropriately enough, I had stayed in a rubbish hostel (with no air-conditioning! and it was so hot! though I somehow scored the one bed almost directly under the wall fan). So, my hotel was terrible! I announced, to comic effect.

On Friday I had one of the students from that group for another lesson. At the end, she pulled out a piece of paper with the name and address of a hostel in Florence. She felt terrible, she explained, that my trip had been negatively affected by my accommodation. And so she had brought me the name of this other place as a recommendation. And she could recommend it, as she had a daughter who used to live in Florence, and she had visited there often.

And I thought that was adorable. When I first started teaching I was mostly terrified of my students, and the of the prospect that they may ask grammar related questions. Because they know more about overt grammar rules than I did. But. I’m realising that most people aren’t scary. And you can also say you don’t know when someone asks a question (like, why does the ‘is’ go there in this passive sentence, but not in that other one..? Boh.), and they will shrug and say ok, no problem. To be fair to myself, I do occasionally prove my worth as a ‘native speaker’ by being able to explain almost any idiom or funny turn of phrase.

**Some people definitely are scary though.




6 thoughts on “Another post on teaching

    • added! Though you’ll have to use your imagination, and they’ll have to update their advertisement because I don’t really work there anymore.. awkward!

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