Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I teach MY students

I teach my students, not other teachers’ students.

What do I mean by that?
I have been extensively reading about teenagers and what/ how they are learning. I have been reading how they text, how they speak, what they like doing. I have been reading all that from teachers or from people in the learning business. As I was reading I have never taken the time to actually stop and look at MY students. I assumed that teachers around the world had the same students. So I thought that teenagers from Scotland were like teenagers in South Africa, who were the same as teenagers in the US or Australia.

How wrong was I.
(source http://bit.ly/QR3no3)

One typical example is that I have asked my students how they text. They told me that they text like they write in English (proper !!!), they do not use text language and cannot stand kids who do.
As you know, I teach French in a rural high school in NZ. My experience, my students might be different from yours even if you teach in a rural high school in NZ. My experience might also be different from another teacher in the same school as me.
I made the mistake to assume how my students were. This year, I have been observing them (I should have done that years ago of course, but I cannot change that). By observing and asking them what they actually like, I have realised that they like touching stuff I have laminated, they like doing grammar drills, they like playing gameboards, they like conjugating verbs on individual whiteboards (the old way) and they like learning their vocabulary using Language Perfect online.

So now, when I plan my lessons, I do not plan them if I were teaching students in Australia or in Huntly, I plan my lessons if I were teaching my students, the ones who decide to take French in high school, the ones who like conjugating verbs and playing gameboards