To plan a lesson is not always easy, because it can never be foreseen what will happen during the class. So it is important to make sure not to be caught in the act with a lack of knowledge or information to present the students or at least not to let the students realize. Therefore, to think about more than one plan to fall back on is of major importance. Despite of the fact that I struggle with nervousness and tentativeness, I handle to lead a class. I give them time to think before they express themselves. I do not rush thing. I intend to spot my own mistakes immediately and correct them for the students, trying to not let them be aware of it. I do my best to fit in the time limit when to start and when to finish, trying to include all the points from my lesson plan.
2.) My major weakness is grammar. I am confident in using the basics of English grammar but when it gets into anything intricate Im a little lost as to how to explain it in a way that students can understand. Another fact that I have to focus on is to firstly learn from the students what they already know instead of teaching them something that they have already heard of from scratch. Here, providing exercises to check their knowledge and giving them further practice would be the best possible way. For example, I taught a grammar class in the second week of the course that was a bit of a dud because I just didnt really have the background knowledge required to present some easy understandable explanations. Moreover, the students had already heard of that grammatical structure I intended to teach them. I could have just checked and applied my teaching to their needs.
I make every effort to give students sufficient feedback, but unfortunately this is another weakness that I am facing. Due to unexpected events in class, sometimes activities take longer and therefore need to be planned more thoroughly beforehand. Therefore there is not enough time to support students with enough feedback. One student once told me that she had not understood the purpose of the last activity in class because she wasn´t given any feedback at the end. Though my lesson plans are well structured I need to follow this structure meticulously and make sure not to be distracted by anything that would lead to its collapse. Due to the shortness of my practical experience I am definitely struggling with being holistic but still concentrating too much on doing the single parts of a lesson perfect.
3.) Observing my colleagues, experienced teachers and videotaped teachers has certainly helped me to develop my teaching so far. Not only have I skilled and talented colleagues for demonstration, but especially observing one teacher in the last week helped me realize the most important thing for me while teaching: to keep calm and relaxed! This teacher had not only style but also a philosophy because she seemed to be very reflective about what she expressed. Moreover, she kept the ´Teacher-Talk´ at a minimum and asked her students generated, topic-related and intriguing questions exploiting the topic fully.
She gave the students enough time to answer; not rushing them or giving them a feeling of insecurity. Teacher-type: the enabler. Students have a tendency immediately detecting an insecure or tentative teacher. It reflects in their class behavior and in their responses. I have come to realize that contrary to using my voice efficiently I am likely to speak in a low, soft sometimes even faint manner. True, not every teacher I observed spoke at full volume and it is always important to note that the amount of students in a classroom is decisive but I have learnt that a certain system of when and how to use one´s voice helps to effectively reach the aim of teaching successfully.