Thursday, January 13, 2005

I feel like writing about EL class again.

Today, Mrs F read us some parts of Totto-Chan and let us practise taking down inferential details, so that we can teach our students in future. (She's actually nice, just too condescending for our taste at times...)

I learnt instructions, however clear you design them, will somehow fail for one or two individuals.

I also learnt to my horror that many of my classmates don't read fiction. How can we inspire our students to read if we are so deprived of the joy of books ourselves?

I learnt about grammar focus lessons, and how I can plan my lessons, to either highlight the grammatical features of text types before my students write, or between drafts so that they can look out for certain errors during peer editing, or after the writing process as part of correction.

I learnt that note-taking is an important skill for students to process, and that we can teach them in EL too, from listening-based lessons so that they can pick up some basic skills, useful for their lectures in their more advanced schooling years.

I learnt that we can make the most difference to the mid-range, average ability students. The best ones don't need us, and there will always be some weak ones who will drown no matter how much we try. We can't save everyone.

I learnt that as much as I disbelieve it, there are students who can't spell their names at Sec. 1, who have never been to the zoo, whose parents may be in jail or have abandoned them, and who may never be able to use their own experiences for narrative titles such as "A Family Outing".

I learn, and I don't want to forget. So I blog.

K went for his MOE interview today, and told me that his interviewers asked him how he would feel if he were posted to a neighbourhood school, when he came from the Raffles family.

He answered, "That's precisely the point of teaching, right?"

We must never forget that.

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