Thursday, August 31, 2017

3251. Alleviating Our Students' Pains Is Necessary

We teachers cannot separate nor split being a teacher and being concerned about each and every student of ours.
More than being worried about them, any of them I mean, we should be concerned, and we can think how we can alleviate our students’ sorrows and concerns, and share their joys as well.
They expect that from us, up to some extent. Although they may be troublesome sometimes or even often.
Now I’m remembering a teacher I had at my secondary school. I was fourteen, and one day I was kind of worried, serious or a bit sad in the classroom. I was holding my head between my hands. And that teacher, Mr. Miguel Ponce, a nice priest, asked me, at the beginning of one class whether I was fine or not. And I answered something not very polite or elegant anyway.
After some time I realized he had been nice with me and not me toward him. I had replied as a teen that doesn’t like to be asked by an adult. It was a nice thing by him – I don’t know what is about him, or even if he has departed. All a gentleman of him. / Photo from: HireRush Com. That picture fits here.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Help for Texas and Louisiana

I bear you all in mind and keep praying for you, people from Texas and Louisiana. I have some friends mainly in Houston and I’m worried and concerned about you. God bless you, J.L. I stand by you.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

3250. Teaching and Learning with the Right Stuff!

Oh, you know, I’m not sure at all but quite many people now bet that the flipped-classroom model is okay for learning.
You may know about it. The students would firstly read from the Internet about some topic they have to learn about, and they’d do so at home, and also they would kind of visualize the topic also at home, as I said, or in libraries.
And in the classroom they with their teacher and their classmates would gently discuss about their findings.
Some people state that it’s a revolutionary way of learning and it’s great, in few words. But I put a question: is it not okay first for the teacher to say something about the topic or topics before the kids seek and search for stuff about those issues?
Anyway their teacher could help his students look for valid material, this is, he would help focus the topic or topics, because on the Web there’s plenty – actually too much about this or that theme, is that right? I think the teacher should assist in some way the searching by the students at home or in libraries. / Photo from: YouTube

Sunday, August 27, 2017

3249. Affection toward Our Students Is Necessary

Our dear students have to create and make up their communicative competences in the target language, okay. And the chance they have is in the classroom proper, right?
Sometimes we talk about either a second or a foreign language, but English in Spain is somehow a second language, because so many things are in that tongue in real life. So English might not be a foreign language anymore, but a second one, with a qualified certainty. In Spain now you can hear more and more English on the streets. Or at least in some cities, like Granada, the so much touristic Granada.
Coming back to the classroom I can tell you that with my adult students my experience is that you can have that special atmosphere in the classroom all the time, also before and after the English lesson, because all or some of my students ask me questions in English when I just entered the classroom, which curiously is a library.
Summing up I can assure you my students are developing nice communicative competences or skills. We focus on communication and merely sometimes on correct and neat grammar.
The important point is communicating in English, this is, producing messages that are interpreted by me their teacher and by their classmates. Summing up again it’s worth to create that atmosphere in the classroom, where English is the language amid us. They associate me with English, and thus they address me in English! / Photo from: Zastavski com. For today I chose a nice picture as an illustration. Sunday is for God and for relaxing, and riding a horse is okay with that week day.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

3248. Communication in the Classroom? Essential!

So we have that we second or foreign language teachers have to train our dear students to communicate in that target language, English for example.
Great Rebecca Oxford (1990) offers some learning strategies that are useful for communication, both by speaking and by writing – also by listening and by reading. For example: switching to the mother tongue; getting help; using mime or gesture; adjusting or approximating the message; coining words; using a circumlocution or synonym…
If we think of them they’re great for communication in English or any other language!
The point for us teachers is creating a nice atmosphere in the classroom where English is precisely the vehicle language for understanding among ourselves!
And here we’re referring to the grand language-learning-and-acquiring approach which is the communicative approach. Here we have to also consider the “Importance [which] is given to learners’ personal experiences and situations, which are considered as an invaluable contribution to the content of the lessons.” These latter words were taken from a website on the communicative approach:  
And so we could speak about the students’ learning and learning strategies in the classroom, maybe in English, if possible. / Photo from: Voyager 1 Gobierno de Canarias. I posted that picture of Voyager 1 because it still COMMUNICATES with us people on earth, after 40 years after its launching!

Friday, August 25, 2017

3247. Having Fun by Writing Fiction Compositions!

The new school year is about to start, right? And we teachers will get so committed with our students and our classes.
We will try our students would make good use of the class time. But is it sensible to assign homework, or otherwise it is okay with the school lessons and that’s it? How much homework should we teachers assign?
I would tell you that homework is necessary, just necessary. For example if we are second or foreign language teachers, our students need extra time at home when they’re easy and relaxed to re-read texts we have worked out at school. When our students are relaxed at home – hopefully they’re so! – they should dedicate some time for re-reading, doing some drill exercise, some more fiction writing or non-fiction essays, focusing on some grammar point and practicing by using it in meaningful contexts…
So the answer is a qualified YES, they should have SOME homework.
However let’s consider that those students of ours have other school subjects – math, science, history, chemistry, philosophy… - and they should have enough time for those other subjects: let’s not assign too much homework.
I was thinking of our case, second or foreign language teachers: our students do need time at home to study, to reinforce their communicative competences by using the language for creative writing and enjoying it, by interacting with us their teachers through online computer writing, etc. / Photo from: Castillo de Santa Barbara Ayuntamiento de Alicante. I posted that pic because it might be inspiring for writing fiction compositions.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

3246. Are You Excited before the New School Year?

The committed teacher! The committed teacher will for sure dedicate some time – which may be not paid anyway! – to think of some basic general points about the school year that is about to start.
It depends on the teacher but some of them are used to thinking about that new school year afresh, starting from some general points toward something more punctual. And when thinking in general, he will think: What can I expect from my new students, or from the students I had last year? Or also: What main aims should I have before the new school year?
And he’ll think of one or two general goals. And he will also dream high about his doing and what his students are going to do. And he can think of these points while strolling along a park or the countryside or wherever, or when right opposite his computer, before planning that school year.
What I mean is that before the actual planning he should ask himself what he has to do and what his students have to do, at the view or sight, an overall sight, from his experience last year. What was fine? What do I have to do to improve such and such things that went odd or bad?
Let’s shed a fresh light on my professional work. And that certainly means he’s a very professional teacher, on whom the school can rely! / Photo from: Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Monday, August 21, 2017

3245. When Our Students Are Great!

Our students should get some communicative competence, I said on last post. Some communicative competence in the second or foreign language, I referred to.
Communication in the target language should be predominant in the classroom. I bet we teachers should foster that communication, even when giving announcements in the target language, announcements about school logistics and other school stuff.
The point is creating an atmosphere where English (our target tongue) is the vehicle language for dealing with all in the classroom. Even grammar points could be presented by the teacher or by the students in English, making sure those students can understand well! And for that we have to use clear and properly vocalized language.
Also we will illustrate the grammar point with sentences the students can understand. So let’s hinder the temptation of using the mother tongue. Even we could elicit example sentences from the students, as they’re understanding the grammar point which is being presented.
All this I’m saying may be demanding, but we’re creating the humus or soil where our students can learn and acquire English and therefore grow their “target language plant”. They can acquire English even if they’re adults. But for that we should output and convey massive speech in English!
Try and carry out all this to find out if it works! Mostly our students are great! / Photo from: XciteFun net. The picture may be showing something about conveying messages, as those kids look they’re kind of shouting messages.

Friday, August 18, 2017

3244. Fostering Communication with Our Students!

We second or foreign language teachers should promote and train our students to gain a communicative competence in that language. We do not confine our teaching to language facts. No, we train our dear students for a communicative competence.
That said, focus on providing a massive output from you, for your students to have and receive a massive input and intake. If no input and intake, no language. And for that I advise you to teach at the communicative approach: communication, communication, communication.
Not many language facts but communication in the classroom. So immersion will be fine for our students.
Please pray for us Spanish people, for yesterday August 17 we suffered a big terror attack in Barcelona. Thank you! / Photo from: history-teacher All Education School

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

3243. Before the New School Year!

Welcome if dropping by my blog. I was thinking that we teachers should be very human and humane with our students, maybe now and always, maybe right now that we are about to start a new school year. But always we have to be that way.
Our students do need us.
And we have to be very attentive to what they wish to tell us, even by jotting down some notes, at tutoring sessions and everywhere. Also we can help them all with our affection, care, sense of humor, joy.
As I’m Christian also sometimes I try and give someone some spiritual and supernatural advice – I try and give them Jesus Christ, loving Jesus Christ.
We can offer them our being near them, our affection and attention, like I said. Alike our prayer and understanding them. Soon I’ll try to write about gaining a communicative competence by our students, in the second or foreign language we teach.
Oh, also I would add that if we're attentive to our dear students we'll eventually gain prestige and authority before them. / Photo from: sailing courses in dublin www inss ie. The picture is a beautiful illustration.

Monday, August 14, 2017

3242. Thinking of the New School Year

Some days ago I wrote: “Even in a hostile atmosphere you can gain authority. By working with commitment, dedication, affection, and benevolence love.”
I wrote that for posting today. And I guess it is true. Think of it. I’m thinking of my colleagues in secondary schools or Spanish “institutos”, where often it is not simple to teach. You have to gain your students to your side by affection, commitment, dedication and love of benevolence.
Also I’m thinking of a movie where a rookie young female teacher gained her students in a high school by putting in her students’ shoes by making them write diaries about their lives, sorrows and pains... and joys alike! She learned about her students in that way. She could think in her lesson plans by putting in her students’ shoes. / Photo from: read-a-book-day-fun Time and Date

Friday, August 11, 2017

3241. He Achieved Some Nice Authority!

How to manage a large classroom? I was thinking of the summer camp I helped out at, last July. One day one teacher had a session with more than thirty teens. He had to set them working in teams! He achieved to rope all the boys in the class. He leant on a PowerPoint presentation. He addressed each kid in some way.
The most important point was that he had moral authority: those kids respected and loved him. He treated the boys with interest, affection, gravity, respect, formality. He had something special, ordinary though, at the same time.
He is an experienced teacher, and experience makes the difference. Also I would dare say that he was honorable, honest and upright, and he has devoted his professional life to teaching teens. It’s something you notice soon, pretty soon. Up to some extent the students could “smell” he’s a committed professional. And I’ve seen this in other teachers too. / Photo from: Animalia Life. The picture is just a nice illustration.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

3240. Are You a Charismatic Teacher?

Some useful and interesting points for today. I know about a man that used to say that the more you study something the more you like it! And that’s something we can explain to our students. The more you learn about something the more you’ll be interested on it.
He had chosen the degree of Medicine, kind of by chance. However he had applied all his energies to studying that degree and really he became a prestigious doctor in Spain, Eduardo Ortiz de Landázuri. He died in 1985.
He also said – he as well became a college professor – that being a kind-hearted and good-natured teacher was not against being a teacher that could achieve to lead a class of students. Kindness was not against classroom-management and discipline.
Alike I know a teacher that even smiles often to his students, and his students have a big respect toward him! He has kind of some charisma, yet he’s normal. / Photo from: Today I Found Out. The picture is just an illustration.

Monday, August 7, 2017

3239. Preparing the New School Year

I was thinking of the English summer camp I arrived from some days ago. Oh, it’s been so great. We’ve had fun and also the kids have learned so much English and practiced listening, speaking, reading and writing. Great.
Also they’ve learned and practiced other competences or skills, like working in teams, speaking in public, debating and discussing… Even they’ve learned to make their beds in the morning. And all of them were nice, in spite of a few punctual behavior problems. When you treated the boys aside, they reacted in a nice way.
At the cafeteria or canteen as well they’ve learned to eat their meals nice. I was also thinking that these boys are our future citizens, the ones that will lead our lives.
Some also nice anecdote was that we visited Gibraltar, which is a nice piece of the UK at the south cape of Spain. Even they’ve learned to treat God as a You, as a person, as a dad, with a limitless love like many dads and moms together.
What may they be doing now? Their families also have noticed the nice change in those kids. They’re better sons. And we teachers and monitors have also learned quite much from them. Last but not least they’ve approached levels B1, B2, C1… each kid the level he needs to pass. Remember that B1 and 2 are intermediate and C1 is advanced. / Photo from: campusa ie. That picture is not of our summer camp

Friday, August 4, 2017

3238. Learning for Life Itself!

We teachers have to educate our dear students for life, right? For life now and for their future lives, as citizens, parents… adults.
And something they must learn now is to work as a team. The next activity can be carried out by small teams in the classroom – three members I’d say – or the class as a whole, if this one is not too large. They have to choose four objects they would take to survive in Terranova in winter for six weeks.
They give from the best they have when working in teams. This is an activity we carried out in the summer course I’ve been with boys from Eastern Andalusia, south of Spain, at Costa del Sol. / Photo from: Earth Times

Thursday, August 3, 2017

3237. Back with You Again!

Pheeww! I've been to a summer camp with boys. It's been awesome. On coming days I will post further. I hope so. Sláinte! (Cheers, in Gaelic).