Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Teacher Training Part 3

So, onto todays training.

More people arrived from the others schools that work for the agency so we have almost 30 people there who range from Prathom 1 to Mathayom 6 teachers.

Gander is doing the training today and its all about techniques. OK I think could be useful and he starts. He then does a 50 minute lesson entirely in Turkish and tells a story. We are supposed – in groups, again after being sorted into different groups - to write the story down in Turkish, translate it into English and note the techniques used.

If you have been in a CELTA, TESOL course you will probably have gone through this exercise one to demonstrate the difficulties of new learners and ways of learning etc. On my course the actual demonstration was about 15 minutes long and involved the Quizennaire (?) Rods and we did colours and numbers. After that we moved onto discussing the points raised and ways to overcome them.

Today the foreign language section lasted 50 minutes. Yup, 50 minutes of him “acting” and talking Turkish. Then we talked about the translation and then some of the techniques. All in, this lasted 3 hours. 3 hours that could and should have been condensed into around 50 minutes to 1 hour of focused activity. Instead it was one long rambling mess that most people were bored of after 10 minutes. Then he makes the point that he knows that “we are unmotivated and uninterested and that we didn’t want to be there because it’s the end of term so how do we think the students feel?” yes, we are unmotivated because, you aren’t a proper trainer, it’s the end of term, its unfocused, you are treating us like students, not grown up experienced teachers, you are giving the same training to Prathom and Mathayom teachers and we know you don’t care because if you did, you would be doing at the start of the term.

It’s this point that gets me. Almost every training we have is across such a wide range of age groups that it’s a scatter gun approach and they hope that we pull something out the multitude of pellets that’s shot our way and make it useful.

Reading some of the literature online about teacher training, the vast majority of opinions are that is has to be focused, it has to age specific and has to be done by people qualified to do the job. As far as I am aware this guy hasn’t got anything more than a CELTA ( education qualification wise ). In which case, I can do the job as well as he can. Give me the internet and some idea of what you want taught and I am sure I could come up with a decent course.

And of course the other point is the timing, if they are serious why are we doing it at the end of term when we are mentally shot and just wanting to go away for the two weeks holiday we have coming up. Why not do it at the start of the term when any points raised will be fresh in our minds and will be effective?

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