Sunday, 27 October 2013

CELTA: Journal 3

Yea... So I thought I could blog periodically about my course, but it turns out to be almost impossible since I'm rushing to complete lesson plans and assignments half the time. Even more so this week, because my wonderful trainer left it till Wednesday to give us the lesson he'd like us to teach this weekend. So I had 2 days to come up with the first draft. Ran it by him on Saturday, and then update it accordingly so that I could teach it on Sunday.

It's all gone pretty well up till now. I've been getting a "To Standard" for every one of my lesson. I wished that I'd worked harder with the 3rd or 4th one and had gotten an "Above Standard". Well, I'm Asian. I like to feel I'm way better than most people, most of the time :D Haha! I passed my resubmission for Assignment 2, and I still don't know what I'm getting for Assignment 1, but I'm happy things are going well.

I survived my first lesson with the grumpiest trainer today; let's call him Grumpy Cat. I was actually very apprehensive this morning, and I was pretty stressed the day before. I think I had sort of a nightmare. But I guess I showed that I could handle a lesson. One of the students told me that she liked my style a lot. She felt that I spoke clearly, and I put up the vocab and etc. clearly on the board and it has helped her. I'm so happy for the positive feedback. Although the students' feedback doesn't matter to the trainers or the assessor who will come from Cambridge, but having heard positive comments from the students since I started teaching has been wonderful. The student today even asked me if I had taught previously ^__________^ Yes... this calls for a really big smile.

I almost went crazy on Thursday though. I had been spending the entire day slogging at work, then rushing to do the lesson plan for the weekend after office hours. Then I got the email from Grumpy Cat accusing me for leaving work till last minute when I was preempting him that I might hand in my resubmission late. Turns out he totally forgot he'd already marked my first submission, and I was so angry that he was accusing me for being a last minute worker when I handed in my assignment 6 days before it was even due. Yea... you'd explode too if you were me. So I sent him a very polite rant... as polite as I could muster, and he replied saying that it sounds like I'm under a lot of pressure, and that I could have an extension. He realised his boo-boo yesterday, but never apologised. Oh well...

I forgot to take a photo of it, but I was at a stationery shop and chanced upon these self-inking stamps that reminded me of Grumpy Cat; it was an angry face! Haha! How apt! To be fair, I bought 2, one for the nice trainer, and another one for Grumpy Cat. Dunno if he's touched, but I think by now he's very accustomed to being viewed as the critical, heartless one. But he made a fair point today during our feedback session. He said that if we were prepared to take his advise, we would expect to get better and learn more. Well, I agree. So yea... gotta listen to him from now on. He's like the Simon Cowell of CELTA. Hahaha!

So I have another lesson to finish planning and an assignment to draft up by Wednesday. Meanwhile trying to make time to have a life and catch up on sleep. Plus I haven't been exercising for weeks. Definitely gained a lot of weight. My body is screaming for me to cut the carbs, but it's the only way I can comfort myself. Other than receiving hugs and cuddles and kisses. Haha! So... 3 more weeks. I think I'll survive, but only if I don't kill myself first.

I don't think I'll be able to blog about each lesson anymore, maybe at the end of the course when I have time :D Fingers crossed!

Saturday, 5 October 2013

CELTA: Journal 2

Lesson 4: Wednesday, 7pm.

Was early. Managed to reach super early and had my mixed rice dinner. Spent the session studying phonetics and discussing the upcoming Teaching Practice (TP).

The kiasu me had submitted my lesson plan earlier that day, and I received my feedback the same day. I managed to jumble up everything. Bah... observing the lesson on video and reading the teacher's lesson plan confused me. Anyway, I corrected it the next day and got a pretty clean assessment back from the trainer. All good to go. Now for the unobserved lesson on Saturday.

Lesson 5: Saturday, 9am.

I totally dragged myself out of bed this morning. Was so sad when I realised Old Chang Kee wasn't open yet :( Had to buy a peanut pancake from Mr Bean, and on the way to class, a stupid BMW drove past and splashed me. Grrr! Luckily it wasn't like a big splash. But it wet the bag of my pancake. Had to rinse it before I dared to eat it. So far no food poisoning. So I guess I cleaned it up properly.

Oh man... I was so unprepared for today's class. I had no lesson plan, no script... just some examples Jill had shown us about eliciting questions to work with. I was so stiff and it was quite awkward being the first teacher of the day. Most of the students were nice, except this Korean fella whom I assume is in his early thirties. He was trying to be smart the whole lesson. My female classmate and I tried not to laugh when he was trying to be funny, since we didn't want to encourage him.

All in all, the students had a pretty okay understanding of the English Language. Most of them lacked speaking practice, and were there for this very reason. Some were very shy, and simply needed more opportunity and encouragement.

We managed to get the Korean guy 'upgraded' to the Intermediate class. So we don't have to deal with him for the next 3 lessons. But we'll be seeing him again when we switch from teaching Elementary to Intermediate. 2 more weeks... I think I will like teaching this group. 4 of them are from China and 1 from Japan. Lovely students :)

The biggest bomb dropped on me was that I would have to teach 2 days in a row next weekend. This means that I have to prepare 2 lesson plans this week. Awesome... since I had to finish a report at work on Monday. I hope I can cope.... *faints*

So here I am now, about to review my script for my first proper lesson tomorrow. And I need to get cracking on my next 2 lesson plans. Whoop dee doo... don't forget, my assignment is also due next weekend. OMG... wish me luck! :P

Btw, today we learned how to teach grammar, which I will have to put into practice next weekend. Oh my brain... it felt burnt today. I just took a nap earlier, and I hope I can finish all the shit I need to do tonight. My running may have to take a backseat for the next month. Bummer...