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Teaching Poll
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What do you like least about English language teaching?
Teaching?
17%
 17%  [ 6 ]
Lesson Planning?
17%
 17%  [ 6 ]
Course Design?
20%
 20%  [ 7 ]
Marking?
41%
 41%  [ 14 ]
The Long Holidays?
2%
 2%  [ 1 ]
Total Votes : 34

Author Message
johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 13859
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2011 12:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Glenski,

Hey, why try to improve perfection? I think maybe you're confusing lesson plans with materials. The lesson plans don't change that much; as far as I know, no one's come up with a new tense lately. But the materials get added to, subtracted from, altered and updated.

Of course, I'm sure we seem like very lazy guys compared to you, but cross my heart, we do try hard. And someday, maybe we can, well, if not actually attain your exalted level, come at least close enough to be considered acceptable.

Regards,
Stale John
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Denizen



Joined: 13 Nov 2009
Posts: 110
Location: Tohoku

PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2011 12:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, at this point in time, grading papers is the lease liked area of the poll? I presume that those who selected this feel this way because of the extra time they must dedicate to complete this task. Is it the time, the effort, or the difficulty?
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 9041
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2011 1:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Denizen wrote:
So, at this point in time, grading papers is the lease liked area of the poll? I presume that those who selected this feel this way because of the extra time they must dedicate to complete this task. Is it the time, the effort, or the difficulty?

Depending on what you teach, True/False and multiple choice are very easy for grading tests. They don't work all the time, and you might have to do other types of testing as well, but they can help cut down on time.

So can having your students grade their own or switch and grade a partner's.

Or having students do group work.
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basiltherat



Joined: 04 Oct 2003
Posts: 952

PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 3:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe I have misunderstood the point of this but to all those who chose 'teaching' as the thing they liked least, i suggest movng on and doing something you dislike less. After all, this is the ultimate task that we need to perform as teachers.

IMHO, liking what you do generally makes you perform well. I can, then, surmise that those who made this choice are probably not doing a very good job.

If one is going to do a job, there is no better way than to do it well.

Best
Basil
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 9041
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 4:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I choose teachign Embarassed I LIKE teaching, my problem is I get so excited that I tend to get ahead of myself and skip things, so I have to plan more and slow down.

I like teaching, but I like the admin part more. I'd like to get out of teahcing eventually, but for now I'll stick with it.
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Perilla



Joined: 09 Jul 2010
Posts: 792
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 4:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I sometimes enjoyed the teaching. But the only thing I (would have) liked in the long run (but never experienced) were the long holidays. I guess that's why I got out of TEFL!
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isitts



Joined: 04 Jun 2010
Posts: 192
Location: Korea

PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 6:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm choosing course design. I can't come up with something from nothing. I need something to work with.

Lesson planning can be tedious when you get in a rut, but I usually have fun with it, anticipating how the students will take to it.

Marking...depends on what it is. If it's a boring multiple choice test, then yes, I hate that. But if I'm looking over students' creative work, then I enjoy it.

Teaching? Without teaching, the other stuff would be a waste of time. Teaching is always the most fun because thatís when youíre with the people.

Long vacations are no problem for me. Iím always ready for them. Smile
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sistercream



Joined: 18 Dec 2010
Posts: 497
Location: Pearl River Delta

PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I chose course design. Particularly when it's open ended or, worse still, when you aren't given an accurate idea of your target population's ages or educational level.
Long holidays???? I've taught jobs with a whole 7 days annual leave. NO. MORE. EVER. AGAIN. (I hope).

But what I really, really hate about teaching - at least in "real" schools - is non-teaching related administrative tasks.
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

johnslat wrote:
Dear Glenski,

Hey, why try to improve perfection? I think maybe you're confusing lesson plans with materials. The lesson plans don't change that much; as far as I know, no one's come up with a new tense lately.
johnslat, I see how you describe it now. Yeah, newer materials (no more Madonna and Mick Jagger faces in those textbooks, please!) but the same tense if grammar is what you're teaching. But how about other things like writing, reading, and listening? I've yet to reach a format that I think reaches my students, and since their levels keep falling, I have to change my ways to adjust. Hate moving targets.

Quote:
Of course, I'm sure we seem like very lazy guys compared to you, but cross my heart, we do try hard. And someday, maybe we can, well, if not actually attain your exalted level, come at least close enough to be considered acceptable.
I see no need for that sort of attitude, now that you've explained yourself more clearly.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 13859
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Glenski,

Sorry for the sarcasm, but this statement wasn't all that nice, either:

"Interesting. You guys don't see the need to improve upon what you have developed over that long a time, eh? Lessons sound fairly stale to me."

I've been teaching EFL/ESL for over thirty years now - I've won awards (monetary: a month's salary in Saudi Arabia, the first non-Saudi to ever win that award - and otherwise: i.e. "Teacher of the Year" type plaques /certificates,) I put in (as so many of us do) lots of "out-of-classroom" time on my materials, correction, etc. (my wife has jokingly - I hope - threatened to divorce me because she never gets to see me on weekends.) So, your remark, to be honest, pissed me off.

Regarding reading, writing, and listening, what I wrote about grammar pretty much holds true there, as well. In reading, the basics don't change:

1. Dictionary Use 2. Vocabulary in Context (Context Clues)
3. Pre-reading DR/TA (directed reading/thinking activity) K-W-L-H (know, want, learn, how to learn), SQ4R (survey, question, read, recite, relate, and review)
4. Recognizing and finding the topic and main idea (and implied main idea) (Thesis statements and topic sentences)
5. Comprehension (finding specific major and minor supporting details)
6. Patterns of organization (recognizing/identifying patterns used to organize essays)
7. Inference/implication (including implied main ideas)
8. Argument (finding the main point) 9. Fact versus Opinion
10. Purpose, tone and bias 11. Critical reading

nor do they in writing:


1.Short answers on tests
2. Short essay writing for homework assignments (writing thesis statements, topic sentences, supporting details, and conclusions)
3. Essays on tests
4. Research and report writing
5. Writing for an audience

B. Review/practice of common grammar and writing problems:
1. Word usage
2. Spelling and punctuation
3. Grammatical forms and syntax
4. Sentence structure and sentence combining

C. Understanding the writing assignment:
1. Outlines (traditional and mind-mapping/cluster)
2. Summarize
3. Compare and contrast
4. Persuade
5. Explain by cause and effect
6. Problem/solutions
7. Research

D. Basic writing form, from brief responses to whole reports:
1. Demonstrate the ability to brainstorm, organize, draft and revise paragraphs:
a. Pre-writing, outlining, drafting, revising and editing, final draft
2. Recognize features of a good topic sentence:
a. Correct and incorrect topic sentences and the differences between them
3. Demonstrate the ability to develop supporting details:
a. Definition and qualities of major and minor supporting details
b. Relevance of major and minor details to topic sentences
4. Demonstrate the ability to produce simple, compound and complex sentences:
a. Features of simple, compound, and complex sentences
b. Techniques for connecting clauses to form compound and complex sentences
5. Produce a well-developed and well-organize paragraph:
a. Correct topic sentences
b. Relevant and adequate supporting details
c. Coherence through transitions
d. Correct grammar and punctuation
6. Opening thesis paragraph (going from general to specific)
7. Three main points (using either direct quotations, paraphrases/summary, statistics, and research examples)
8. Closing thesis paragraph (going from specific back to general)
9. Proofreading and revisions

nor in listening


The Three Steps: hearing (attention), understanding (focus), and judging importance (discrimination)
2. Focus, listen for main ideas, use body language cues
3. Note-taking/Summarizing: Choose or develop a method that works for you. The following methods will be discussed:
1. The Cornell Method 2. The Outline Method 3. The Mapping Method
4. The Charting Method 5. The Sentence Method

But my materials change completely from one semester to another, and one reason for this is that I sometimes have students who want to take my courses again.
Moreover, I often have to readjust the materials' level of difficulty within semesters if I discover that too many of the students are experiencing too much difficulty. Or, I sometimes have two or three different sets of materials of differing difficulty that cover the same basic points for the same class.

So, I don't think my teaching is all that stale.

Regards,
John
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volgaman



Joined: 02 Jun 2009
Posts: 30
Location: Middle East & North Africa

PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2011 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

20% don't like teaching???? Then why do it?

Wow! Maybe George Bernard Shaw wasn't so wrong after all!
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 9041
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2011 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

teaching is just one part of teaching. There are other parts, like lesson planning, grading, going to meetings, writing reports, etc. Just because you don't like one part doesn't mean you hate all of it.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 13859
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2011 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear naturegirl321,

True - but teaching is the heart, the essence of being a teacher. I also wonder why some who "like it least" are doing it. I mean, that'd be something like a criminal defense lawyer who didn't enjoy arguing in front of people or a surgeon who couldn't stand the sight of blood.

Regards,
John
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AGoodStory



Joined: 26 Feb 2010
Posts: 738

PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2011 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

naturegirl321 wrote:
teaching is just one part of teaching. There are other parts, like lesson planning, grading, going to meetings, writing reports, etc. Just because you don't like one part doesn't mean you hate all of it.


Yes, but teaching is the heart of it, is it not? "The other parts, like lesson planning, grading, going to meetings, writing reports, etc." exist only to support the teaching. Teaching is the point, the reason that all the rest exists.
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nickpellatt



Joined: 08 Dec 2006
Posts: 1522

PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2011 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From those options I have chosen course design, probably because I dont really design courses, and I have no real desire to do so TBH. If I had to complete such a task, and it had to meet set requirements, I would probably just pick up a textbook that was closest and follow it.

What I hate doing is finding materials, and I guess course design is partly about finding materials. I always view it as a waste of my time as 1001 other people have already found materials, and I would prefer the materials someone else has found are passed to me.

What I then love, and I really do love this...is taking materials and tailoring them into a lesson that I can deliver to my group of students, with activities that make full uses of my phsyical and spatial resources.
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