On the Start Line

As I talk about writing in my previous post, I came to realized that I have not pointed out my current activities.

Currently, I am being trained to become an English teacher. It has been 3 years since I started taking up this course in the university and I am approaching the start of my teaching practice which is scheduled on July.

Before we go for the teaching practice, we are required to take up a class on teaching theories and macro-teaching as a practice before we teach in a real environment.

Last semester, we had gone through the theories and familiarize ourselves with lesson planning. This semester, we continue with macro-teaching, wherein we teach our classmates the school syllabus pretending they are the real students as well as going to a real school and teach real students once.

Teaching, I may say, is mundane and difficult. Its complexity lies in the multiple sections of the lesson plan that we have to fill by taking in consideration of the themes, topics, language aspects, skills, and activities. Everything relates to one another. One activity connects to another activity and they must have the flow. Lesson plan connects to another lesson plan and it must have continuation. The lesson plans must be related to a certain topic under a certain theme. The most important of them all, the lesson plan is made for the students and must cater for the students’ learning.

Students come in various proficiency, mixed abilities, and different interests. The lesson plan must cater for their needs in learning. In one class, there may be students who can speak the language fluently, writes a good essay, and understand the materials they are reading. At the same time, some students may understand what are being said to them but finds it difficult to respond. There may be students who cannot understand the language at all too. All of these students with various proficiency in one class. The lesson plan you writes must cater for all of them without neglecting the weak students or pulling back the good students.

It is the same as the mixed abilities. Some students can speak confidently in front of the classroom while some are shy and introverted. Some students can play with words skillfully while some students are direct with their words without beating around the bush. As for interests, some students prefer doing a certain skills instead of the other. Students who are confident with their language may want to do speaking activities more while students who does not have the confidence prefer writing skills as the output of their learning. On top of all these conditions about the students, teachers have to ensure the activities are students-centered and engaging in order to avoid a monotonous classroom which bore the students to no end and does not contribute to their understanding either.

All of these details together is the reason I find lesson planning a very complex task to finish. Imagining the four months of teaching practice consisting of writing daily lesson plan for two classes scares me. I am an over-thinking person who cannot get satisfied with one work without many revisions. I always have different ideas to make it better and I cannot settle for one means of teaching. You know, I am very ambitious and indecisive.

To be honest, I am not passionate in this field. I am taking this course for my mother whose dream is to see one of her family members to become a teacher. My lecturers said it is a common sight among the people of my course. One of my lecturer had said that the student teachers usually find the route of their life after going through with the teaching practice at school. After the teaching practice, they were able to assess their passion and their wish for the future and set on it after graduating.

According to her, some of my seniors ended up working in different fields after graduation. One of them became a stewardess for a Singapore airlines company and another one became a famous writer for our mother tongue novels. In fact, one of our famous singer was actually a TESL graduate but from a different university.

I do hope I can make up my mind once I ended my teaching practice which is nearing faster than usual.

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