Go back to school, be a student and become a better teacher.

I am now having the best development course I could ever have had in my life. I am back to school of language as a student. At first I just wanted to brush up my English and get a certificate that I still do not have (to be honest I never appreciated paying to get a certificate). However, as I have had plenty of time available lately and this unstoppable will to learn more and more, I also came back to French and registered to a post-graduation course in English Language and Educational Technologies. Good enough so far, right? No! After the first class I realized I could get more of such experiences as a learner. I realized I could also do some peer observation and approach considerations.  Since I am studying in three different places with totally different approaches, I thought it would bring me a great deal of critical thinking about my own practice as well.

Peer observation is not very comfortable for many teachers, but when we are students, I guess we can do both: learn the language and observe the teacher. I have observed my classmates behavior as well and I cannot stop thinking of myself as a teacher in many situations. To be more organized I created a list of things to observe and points to ponder and to follow as the courses go on. I want to be positive in my observations and realistic as well.

My list goes like this:

1. Rapport
How does teachers (I have two) succeed in building rapport? How intentionally does it seem to be?

2. Lesson Plan
How are lessons planned and prepared? Are they  well planned lessons or just a follow the book one?

3. Technology and digital and visual literacy
How do students and teachers react to the presence of technology in class? Do they use it? Is there a smart board? Is it well used? Is there any visual input prepared by teachers? Do teachers or students use cell phones or iPads in class with a learning purpose? How is it made?

4. Feedback
How do teachers work on feedback?

5. Teacher use of his time in class
How does class start? How does it end? Is there any kind of digression? How does it affect students and teachers?

6. Voices in the classroom

7. Silence in the classroom

8. General feeling after each class. Was it worth sitting and watching?

9. What kind of personal constraints made me feel less productive in class? Was it physical or psychological? How did it damage my learning?

These are some points I will be observing while sitting in my desk learning new things from my sweet teachers and classmates. I guess it will be fun. 😉

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