Sunday, January 16, 2011


You would think a guy who’s been teaching since 1965 would know exactly how he teaches, and why, but such is not the case with me. In fact, more and more I realize that I have almost no precise idea why I do what I do in the classroom. Yes, I make careful plans for the year and for each class, but the ideas for those plans, to be honest, sort of just spring up in me like grasshoppers in fields, and I catch a few and find a place for them in my lessons. I sincerely try my best to select the best ideas, the ones that might inspire my students and send their English skills up a step or two, but still, I don’t have a clear picture of the way I think as I plan. I rarely stand back and just watch my pedagogical thinking to see where it goes, and how, and why. In a way, it’s as if my teaching mind is a stranger to me – as if it’s a mystifying leader whom I deferentially follow. I guess what I’d like to do is get to know this mind of mine that makes these thoughts that makes these English lessons – study it a bit, bring it closer and just sit back and observe. I often think of the analogy of a play, where my thoughts about teaching are the actors and I’m sitting studiously in the audience, scrutinizing their every move, understanding them little by little, letting them show me how I teach and why.

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