Friday, January 04, 2013

Off to Thailand

I am writing from a hotel in Narita and am off to Thailand for almost two weeks. Another colleague and myself will be accompanying 10 students to Bangkok and Ayutthaya where they will be teaching English at high schools. I think that the students have been preparing hard for their teaching but I still don't think that they are quite ready. Last year, students went to Thailand with an almost perfect lesson plan. However, I took great pride in watching their lesson but then wondered whether students were actually teaching their own lesson or actually teaching my lesson. This year, students have chosen their own topics, activities, etc. Students are divided into 3 groups. Each group has made lesson plans and conducted demonstration lessons. Here are the topics of each group.

Group 1 (Three female students teaching at an All-Girl's High School in Bangkok): Valentine's Day in Japan, Traveling in Japan
Group 2 (Three female students teaching at a coed school in Ayutthaya): Origami, New Years in Japan
Group 3 (Three female students and one male student teaching at a coed school in Bangkok): Seasonal events in Japan, Japanese food stalls

One regret I have is that during the demonstration lessons I tend to talk A LOT and the students do not have much of a chance to give each other feedback after the lesson. If I see something during the lesson that I know would not work well in Thailand I become filled with an uncontrollable urge to point it out and give students my own ideas about how to remedy the problem. I do not have the patience to let students resolve the problem themselves. However, I also think that because the students have not gone to Thailand, they CANNOT understand why some thing might not work. I have been accompanying students to Thailand for a couple of years and feel the overwhelming urge to impart what I have learned before students have had a chance to try to work out the problem themselves. I need to learn to speak less.

No matter what I tell them though, they won't really be able to understand why or why not their lesson will work until they actually teach in the Thai schools. Therefore, in Thailand I want to see how students will fix their own lessons and how this experience will change their view of what effective teaching and their image of themselves as teachers. Well, I have to get ready to go.

No comments: