ICEP TEFL Graduate Testimonial
When I started teaching I was a completely different person. I was nervous and did not have a clue of how to form a teaching plan, but with time I became more independent with my methods and more confident with my stature as an educator. In the beginning I was assigned a student that was preparing to leave the country to start college. The student was in T.E.F.L class and was a very fast learner. This was a problem for me because I under estimated not just the students skill but my own skills as well. The first big problem was that I was unable to answer his questions about the grammar. When the question came up about why does that happen? I was unable to reply which gave the student the idea that I was not a good teacher and I did not know what I was doing. Later on in the program I started to notice my mistakes with not being able to help, this was the first big step that I had to conquer. After that first teaching I started to plan methods that would prepare me for the class. Now I go over the next classes materials figuring out what type of questions might arise. This helps me understand questions that might be asked and different ways I could answer those question. Some type of answers would be quick and simple and other answers need to be explained in long forms with small connecting details. I was also able to sharpen my methodology.
In the beginning of the program I had no idea of what kind of teacher I was but through the four week program I realized I am a visual teacher. I am a teacher that uses drawings and magazine cut outs to help me with my lesson. These methods are called realia and stick figure. When I use grammar to explain the lesson I become lost in translation, so I use pictures to explain my lessons which give the student obvious answers. These are some things that I have worked on in the program. Although, there are many problems that will arise through my teachings I am now confident that I will be able to overcome them with my knowledge and my methods.
My practice teachings have become more relaxed and fluid during the program. The first two were catastrophic. I failed miserably because I did not know the grammar or the lessons as well as I thought I did. The first student asked me a question about the placement of the grammar and I did not know how to reply and the other student I was completely off topic. Now it is the complete opposite when I enter the classroom I have nothing but confidence in both my lesson plans and my teachings. I prepare my lessons the night before and when I am done I go over the lesson a couple more times and think about what is some type of questions that would be asked. This helps me understand my students by seeing if they need a long explanation with small details that lead up to the whole idea or quick explanation that are automatically understood.
The observations that were given in the program were the most helpful in becoming a proficient educator. By being able to watch my trainer perform in front of his students gave me the base line of how to teach. By observing his classes I was able to see that he uses different methods with different pupils. With higher educated students he held conversational classes and with beginner classes he was more of an educator that used more teacher talk time (TTT). These kinds of teachings helped me understand that there are certain levels of students and how to progress their knowledge of English.
The authority that I hold in my classes now are completely different from the presence I held in the beginning. The first two classes I was not able to control either my lesson plan or the comprehension of the student. That is how I realized that I needed to have more control and a stronger presence in my class. My classes now are entirely different because I have more control of what I am teaching and who the student is. By knowing my students I am able to give a stronger presence which tells the student what my lesson plans contain and how they will be taught.
The complications that might arise from limited resources within my teaching career should not bother me because I was taught by educators that showed me how to use the resources I was given. Nino Deloreto showed me that the only thing that I need is a proficient knowledge of what I am teaching. Other materials should not be an implication of my teaching but a benefit to my lessons. This was also explained to me when I was about some of the areas around the world with limited resources. They explained that it is not what you have at your disposal but what knowledge you can retain and explain to the student. There are many ways of using tools to teach but the only tool that I truly need is myself and the knowledge that I hold. This program has helped me realize what kind of person I am in the classroom and what I have to offer within the lessons. I am truly humble to be a part of this great opportunity that was given to me by the two men that created this program.