Here we are to talk about education and the new challenges in this field

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Week 8: What do I remember from this week?

One door closes, another door opens... this happens all the time, here too: one week ends, another one starts. On Monday... I like Mondays, when it's a new start. Once I read what somebody said: we live our lives by counting the Monday days...

This week has started in a very nice way - I got feeb-back for my activity last week, I got guidance for the new tasks. I started by greeting Jeff, the great teacher who shared so many interesting things with us. As I am quite curious in general, and I like to try out new things (as I get bored very easily), I wanted to explore some more resources and at the same time, include what I have learned during this course. I tried the message board, which I consider helpful for listening and speaking. If possible, I will try something similar with my students when school starts again, next September. In summer, I will have time to experiment new things I learned about during these two months.

Then, I wrote about my students' self-autonomy. It was not diffcult,as I know what it means and I am not  teacher-centered, but all my teaching is student-centered. I involve them in activities, I enable them express themselves, become engaged and involved. I do all this as in life they will not have a teacher to guide them, they will be all by themselves. Moreover, I don't like teachers who want to have everything under control, who try to impose their opinions at any price... and the long rows of silent students who write after dictation. Students are not robots, they are not imperfect little adults, they live their age, they need training, and we are there to guide and help them. I don't want to hear my students reciting lists of names, rules, commentaries on writers and novels. I want to make them think, understand, remember. I want to hear their voices expressing their own opinions, bringing arguments and giving examples. I want to make them search the internet by themselves, look for the information they need. I offer them ideas, help, but I don't impose my opinions, I don't want to be the totalitarian rigid teacher - the supreme master of the class. I don't want to intimidate my students, but make school their friend.

Then, I designed an activity for a one-computer classroom. I wanted to integrate here the knowledge I got last week, and I created an interactive power-point presentation, this time on vocabulary. My students simply enjoyed it and they could learn by playing: that's what they considered, that they were playing while learning.

Then, I shared my opinions with my colleagues in this course, on their blogs or on Nicenet. I learned many new things and I realized there are so many common things in all the schools worldwide.

And, I've been working on my project. I sent my draft to Shujuan and to Kheri and I got Shujuan's draft. I am looking forward to getting their comments on my draft. Based on them, I will write the final version of the project.

Next week I will have a very tough time - on Monday my students start their final examination in English. And there are about 200... I will have to be patient and objective while grading them.


  1. ASTRA ZENNIE: Well, u have done a great job as a teacher and u have to work hard as your exams are there.....

  2. Hello Nadinne,

    We all had a busy week at the course and at school but I think we are lucky because we have the joy of learning and teaching at the same time.

    Wish you good luck with the students and paperwork.



  3. Dear Nadina,

    You are totally right, “students are not robots.” They are human beings with expectations, dreams and desires, motivations, capable of changing everything into incredible and wonderful things. So, we teachers should respect who our students are and don’t try to control them in our direction. Teachers should be advisers, motivators, guiders, and partners instead of controllers or manipulators.

    When I was at university I learned something from one of my professors. It was negotiation of meaning. I have been using it since that period and it has brought me lovely rewards. I let know my students that I am here next to them and not in front of them.
    For your comments and your blogs you are the kind of teacher who used to negotiate with your students instead of imposing.
    Your friend,


  4. Dear Nadina,

    There is a very well-known film in Poland (from 1980s) entitled "Nie lubię poniedziałku" ("I don't like Mondays"). All the strange and funny situations wonderfully portrayed in it are supposed to show that nothing should start on Mondays... Just like you, I like the first days of the week, of the month, of the year... We know that they will bring something new and we should also realize that whether this is going to be good or bad depends on us!

    Let us then take the bull by the horns!


  5. Dear Nadine,
    I loved reading your reflections about this week. There were many tasks to accomplish, but interesting and challenging. It's a pity that some of us are not teaching now ( I am one of them). It could have been great to get immediate feedback too for the real situation in our classrooms. But, we will go away with many innovative ideas and techniques that will for sure try very soon.
    Good luck with your marking! We, teachers, are,unconsciously, all the way patient and objective, aren't we?:-)
    All the best,

  6. Hi There,

    I bet you "don't like teachers who want to have everything under control" and so do I. However, it appears a lot of problems when we want the learners to be Ok by themselves. In a country where they tend to or must do whatever the teachers give them or ask them to do, self-regulation or autonomy seem to be very FAR. When we ask them to do a task, it seems that they wait for the examples or samples from the teachers.

    I used to feel bad about this teaching context when the students seem to be passive and wait for everything. Then, when I try to improve their learning autonomy, I get problems. They do not do the tasks until the teachers force them to do so.

    I really do not want to control everything but the situations ask me to check and give consultancy all the time. The learners need helps when they start something at the first time.

    Of course, I am not the type of teachers as you mentioned, but I have to do so to form them the routines and ways to explore themselves from the learning activities. When I force the students to accomplish the tasks the first time following the steps, they may be able to do it again in another tasks by themselves without my side.

    I have to suffer this inconvenience, however the future may be bright to my teaching context. I do not want to put everything under control, flexibility is always good.


  7. Hi Nadinne!
    Enganging students into learning as you said it is what learners autonomy means!
    You do a great job with your students because you make sure they assume responsability for their own learning process.
    It is really hard not to control everything but giving students some space to be able to interact with each other and learn from one another is just amazing and enriching.