Doing the hard thing: Teacher Training

Just a little reflection on teacher training experiences, really. Most teacher training courses that I have taught have been mainly portfolio assessed. This means assignments to be written, deadlines to be met and work, generally, to be kept on top of. I would be the first to say, however, that I have personally been quite good at portfolio building for myself, and find it quite hard to look at the mindset of someone who struggles to meet those deadlines. 

I can, by and large, do the hard thing with CELTA trainees. I can also do the hard thing with ESOL students. In both cases I would much rather not do the hard thing, and it takes a certain degree of mental preparation to do so, but I can bring myself to it. 

With the Level 5 ESOL specialism, however, it is a whole other thing. There may be people reading this who would disagree with me, but I really really struggle with getting on people’s backs to get stuff done and in and on time. Partly because I think I don’t like the idea of saying “do it or you are going to fail” and then having to sit just opposite them the next day. Partly because I have sympathy with the teachers – after all most of the time, I am “one of them” and its always been hard to switch, mentally, from one role to the next. On more than one occasion, I’ve been simultaneously mentoring someone struggling with graded obs, tutoring them on the course, and just generally having to work with them, and it’s a bit of a mental leap. CELTA trainees and ESOL students have a degree of distance, perhaps?

Mostly, however, l think I’m a soft touch, and I’m simply not good at being anything else. Which is, probably, a bad thing. 

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One comment

  1. Your reflection is spot on – you are a soft touch – it was so much easier to mess up in front of you without feeling a complete and utter idiot. However, don’t beat yourself up about it because it therefore means that you are a fantastic support to have in the classroom/staffroom, very approachable, non-judgmental and supportive. I wouldn’t have got to where I am today in my teaching career if I hadn’t met you – my good organisational skills wouldn’t have been enough. It is hard to tell your peers to get a grip and sort out their paperwork, if you need any mentoring on how to do it, my door is always open!

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