Wednesday, 25 April 2012

It's here - the dreaded interview. Dun dun dahhhhh

I've been awake all night. Partly due to the horrendously stormy weather outside - it's shaken the house to the core, the contents of the recycling bin have blown around the garden and the cover has flown off the patio furniture. It's all very Wizard of Oz!

But I've been awake for another reason. In my semi-conscious state I've been teaching all night! I do that when I'm feeling a bit stressed. It's my interview today.

Now I don't normally mind interviews - I always look at unpleasant things in terms of moments out of my life, the present that all too soon becomes the past. And what can they do to me anyway - shoot me?

But this one is slightly different. Those of you who followed my earlier ramblings will recall it's for a specialist post. I'll be teaching language to children with little or no English. Don't get me wrong, I love this kind of work, but when I applied for the job the advert failed to mention that I would be teaching secondary (middle) students...

I'm sure it will be fine - I managed to get an interview so they must think I have something to offer. But I've been stressing over teaching the sample lesson. I know it's an artificial environment that's been created just for interview purposes, but there are so many unknowns, like how many kids, what are their ability levels, what does the interview panel want to see?

I decided to approach it in the same way that I teach languages - after all, that's what got me the interview in the first place. The lesson is on tenses, and there we have problems of a different nature:

  • I am a strong believer in teaching languages in a fun, accessible way, not by sitting children down and overtly preaching grammar at them.
  • tenses is a huge area - how can you do a decent lesson with teacher input and independent/group work in 30 minutes...?
  • how do you explain to children what past, present and future is when they have little grip on the target language?
I know I have to keep it simple - after all, 30 minutes won't change the world. I finally settled on the verb "to be". I am going to TRY to set the scene with flashcards (bilingual and visual), then follow it up by modelling "is", "was" and "will be" through a mini weather report. I will get the children to use actions to help consolidate their understanding, then model how each tense is written. They will then have a mini activity to complete using picture prompts and word flashcards. I am crossing my fingers that this will work....

In researching and preparing my lesson I discovered that there was very little out there to help, so I will make my resources available here for anyone who might find themselves in a similar position.

I'll be sure to let you know how it all goes....

Have a good day y'all

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