Last month I was surprised when I was tagged by Rose Bard to be interviewed by Shelly Terrel for the challenge #30Goals EDU. I was scared, surprised, excited, happy and anxious, but at the same time, very happy and proud of being tagged by one of the educators I most admire.
I was challenged to talk about teacher and students motivation. as I play a lot of roles on education, including teaching, e-moderating, teacher training , writing materials and mentoring.
As I stated in my other post about Defining my moment, I was introduced to a brave new world of education , involving new approaches , technologies and a huge PLN on the second semester last year (2012), when I had big changes in my life. The turning point was the IATEFL in Liverpool in April . There I met in person lots of people from my PLN such as Shelly Terrel, Malu Sciamarelli , Carla Arena and Dimitris Primalis, among other great people who inspired and still inspire me. In addition, I had the honour to share a room with Ana Maria Menezes, a personal friend, mentor and one of the most courageous, creative and admirable women I have ever met!
The purpose of this post is to revisit my interview in order to reply some questions made by another great educator Débora Tebovich who will also be interviewed.
After watching the interview see my replies to the questions:
Question 1: How do you get to know about your Students? Given my own scenario, I find it easy to know about them, but as time goes by, I have become aware the sometimes getting to know students is an ongoing process.
Question 2: As we involve as teachers , they do as students.
Question 3: I love you said SS need to have fun to learn . A challenge question: Have you ever felt bored in class? Have you ever had more fun thank your SS?
Getting to know about my Students:
Indeed, getting to know the SS is an ongoing process. It has all to do with a set of factors, including the first impression they have from us and vice versa. Good rapport is the key for development, learning and classroom management. And no matter how nice you are, you have to be assertive and make things clear from the very first moment.
What I do (at least I try t do) with most of my students is to permanently bet in touch with them, mainly via the Edmodo platform, journal diaries as well as a lot of writing.
I also have an e-mail account just to get in touch with the SS who want to write e-mails. However. I let them know in advance that I'll read and reply their e-mails once a week in a certain day arranged in advance.
Another way to get to know my SS better is by using fun web tools and apps to engage them according to their age. For example, most of my SS love working with livetyping , voki . glogster and padlet . To use these tools students have to expose themselves and share feelings, thoughts, opinions, and we end up knowing little by little what they like or not , their feelings and a lot about their personality. This indeed help me a a lot to get to know them more deeply.
As for the adult SS , I also use the Edmodo. However, I don't know why, they sometimes find it childish. As they are adults, I have Facebook groups as most of them have the app on their smartphones and it facilitates communication.
Regarding my online SS, I usually keep the track by interacting a lot with them . No matter what the platform is, I always get in touch with them by showing great interest in their assignments, reading them and giving positive feedback even when I have to point out areas of improvement . Online courses have a considerable number of drop outs because , at least in Brazil, there is this strong culture of seeing the teachers and having " the knowledge from them. " Interestingly, Ana Maria Menezes raises this issue in her upcoming dissertation. Having said that, I usually propose synchronous meetings via Skype or Google Hangout. It's funny how the SS like seeing I am alive and that I am just a real mortal hard-working teacher rather than a "computer ghost". It has worked well so far.
Being a teacher, gosh! There's no way we do not get involved with the SS and vice-versa. Of course empathy does not happen all the time from both sides. This is when we need to use wisdom, behave as real adult professionals and bear in mind it's not personal. This is another mantra we should keep repeating: It is not personal. It has to do with the whole thing about education, studying, level of motivation and lots of other issues which are out of our control. So let's not worry too much and act as natural as possible. A good strategy is to share the responsibility with the SS and parents.
Having fun or feeling bored?
Both! Sometimes I have fun even when I am preparing my lessons and then I picture my SS faces in my mind! This semester, particularly this semester, I am teaching a variety of levels and ages and sometimes I do laugh a lot and pick myself having a lot of fun and wondering what will happen in class. It's said that I've got good interpersonal skills and usually it is not that difficult for me to approach my SS. However, it is not always a bed of roses. Sometimes my SS get bored, I get bored and sometimes I think I had prepared that marvellous lesson and then I fail! It does not work at all. My fault? SS fault? It's not worth to blame anybody. Let's move on , try to figure out what was wrong and find solutions. If you need to change, change! There's no demerit on changing . On the contrary, changes make us grow! Believe me!
Easy? Not at all! Time consuming, tiring, frustrating sometimes ,but usually everything works well eventually and we are presented with effective results , happiness and the willing to go on. After all, I was born to be a teacher. What about you? I look happy and motivated in the picture below, don't I?
Enjoy your teaching!