There were many things that happened to me this week, both good and bad. Well, not bad – just mediocre. I’ve decided to write about Monday.
After their mid-term demonstration lessons last week, my ELT methods classes wanted to go out for coffee. I had to shirk their offer because I felt exhausted (but not too tired to watch Game of Thrones!). I felt a bit bad about it so I messaged them and gave them the choice for the next class: classroom or coffee shop. Coffee shop was unanimous.
I spent most of Monday trying to figure out how I would teach in the coffee shop. I made a Google presentation, accessible on their phones, with the content I felt we should cover. Typically, I supplement the course readings with my own stuff and try to give useful activities that they can use in their own future classrooms. However, after reviewing our readings, a section on KWLs caught my eye and it became clear what I should do. I made a KW (no L) form on Google Forms and asked them to write what they knew about teaching reading and writing, and then write questions they had about the readings or teaching these skills. I asked them to do this well before class started. I decided that for this class, we’ll just go over the KW sections, talk about teaching, and see what they learn. I was skeptical doing this because I usually like a more active class and feel I have to provide/demonstrate lots of activities. It turns out I’ve been completely wrong.
The coffee shop class was amazing. After trying to convince them to join Twitter, we spent the next hour and a half looking at their questions and talking about teaching. It was really fun, really engaging, and really useful – for all of us. As I’ve written before, I’ve been wanting to do more with conversation-driven learning but have a hard time seeing it can actually happen in my classroom. This wasn’t a language class – it was content – but I could definitely see the power of a stripped down class where the best tools are the students and the teacher. Needless to say, well be back next week, and if we can’t meet at a coffee shop, well be doing this in the classroom.