Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I am back with the 4SB girls

The trainee is gone. Prematurely, it seems but I am glad to be back with my girls although it means more work. It was a stress-inducing 3 weeks when I had to monitor and guide the trainee. Not just for me but for some others as well.
It was actually horrifying to some of us when we got our trainees. We were supposed to guide them as they go through their teaching practicum. Unfortunately, they turned out to be in need of more than just our help. Here are some of our grouses ... well, mine anyway :
  • English proficiency - I find that very lacking in them, my trainee anyway. Grammar was weak, vocabulary not that fantastic, obviously not well-read.
  • Confidence was severely lacking - It was apparent to the students she was not confident. At times she pretended to be strict but ... it just didn't work.
  • Lesson plans that were not properly done - I don't know what they taught her in the university but she really did not know how to write a proper lesson plan and she did not understand a lot of things which she was supposed to have learned.
  • Teaching aids - She did not use many of them, and even when she did, it was a lot of traditional aids. She was not IT savvy and didn't even bother to use our computers to print out materials.
  • Creativity - She lacked creativity in her lessons. She was too bound by the 4 walls of the classroom. Even when I suggested taking the students out of the classroom so that some activities could be done, she did not do it.
  • Enthusiasm - She lacked it. She was just plain doing things in a clockwork manner. There was no desire to impart knowledge or to "engage" in a lesson with the students.
  • "I don't know, so I don't do" attitude - This was a major frustration for me. Several times, when I told her something or questioned her ... all I got was that attitude.
I find it very frustrating. It's because I have such high expectations of these young trainees. Even if they don't have a lot of skills, that is fine, as long as they have the enthusiasm and willingness to learn. Skills and knowledge can be obtained and fine-tuned and polished. But not being enthusiastic! I don't know how she is going to be able to become a full-fledged teacher a few months down the line. And I fear for my children, if that is the kind of teachers they are going to get.

I hope I have not scared the 4SB girls now that I am back with them. Today itself I pretty much "killed" them with the word hunt exercise. But then that is what I want to do, make them think and not take for granted that they knew a lot of things. If any of you are reading this .... get ready for a tough time.

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