One thing that really helps create a difference in life is PERSEVERANCE. As Benjamin Disraeli also pointed out “The secret of success is constancy to purpose”, I am not the only one who thinks PERSEVERANCE is the key to great accomplishments.
Of course, there will be times of disappointment in the endeavor to succeed, and there will surely be people around to try to pull you down; however, it is stated by Leigh Mitchell Hodges that “Failure is often that early morning hour of darkness which precedes the dawning of the day of success.”
Therefore, it would not be too optimistic to suggest that those who believe in the change they desire to bring about will reach the target sooner or later. After all, life is a treasure that needs not be discovered because it is already presented to people at no cost, and it is enough only to see life as such.
As a teacher of English, my biggest drawback, once upon a time, was that I did my job only to earn a living. That being the case, I stumbled on the way for many times, and I didn’t feel satisfied. But one day that all, as I mentioned in an earlier post “Revelation”, changed; the world began to look like a better place to me, and since then, I have been trying to make the most out of my teaching.
Within the framework, I have been volunteering for observations, including those recorded, as well as keeping myself in a constant mode of reflecting upon my experiences. There is no doubt that the new strategy is working, and the best evidence of it is the latest observation I have undertaken.
I can now see more clearly the progress my students and I have made. I must highlight once more that I have managed to create that progress with A Level-Repeaters, and that makes the whole thing more valuable for me.
When I was observed with a video for the first time, the focus, as it seemed on the recording, was on me, not on the learners. I was upset to discover that about me, so I must confess I thought I had not improved at all after I saw the reality that particular time.
However, I am able to say today that things have changed a great deal since the first recording.
To start with, I was more patient with my students while they were thinking of the answers to the questions posed during the lesson as the second video session revealed. This shows me that I had developed a better sense of empathy with them, and that gave the students a feeling of independence as well as confidence.
Another point worth mentioning is that I encouraged my students to make full sentences by frequently asking them to do so whenever they produced only chunks of words while answering my questions. The good in doing that is expressed best when students smile victoriously after realizing that they can do more than they believe they can. Maybe, it is a small detail, but that can be seen on the footage obviously.
Moreover, my A-Repeaters were seen to be reflecting on their friends’ answers. When a student made a mistake, they pointed to that, thus creating an atmosphere of sharing. It was not always the correct thing they came up with, but they, through my guidance as well, discovered the truth. I can state that writing on the board the problem area and asking everybody to focus on possibility to make it right definitely works.
For those students who might have missed the point in the correction, I kept introducing repetition drills for everybody for ensuring that they could produce the target as was desired.
In addition to correction of grammar, pronunciation of any one student was corrected by their peers. Whenever somebody mis-articulated a word, a reaction from everybody else arose. That proves to me that putting emphasis on sound articulation and word stress after the first recording really helped my students.
The most important difference between the two video sessions is that I was really able put myself out of the tasks. I was observing them more than ever, and the students were well aware that I would not be helping them with their production. So, they were discussing with their friends, using dictionaries, and even going back to the previous units in the book to remember a specific thing they knew they had learned. That’s to say, my students were undertaking the responsibility for their own learning. I was only facilitating and I had no such a worry as proving myself to the audience.
When it was time to check the production following the group work, every student was very careful while listening to their friends’ answers. This way, they even noticed that one of the groups had done the wrong thing. It was really a breath-taking moment for me to see that they could criticize the others when they had not performed as expected. That points out to me that they see themselves as a team and that they should never let anyone act opposed to the dynamics existing.
I don’t want to sound too proud because it may be taken as “snobbishness”, yet the picture of my students at this very time is the best proof for what teachers can do as long as they love what they do, and insist on walking the talk. There can be nobody or nothing able to demoralize any one teacher because teachers will be above those when they choose the way of learning and adapt themselves to changing conditions. If I can achieve in making a difference with even A-Repeating students who were considered losers by many others, every teacher is capable of doing what teaching requires.
It should always be remembered
“No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.”
30th president of the United States