My fourth meeting of English Teachers Training at LBI UI on Firday, June 15 was nice and lively. Unlike the previous meetings, we didn’t discuss how to teach competences in English, but we learned about how to manage the class and to correct the errors. These are also significant parts of becoming a teacher.
Ms.Ranthy, the trainer, firstly showed the trainees a picture of a class in China with a large number of students, and asked us to give comments. It reminds me of public schools in Indonesia which have more than 40 students for one class. However, the class picture shown was more crowded and seemed uncontrollable. I think this is the hardest task for a teacher to deal with: class management.
Generally, what we learned in class management was teacher’s voice, body language, equipment, writing on the whiteboard, organizing the whiteboard, marking stages of lesson, interaction in class, and student grouping. Each was interesting and I got lots of new information during the training. It reminded me of my experience when I taught junior high school students at NF. You know teaching undisciplined students is hard, and it often makes teachers exhausted, but learning class management really opens my mind, that O, it’s not that hard if we know the strategy.
The second part is error correction. Actually teachers should know the methods of how to correct the learners. The method and the time to correct errors should consider the kind of activity we are doing, and the aim of activity, whether we want the learners to produce the accurate language, or to express themselves freely and develop fluency. We also learned the basic principles of positive error correction. The point was that, we should avoid an action that might make the students less motivated because of the mistakes made.
After all, I remember a quote from a US novelist and short story writer, Gail Godwin. He said, “Good teaching is one-fourth preparation and three-fourths pure theatre”. Firstly, I didn’t fully agree with the quote, because after all teachers need preparation. However, after I teach for quite a long time, I see that there are so many unpredictable situations in class. At times, it is out of my expectation! That’s why; putting plan on paper is not enough, to be a teacher, we should also consider all possibilities that might happen in field.
After all, this class management and error correction sessions gave me a new perspective that teachers need to really care about the learners’ needs. I hope I can apply the theory later in my teaching activity (*)