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Lessons Learned from Students

What I learnt from my German Teacher (by Christopher Wilson)

Let me start off by saying I was not a good German student.

I found learning languages very hard at secondary school and only took German because I had to study a language and I found it easier than French (despite studying French for longer). (more…)

Long Ago Lessons in a Japanese High School

Part of the series: Lessons Learned from Students

Back with the ink was barely dry on my MATESOL, I had a group of students from whom I learned many, many lessons. This post is about three of those lessons…

The setting: A once-a-week English class at a high school in Japan, in the mid 1980s.

The characters: Sixty 16-year old boys who had never seen a foreign person “up close and personal” and me, a teacher who still thought she actually knew something about teaching and whose Japanese repertoire consisted of hello, thank you, and I’m lost. (more…)

Never under-estimate what your students can teach you! (by Berni Wall)

As an EFL teacher with a long career, I’ve been around the block a few times! I’ve taught all levels from kindergarten to mature adults and I think I’ve learnt one or two things along the way. However, for me, I think the lesson that I learnt quite early in my career remains for me the best and most important and that is; the need, as a teacher, to also be a student. Openness is essential, teachers don’t impart knowledge, they share it and if I can come away from a class, a course or even a lesson with more than I took into it then I believe that I have been successful.

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Teachers or Trainers? (by Marisa Pavan)

I have two nieces and I love taking them to the cinema as I really enjoy watching children’s movies, which are highly inspiring for me as sources of values I can apply in my daily life and in my teaching career. One of the latest I have seen, and particularly enjoyed as it was my first experience in a 3D cinema, is “How to Train Your Dragon”.

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Sometimes Less is More (by Anita Kwiatkowska)

I can still remember my first Christmas lesson seven years ago. My 3rd graders were making little Santas from red paper and we were chatting about the presents they expected to get that year. Foolish as I was back then, I suddenly asked ‘Of course you no longer believe in…?’. No, I didn’t finish that question with ‘Santa’ as the bewildered look in my students’ eyes prevented me from doing so. You see, they still believed in Santa and if I hadn’t hesitated I would have made an irreversible mistake. I would have taken away their dreams.

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I Only Thought I Knew My Students (by Ric Murry)

Part of the series: Lessons Learned from Students

THE BACKGROUND:

2008, I returned to the 7th grade Social Studies classroom after a seven-year hiatus in Computer Applications and the Media Center.  I wanted back in the classroom where I could work with a smaller number of students and develop a long-term relationship as a teacher and mentor to those who chose to see me this way. (more…)