Well, just under a week has gone by but it already feels like much more time has passed. The theoretical “10 hours a week” of work certainly doesn’t seem true based on this week, but then again I did spend a lot of time flicking through PDFs (DevonThink, Documents to go is great on the iPad, not cheap and takes some set up but very cool.) and finding out details about the course information and structure. My main aims for the week were to
- get orientated and understand what was coming up
- create a work plan for the following weeks
- plan and teach my diagnostic lesson
- start my PDA plan.
I’ve done all that and a bit more too so I “feel” like I’m ahead of schedule (which is a dangerous feeling for sure. I often do this where I get ahead, take my foot off the pedal and then find out I’m behind schedule.) One of the things I’m pretty proud of doing is really breaking down the different tasks and then calculating which would be best for me to and when. I discussed some of these options with my RDT (Local tutor) and came up with some good ideas for lessons based on a few materials.
You have to do two systems (Grammar, Lexis, Phonology, Discourse) and two Skills, one of which must be receptive and one must be productive (Reader/Listening and Speaking/writing). I’m thinking of doing Grammar and Lexis for my systems (I’ve got a couple of lesson plans that would work well and could be adapted a bit too. That means I’ve got a solid context and I know the typical errors which arise.) I haven’t worked out whether I should do reading or listening and I’m going to wait for my students to give me their Needs Analysis back so that I can decided whether to do a speaking or writing.
One of the aspects of the PDA that I found difficult to find details on was observing other teachers. As part of the DELTA, you have to do 10 hours of observations. But I couldn’t see if there were any requirements on the teachers you observe to be more experienced or if you should use some particular observation tasks. In the end, I found out that you can observe any teacher (though it makes sense to observe someone you feel you can learn something from) and there aren’t any set tasks, though you should do some. My online tutor sent out some tasks and I also got some from a colleague so I think I’ll be okay.
For the next week I have the chance to really get ahead by doing some observations, working more on my PDA, polishing up my work plan and making a start on the background essay. I’m also wondering about my experimental practice lesson. One of the issues of getting into the online world of CPD is that I’ve actually experimented with a variety of techniques that would normally make up an experimental practice lesson.
Things like project learning, task based learning, and dogme are all second nature to me. I’m going to look through some more of the suggested ideas (suggestiopedia?) and see what takes my fancy. I’d love to know what you choose for your experimental practice.
Till next week, or the week after.