Dear DELTA diary,
Well, I’m on my way [cue music from Ice Age].
On Sunday the 3rd of March my DELTA officially started and I could gain access to The Distance DELTA website. I actually got a very nice message from the DELTA people the day before with my log in details and then a message on the Sunday to tell me I could log in. I didn’t get to log in till the evening as I was busy at Church but I can still remember my first impressions of the site.
The lay out was pretty clear and clean with some obvious buttons to click through and I quickly found myself in the forum and sending an introductory message.
It was at this point that I realised I should have clicked the links at the welcome screen rather than go off wondering round the site.
Perhaps a “web assistant” would have been a better way to start off, that way I would have realised the tasks that I was suppose to do first.
I had been a bit worried at what I would have to do off the bat and after hearing many DELTA horror stories I feared that I was about to say goodbye to all my free time but then I realised the first week was an introductory week to the website and so the work load would be lighter! FEW!
So I decided that I’d wait till my “DELTA work day” [or Friday as it is known to most people] to work through my limited introductory tasks then.
It turns out that the tasks weren’t as brief as I thought, I really should have skimmed all the reading documents first to see how many tasks I needed to do that week and work out when I would do them that week. but luckily I know that for next time
Lesson one: Skim all tasks and reading to work out approximate length of time needed, plan for that time.
Anyway, on Friday I sat down with a good cup of coffee or five and started to work through my tasks.
The first tasks were very basic introductory tasks, set up a profile, add a picture, you know all those usual website things.
After this there were some articles to read detailing the formate of the DELTA, the different sections of the tests for Module one and what they test. Very useful information to know.
Next there was a guided review of my approach to teaching. Lots of tough but interesting questions that really made me think about how I have changed as a teacher.
Grammar and language
After reviewing my teaching I had to review my thoughts about language and grammar in particular. At this point I was very glad for both my PLN, my wonderful ex-colleagues at IH Dnipro (whose constant questions of “What are the potential problems here, how are you going to prevent them, Is there a way that this can be more student centred, are the guided discovery questions in the book good? Have you “F.U.M.P-ed” it?” really helped quip me for the DELTA.
Finally, there was a sample task for exam paper 1, task 4. This is where you have an authentic text and have to analyse a language feature in the text. I was pleased with my comments, checked the forum and lurked in some of the other discussions seeing what other people had commented during the week. Being late to the party this week they had already discussed many of my questions and shared my answers (nuts! I’ll have to try and show off next week then)
Lesson two: Start the tasks and reading early in the week so you can initiate and join in discussions in the forum.
After reading through my notes one more time it was just left to submit my first practice via the website, eat some celebratory chocolate and head off to meet up with some friends.
Week one down…now on to week two.