Sunday, 18 November 2012

I can explain ...

Well, that was a long and unexpected absence. Two weeks is the longest time I've gone without posting, so I can only apologise for that. The strange thing is, it's not like nothing's been happening - in fact, it's been one of the busiest fortnights I've had in ages - but for various reasons, blogging hasn't been very high on my priorities list recently. But now I've got a bit of time, I thought I'd give you a rundown of some of the things that have been occurring on this side of the English channel.

As far as teaching is concerned, it's going pretty well, actually! The students are starting to get used to me and to each other, so 'class control' is becoming less and less of a problem. I'm still confiscating an average of two phones a week, but behaviour is definitely improving. Just as importantly, I think I'm also starting to gain an appreciation of how to make a good lesson: in the last few days, I haven't been afraid to deviate from the lesson plan a bit if needed in order to liven things up a bit. For instance, last Wednesday I was doing a lesson on 'presenting yourself', which is hardly the most riveting topic to have to teach, and what I call The Silence had descended over the class. The Silence here refers not to a Doctor Who monster, but to that awful moment during a lesson when everyone is looking down, not meeting your eyes out of a fear of being asked to talk. It's a horrible sensation for a student - I remember it well! - but it's ten times worse for a teacher, who's left wondering what they did wrong that allowed this situation to develop. Now, I could have just ploughed on with my lesson plan, leaving the students counting down the minutes until the end of the lesson, but I decided to do something just a little bit different. And so it was that, for the last twenty minutes of the class, we all sat down and invented a character to describe. Of course, the students did try to base it on someone they didn't like, but thankfully I spotted that during a casual glance at the register ... All in all, everyone just seemed to wake up during those twenty minutes, and so it became clear to me that lesson plans aren't necessarily things that need to be followed at all costs.

And ... and ... and ... my teaching website has gone live! While I had a few days spare over the school holidays recently, I decided to make a website for my students, in order to allow them to access resources that I'd made during lessons. If you'd like to take a look, I'll put a link below: any comments will be warmly welcomed.

What else has been happening? Well ... I've been trying some coaching at the rowing club, as well as coxing, which is a different experience: different, but rewarding. I also got my Pass Éducation the other day, which will get me into various national museums for free. As you can expect, I'm quite looking forward to making use of it.

More news is to come shortly, including an exciting update on my first ridiculous purchase in Reims ...


  1. You must have put a great deal of effort into that website (how on earth do you do it?). It is brilliant, and I am glad to see that your students agree!