The Official  :teach: thread
#1
22-05-2013, 09:22 PM
Teach

Coming up in :gulp: just under two weeks, I have an interview for a CELTA course (for teaching English as a foreign language).

The written test just to get that far was pretty hard (I'll post it up if anyone's interested), but for the interview itself we're required to do a brief (and by brief I mean an interminably, unimaginably long 2 minutes!) teaching demonstration - aimed at intermediary adult learners - based on one of these questions:

Quote:5. VOCABULARY

Analyse the meaning of the words in italics, think about how you would present and explain them to students and then answer the questions:

a. How would you help students understand the word ‘frightening’?
b. Students do not know what the word ‘hedgehog’ means in a reading text. What do you do?
c. How would you explain what the underlined word means in this sentence:
‘It was a very awkward situation’.
d. The phrase ‘cockroach-infested kitchen’ comes up in a reading text. How would you explain it?
e. An intermediate learner asks you to explain the difference in meaning between the following pairs of words. What would you say?
  • Lend / borrow
  • Economic / economical
  • Look into / investigate
  • Old / elderly

Problem being - besides the absolutely terrifying notion of standing up and pretending to teach like I'm supposed to know what I'm doing - is that we have to prepare for all of it, as we don't know which we'll be asked to do until the day.

Current status: crapping oneself.

Despite the general sentiment here against tipping or cheating, any help, advice, tips or useful ways to cheat my way into getting through this without making a total tit of myself are absolutely welcome in this case. Answering the questions (what they mean, what the difference between the words are) is the easy bit. Standing up and explaining it to other people is not. I admire those who do it every day.

Things I think I've thought of:
  • Look up and note key things in dictionary definition - especially whether they're nouns, adverbs, prepositions and all that stuff I never really bothered to learn...
  • Look up and make a note of any synonyms which might be able to explain the word better
  • Take pictures to illustrate (e.g. a hedgehog)
  • Pretend to be sick and run out screaming when they call my name

So yeah... Help


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#2
22-05-2013, 11:57 PM
I'm not sure whether this is helpful but, taking a picture of a hedgehog may not be a good idea. Presumably, you wouldn't normally have a picture of a hedgehog to hand in a real life situation. The students could equally have been stuck on any other word in the text and you wouldn't have those pics either. Hope that makes sense.

As for the public speaking/teaching, everyone will be willing you to do well, so just take your time. Most people rush with nerves and their 2 minutes preparation will only last 90 seconds. Pauses for breath are acceptable.

Maybe interact with someone else in the room as a way of explaining something e.g. Lend/borrow. They may be looking for that and if they are not, they will become more nervous/self-conscious than you.

Sorry only little tidbits but they maybe helpful Shrug
Trying to build a successful team, Berwick by Berwick
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#3
23-05-2013, 01:45 AM
Good point about the picture. Easy to prepare stuff like that when I know it's coming - bit more difficult on the fly (I could just get out my netbook and google an image though... Wink).

Thanks for the pointers. Thup


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#4
23-05-2013, 07:34 AM (This post was last modified: 23-05-2013, 07:36 AM by juvehero.)
Don't get caught up in thinking "how am I going to fill 2 minutes, it's such a long time". It's really not, I had to do two 15 minute presentations last year for a course I'm doing and once I got started it went remarkably fast.

Practice is all important, take quite a few runs through it beforehand, best to do a few runs on your own and once you have reached a certain level of confidence try to run through it in front of friends or family.

As Ken said, take your time, try to do it at a normal conversational pace (the practice runs will help you here) and interact with the audience or at least maintain eye contact and deliver it to someone (maybe there'll only be a tutor there I don't know) but keep your head up, keep eye contact and try to project confidence (even if you're not).

Use small bulletin cards to write your notes on rather than sheets of A4 paper, number them so that you keep them in order and keep the reminder points brief so that if you do have to refer to the cards you're not spending precious seconds reading whole sentences. Also watch what your arms are doing, some people start waving them around like they are drowning, other stand still like a statue, there is a happy medium and practice runs will help you find it.

As for the content, pictures and props (maybe not a hedgehog but it's up to you) would be useful, maybe using someone in a brief role play situation to explain the meanings. Not sure about raising the subject of nouns, verbs and adverbs etc to be honest. To me that's just confusing matters even more. Your synonym idea would definitely work and combined with role play or every day examples would get your message across.

Good luck Thup and practice practice practice.
"You've got a lot of talent but you fail to see,
You paid for yours, I got mine for free"
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#5
23-05-2013, 08:13 AM
That's a good point actually about being too in depth with your explanations; remember you are supposed to be explaining to people whose first language is not English. All of your subject questions must have been asked on Google at some point and you may find some useful, simple explanations there.
Not sure you can use cards during your presentation though, as you are in a presumed role play situation.

The most important points that should never be forgotten for any teaching role:
1. Don't forget to sew leather patches to the elbows of your tweed jacket.
2. If anyone starts talking, rap their knuckles with a ruler or throw the blackboard cleaner at them.

(Maybe gel your hair into spikes, then you'll have a visual explanation if the hedgehog question comes up Smile )
Trying to build a successful team, Berwick by Berwick
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#6
23-05-2013, 08:57 AM
(23-05-2013, 08:13 AM)ken66 Wrote: (Maybe gel your hair into spikes, then you'll have a visual explanation if the hedgehog question comes up Smile )

Not much help (sorry Keith) but iirc Keith doesn't have any hair to spike up! Mrgreen
WAWAW

[Image: signature.php?uid=14]

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#7
23-05-2013, 09:03 AM
Keith? Hair? Applaud
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#8
23-05-2013, 09:37 AM
Wigs Mrgreen
Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory since Football Manager on Commodore 64!

GNU Terry Pratchett
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#9
23-05-2013, 03:30 PM
Yeah I forgot about that Mrgreen
Trying to build a successful team, Berwick by Berwick
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#10
23-05-2013, 04:13 PM
Baldist!

Thanks for the advice (apart from the hair spiking obviously). Will take it all on board. Thup


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#11
23-05-2013, 04:43 PM
I'm thinking this is about thinking on your feet, not getting flustered and being creative to reach a goal. All the things that interviews put you ill at ease with!

I would say the biggest thing with standing and teaching infront of anyone, any age any situation is; don't worry about what they are thinking. Just deliver what you need to deliver, have a smile on your face when you do it, and let your personality come through. I don't think they are looking for someone robotic to churn out a prepared answer, they will be throwing a twist at you somewhere. Just take it in, and roll it back out to them in a way that best makes sense to you.

The skill of 'teaching' should really be called 'learning opportunity providing' because it is the learners job to 'learn', you are the conduit by which they do that. To teach seems to me to be more about imparting knowledge, which is a one way street, learning is a two way thing when done well.

You'll be grand mate Thup
100 years from now, it will not matter what kind of car I drove, what kind of house I lived in, how much money I had in my bank account, nor what my clothes looked like; but the world may be a little better because I was important in the life of a child.
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#12
23-05-2013, 07:59 PM
(22-05-2013, 09:22 PM)Keith Wrote: Teach

Coming up in :gulp: just under two weeks, I have an interview for a CELTA course (for teaching English as a foreign language).

Current status: crapping oneself.

So yeah... Help

Thup Nearly right ther Keith but you need Bullshit rather than your own!

Slightly more serious suggestion. Did they ever release the Eighties series 'Mind Your Language' on DVD

Most helpful suggestion: I got sent on a 'Professional Presentation Skills' course a few years back and still have the course notes if they are any good to you. PM me and I can send a copy by email.

'A Thousand Apologies'
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#13
24-05-2013, 02:52 PM
I'm interested in becoming a teacher, preferably infant or SEN kids. Currently out of work but needing to get a job ASAP. What's the best way to get into teaching, given that my Job Centre isn't as supportive as Keith's seems to have been. I've looked on various sites and it seems there are two ways study or work experience. The latter appeals more but I'm struggling to make a decision about which is actually the better way to do it.
[Image: jptykes.png]
"Whattya saying? That you wanna be like me? Don't you understand that I just barely wanna be like me?"
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#14
24-05-2013, 07:07 PM
First things first, get into a school by volunteering. Then you might possibly pick up some Teaching Assistant or Special Support Assistant work, adding pay to the experience in school. After that it's just about putting as much experience down on your CV as you can before applying to do a teaching degree. If you have a degree then do the 1 year Primary PGCE. Fucking hard work crammed in to so little time, but worth it. If no degree, go for a BA Ed. with Qualified Teacher Status. Plenty of classroom practise. In either of these you will be able to specialize in SEN teaching. Depending on your provider there may or may not be specific SEN courses.

My bigest piece of advice is to get into the environment, and watch what the incumbents are doing. If you feel you could be up there doing the same (or better!) then it is right for you. It can be a very lonely place at the front of the classroom sometimes and you have to be sure you want to do it.

Anything else you want to know just fire away mate, it's one hell of an awesome profession. Thup
100 years from now, it will not matter what kind of car I drove, what kind of house I lived in, how much money I had in my bank account, nor what my clothes looked like; but the world may be a little better because I was important in the life of a child.
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#15
24-05-2013, 08:47 PM
Thanks for the words of encouragement Kev. From someone who actually is a Teach that's valuable advice indeed. Thup

@JP: Along with the CELTA thing, which is just a hopeful addition to my main aim at the moment, I'm also doing a Level 3 Diploma in Supporting Teaching & Learning in Schools (primary & SEN), as a home learning thing. It's a year long course (although you can finish it before if you want/able) and if you talk to your job centre about it, they may be able to put you in touch with someone who may help you pay for it. Mine sent me to St. Loyes, who specialise in helping those with some kind of disability back into work, but there are similar organisations around doing what they can to help the scrounger back into employment... (as the govt. sees it - so take advantage if you can find one, I say...).

The CELTA course was a few grand, but I think the teaching assistant Diploma was only a few hundred... (will look for details - back with a link)

Edit: You might be able to find them cheaper if you shop around (I've seen them as low as £278), but this is where I got mine from (though St. Loyes paid Smile):

Level 3
Level 2 (if you don't fancy 3)

Edit2: Oh, and as Kev said in his post above, one of the requirements is that you are employed/volunteer at a school, as there are work-based assignments and stuff in there too. You don't need to be in somewhere when you start (I'm not yet, still looking around - more volunteers than places apparently), but sooner the better.


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#16
24-05-2013, 09:15 PM
These sort of courses can be funded by schools if you're lucky, or their equivalents are sometimes run free at diploma level. Depending what your cash requirements are, a decent level 2/3 SSA/TA job can pay a reasonable wage. After a while you can qualify as an HLTA. It enables you to cover teaching requirements as an when needed up to a certain amount, without the planning, assessment and other bureaucracy that goes with the 'teaching' position.

I currently have 2 SSA's working with me. 1 works with a child with behaviour/educational needs and has done a brilliant job giving them the confidence to potentially pass some of their SATs (unthinkable 1 .5 years ago) whilst improving their behaviour no end. The 2nd one works with 2 pupils with more of a learning need than a behavioural one. The interventions she/we have put in place have brought about personal improvement in these children. As I€ say, cash requirements might make the job unsuitable, but if not, then TA/SSA work is an awesome place to start the journey.

I absolutely adore them both as people and professionals, and know that my job would be nigh on impossible without them. We make a great team and the classroom is a better and more successful place for it.
100 years from now, it will not matter what kind of car I drove, what kind of house I lived in, how much money I had in my bank account, nor what my clothes looked like; but the world may be a little better because I was important in the life of a child.
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#17
24-05-2013, 10:49 PM
I've already got a degree, not education related (2:2 in Business & Management) but nevertheless a degree.

Really think this is something I could do. The alternative is warehouse work - which I've done before and there's nothing wrong with obv. - but teaching is making a difference to lives in the long term. Just wish I'd considered it twenty years ago...
[Image: jptykes.png]
"Whattya saying? That you wanna be like me? Don't you understand that I just barely wanna be like me?"
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#18
24-05-2013, 11:01 PM
See my sig. Not just a glib 'statement'
Degree backed up by volunteering and 2+ positive references from education professionals should give you a decent chance of a place on a PGCE Thup
100 years from now, it will not matter what kind of car I drove, what kind of house I lived in, how much money I had in my bank account, nor what my clothes looked like; but the world may be a little better because I was important in the life of a child.
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#19
25-05-2013, 01:10 AM
It's a noble vocation gents - and a tough one at times. Definitely favour second language, adult ed, or primary teaching to begin with because high schools tend to eat the uninitiated alive Sad

EDIT: Which goes back to the good point above; experience, experience, experience...

Currently managing: Kazincbarcika Sports Club, Hungarian Division I
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#20
25-05-2013, 01:40 AM
As an ex-youth worker, age range 12-25, it's the high school range I do have experience of (although did a little bit of creche and juniors work too). That's precisely why I chose NOT to teach at that level. Mrgreen


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