Posted in My articles, This and that

Sitteaching?

As you know, there is no term as sitteaching. However, some of our colleagues assume that they teach when they sit, don’t make eye-contact, don’t use intonation, etc. Is it possible to teach like this?

I wasn’t planning to talk about that today but facebook showed me a video that I shared five years ago! Here is the link to the video:

When I watched the video, I thought our students are aware of everything we do and don’t do! Mostly they seem as if they are not following us in the lessons-especially nowadays with spring mood!- but indeed they are. However, it is easier for us to complain about their mischievous behaviours rather than paying attention to their body language or ideas. Sometimes all they want is attention.

As a person, I don’t like moving or doing any sports at all but as a teacher, I can’t stop walking, running or jumping in the class :))) My students mostly say “hocam, how can you be so energetic? What do you drink in the morning to get that energy?” I just smile as an answer. I believe real teachers are born to be active in the class. When the teacher is active, students feel an urge to be active. When I sit, I am bored so isn’t it normal for a student not to want to be a part of education process?

Of course we might be tired! However, even our tone of voice can help us at that point. We should share our energy with learners! But what if we don’t want to do anything as a teacher?

First, we should find something we are interested in as a person and do it more often.

Second, we should get more fresh air which will make us more positive and give us energy.

Third, we should ask for new teaching ideas to colleagues, forums, or read some research-which is boring to me!

Then, we should ask our learners what they want to see in the class.

Finally, we should brainstorm about these and then start an action plan.

Seriously, it is not as difficult as it seems! Just start from somewhere and you will find yourself in the middle of production and creativity.

How did I come up with these steps? I have been in that process for the last few weeks :)) Nowadays I feel much closer to producing something and now I am writing here 🙂

Come on, stand up or sit down and start somewhere! A teaching term is too short  to wait for the inspiration ship to come to you so go for it!

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Posted in My articles

Some practical ideas on learner motivation

As we are approaching the end of the term, our students are feeling unmotivated soon and we are “infected”, too. That’s why we need to prevent this, otherwise our lessons will be really boring and a kind of torture both for our students and us. I believe nobody wants that!

We all know there is a strong connection between student and teacher motivation so we affect one another somehow. Why don’t we make use of that connection and make our classes more enjoyable than we used to see? If your answer is yes, let me suggest you some ideas:

  1. Reward your students. That reward doesn’t have to be a big one of course! When one of our students performs a task successfully, we can ask the student choose a song and play it while the others are doing an activity like reading, speaking
  2. Explain. When our students wonder why they have to learn a specific topic, provide them with explanations (Harris, 1991). When they realize we don’t see them as machines which only fulfill tasks, they will be happier to participate.
  3. Care. When they share a song, a book or a movie in the class, we may have a look at it on our own. Then tell the student what we think about that item honestly and see the gleam in their eyes! You have cared about their ideas.
  4. Provide choices. As teachers we always say “My students want spoon feeding all the time!” or “They don’t have autonomy!”. If we present choices, they can choose what they want and change their attitudes in process of time. You can even ask “We have two books in our program today and I wonder which book you would like to begin with”. Done!
  5. Collaboration. We can ask our students to study together more than before. I am not saying monitoring each group or pair will be very easy for you; however, they will feel more comfortable with their friends instead of talking in front of everyone. Thus, we can use collaboration.
  6. Get feedback. We all think we are doing great things in the class, but are we sure that they are so great? Without getting feedback, we can’t know where our “ship” is heading. To illustrate, we can ask our students to write their opinions related to the activities of the week on a piece of paper without writing their names. Collecting the feedback and then reading them on our own might help us.
  7. Be open to new ideas. We can try something new and this not just related to teaching. We should try something new in our lives like a place, dish, movie etc. Having routines will lead to a decrease in the level of motivation.

All in all, motivating our students is not as difficult as we may believe.

Changing small details can help us find motives for new teaching methods.

References

 Harris, R. (1991). Some ideas for motivating students. Retrieved on March 3, 2014. http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/affective/motivation.html http://www.crlt.umich.edu/sites/default/files/resource_files/Nilson- adaptedmotivation.pdf

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Posted in Reflections & Career Development, Research, This and that

So…What Exactly Should PD Look Like?

I couldn’t agree more with dear Tony! CPD sessions are important for all teachers because we should know ourselves much better to help our students. Teacher training is like life long learning-it never stops! Also, school administrations should give more importance to this issue instead of ignoring its importance and its staff. If we do more research, more in-class research, more sessions to share what we have with each other, we can grow together.

Our students change every year. I mean their interests, needs and learning preferences change. As teachers, we should understand these changes and provide new and effective ways to collaborate with our learners in our learning environment to reach “outcome” together. In order to do that, we need to improve, revise or redesign how we teach in accordance with our aims and learners. Saying that is really easy but it is not like that in reality.

I always think that our working environment is a great tool to achieve this. We have many colleagues who are already teaching and they have experience as much as we do! So, why don’t we start sharing with each other in our institutions? This is free! Our institutions do not have to pay for any sessions.

CPD is not so far away… Everything starts with a “core” and we all have this in our working environment. We just need to open our eyes and initiate this process 🙂

Let’s grow our collaborative environment all together! 🙂

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allthingslearning

CPD Blog Post 170717 slide 05 TG

There I am…under my favourite olive tree, looking out at the point where the Aegean almost meets the Mediterranean…on the Turkish Riviera.

Sounds like heaven, yes?

So what the hell am I doing on my MacBook Air?

I’ll tell you – looking at the marketing bumf for the training courses that support a book entitled ‘A Handbook for Personalized Competency-Based Education (PCBE)’ from Robert Marzano and his gang at Marzano Research. Yes, as the sun goes down, the soft Aegean twilight floods the mountains and bay around Akbuk (near Didim)…here’s me reading about the type of Professional Development (PD) needed to ‘inspire’ teachers to breathe life into PCBE.

BTW – Did you know that the word inspire is derived from the Latin ‘inspirare’ which literally means to breathe life into another? Stephen Covey learned me that a few years back…

I am such a sad, sad…

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Posted in Useful activities

Taboo in the Class!

Last year, I had one hour of free time in my two classes. Then I thought to make my students create something for themselves. That’s how I came up with the idea which was to make them prepare their own taboo cards! 🙂

I gave them small note cards and asked them to find 4 words from their coursebooks which was at elementary level at that time. I also asked them to find 3 words which were related to each main word and write them. The instruction was simple: Write these words and then bring them to me to check. They had 50 minutes to finish their task. If their words were the same with someone else, they were going to change them. Then, I added some energetic songs to our classroom environment and they started preparing those. During the lesson, they brought their words and I checked. Some of them found great words!

At the end of the lesson, I collected those cards. The next day, I did the same task with my other class. Then, I copied all of these words on the computer and printed them out. The last stage was puttig those taboo cards on colorful cardboards. Everything was ready!

The following week, we played it in the class. I divided the classroom into two groups consisting of 8 people. I explained the taboo rules and asked them if they wanted to add any other rules. They added one rule and we started playing it. You know what? It was fun! They loved it! While they were playing, sometimes they were saying “Who wrote this word for God’s sake?!” 😀 My answer was simple: You and your friends. Everything was their responsibility and their product.

If you have any free time in the class, you can try making your students prepare those cards. The result will be great 🙂 The age or level doesn’t matter. Just do it!

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Posted in Reflections & Career Development, This and that

Dreams come true…

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I had always wanted to be a part of METU (Middle East Technical University) during my high school years. However, because of our country’s education system, I didn’t have a chance to choose it for my graduate education but it was in my mind all the time. Then, after university and almost 6 years in teaching, I was invited for a kind of pre-service event there! The day of days came and I was there; on the stage! It has been a wonderful experience for me. I can’t say everything was perfect because I know there were some points to be improved related to my presentation skills in such academic occasions.

Then, after some time, I was invited to teach a course in METU! Teaching English to Young Learners! Nowadays, I am looking forward to meeting my new students, indeed my prospective colleagues 🙂 I know we are going share a lot of things there and we will develop different points of views together. I hope to learn a lot from them 🙂

This is way better than my dreams… This is a milestone in my career ^_^

 

smiley-clipart-smiley_star_08.png With special thanks to my dear family and my fiancé for supporting and motivating me to achieve my goals.

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Posted in Conference & Seminar Notes, Reflections & Career Development, This and that, Useful activities

SLTEP Pre-Service Event at METU

On October 17, I shared my experiences with my prospective colleagues. It was really nice to be there with them and see the gleam in their eyes!

You can find my presentation here: Riding a Flying Carpet in Teaching_ 

Reflection:

I spoke too much and I tried to share a lot in such a limited time. Thus, it was a bit boring, I guess. I should learn to manage time during those presentations 🙂 However, at the end of the presentation, a few people from my audience came and talked to me which made me so content.

A brand new experience 🙂

 

Posted in Conference & Seminar Notes, Reflections & Career Development, Research, This and that

IATEFL ReSIG Annual International Conference

Last month, Gediz University held a very beneficial conference for researchers to share what they had been doing in their own environment. Thanks to dear Dr. Kenan Dikilitaş, I was motivated to conduct research and present it there as a poster presentation.

It was my first research presentation ever so I was really nervous during the preparation process. My dear colleague Kenan Hocam encouraged me to try this new field in my career and he helped me so much before-during and after my research 🙂 First, we had a group on Facebook with two other colleagues and Kenan Hocam was a guide there. He helped me find an area to survey. Then, after choosing that area, I chose suitable tasks and planned my study carefully. As the next step, I applied those tasks in my classroom and thanks to my precious students, I received lots of constructive feedback. Finally, I was ready to share what I learned during the process 🙂

It wasn’t easy for me! I know I had many mistakes but nothing is easy… You will never know if you don’t have the courage to try 🙂 Also, once I saw the results, I decided to use classroom research as a part of my professional development. Hope to find or create a chance to spend more time on these studies 🙂

You can find more about my study here: My study

The conference program: Program

You can find more about this conference here: About conference

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Posted in Travel Blog Post (Student Posts as homework)

Student Posts

Hello there!

The sixteen posts which are in Travel Blog Post category below belong to my students! They had homework which was writing a travel blog post. Since I already have a blog, I suggested sharing their posts on my blog and they accepted. They wrote their posts and sent them to me as emails. I didn’t correct the mistakes in their posts just to keep them original. I will give them feedback privately 🙂

I hope you enjoy reading them! 😉

Posted in Travel Blog Post (Student Posts as homework)

Hamamönü

We were in Gölbası for 5 days, but we didn’t know anywhere in Ankara .I and my roommates were bored in the dormitory. Thus we decided to go to city centre. Firstly, we went to Kızılay where everybody coming Ankara should see.It was so crowded as it is always. We entered Kızılay AVM and walked around all floors there.We weren’t used to being among a lot of people. Shortly, we don’t like Kızılay. We thought that we should find a quiet place ,so our next station was Hamamonu. While we were going there ,we saw Zafer Bazaar .However, we didn’t enter there because of crowd.After a while, we saw Abdi Ipekci Park. We stopped off there and chatted about things which we had seen at the same time.The thing which is interesting for us is that there are lots of beggars in streets .It is so bad.Finally,we arrived Hamamonu. It is so relaxing place and has an old-fashioned atmosphere .We visited tomb and Mehmet Akif Ersoy museum. Also, we bought something from cute shoppings .The weather was getting dark, so we came back to Golbası, our dormitory.

Demet KARAOĞLAN

Posted in Travel Blog Post (Student Posts as homework)

Hamamönü

However, I have been living in Ankara for seven months I have just gone Hamamönü. I wish I had gone there before.Hamamönü has been reorganized and this reorganization is going on. There are old houses which were painted only white. I thought these houses weren’t being used but people are living in them which was surprising for me .Streets between houses are narrow and they are not capable of being used by big vehicles even by cars.Not letting even cars makes Hamamönü prettier and more comfortable for people,I think.During wandering ,I didn’t have to worry about cars or being crashed.And the other thing I like was different cafes,restaurants and small shopping centers(butiques).People prefer there to make their breakfast as these cafes are well-known for their breakfast,also pasta.I made my breakfast there and it was very good and nice with its peaceful atmosphere.*They are full of people at some certain hours;if you do not like being crowded areas I suggest you not to go there at weekends.After breakfast, I went Mehmet Akif’s house. I wasn’t aware that his house is here. People can enter the house,all parts of which are open to people with ney sound at the background.Inside the house,there is also a documentary about his life.You can watch it while you are wandering there.It was very nice and resting day for me ‘cause of Hamamönü’s relaxing atmosphere. 🙂

Nazlı Yeşim ÖMERCİOĞLU