Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Reflections on teaching

My teaching timetable is now in full swing, and is quite varied. I teach university students, older women, and children aged from 8-16 at the community center, teenage boys at the Arab Institute and girls aged from 13-15 at the UNRWA school.

I have always been a careful planner when it comes to teaching and it is no different now. I like to have thought through and planned every lesson fully before i teach it. This can, however, become slightly time consuming!

When it comes to teaching english language, i am dealing with the fact that i see language primarily as about communication between people. I am fairly weak when it comes to the formal 'rules' of language. I have taken the approach to my lessons that language can be learned by it being a vehicle for other activities i.e. reading literature, discussing issues and doing role plays.

There are very few problems with 'discipline' here. My approach to any students who do cause problems is to say 'If you really don't want to be here i don't mind, go and play football in the sun', or something similar.

Finally, it is impossible to detach education from the realities of the occupation. I am told that during the last intifada, many schools were taken over or destroyed by the Israelis, so there is a problem with finding good school buildings and a lack of resources for new ones. Teachers and students struggle everyday to work hard and deal with all the ways the occupation interferes in their lives, from queing at checkpoints to being seperated from family members who are in prison or stuck on the other side of the separation wall.

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