Presentation on theme: "Welcome to Team Teaching; Junior High Schools and Elementary Schools James Pashley, BA Hons. Landscape Architecture, MA 3d Design, Garden Designer and."— Presentation transcript:
Welcome to Team Teaching; Junior High Schools and Elementary Schools James Pashley, BA Hons. Landscape Architecture, MA 3d Design, Garden Designer and Tamana City, ALT Gyokuryo Junior High School, Bairin, Ishinuki, Oda and Tamana Elementary Schools
Starting out Overshadowed by your predecessor… In the shadows? Your predecessor will be talked about for years. (As will you.) We have all been there! You are not your predecessor, do not try to emulate them, don’t try to compete, it will only end in tears.... (You are here on your own merit, it’s time to shine people.) Your schools have just lost a team member, it’s a big deal here, good or bad, they were part of the team. (On the plus side, initial expectations of you are low, surprise everyone!) Your predecessor was more familiar to your teachers than you are now. (It will change.)
Schools are unlike the schools at home. It looks robust, it has some warm(er) features, maybe it just needs a hug? You put in something, push some buttons, and a model product drops out. There is little intended variation or differences in the outcome. All work towards the same goals. Students constantly work towards exams. Many attend night schools too. The system is fixed in place… We can’t start a revolution, no matter how much we grumble. We are just a tiny part of a system, we can’t change it. We can have a positive impact. There are great teachers and not so great teachers, just like home, but nearly all work very hard, within the system, with the best intentions, for their students. We are here to help them do the best for the students too, but it may not always be clear to us, or others, how we are helping… So, please bear with me, I’m going to try to explain the Japanese Education System, using this vending machine…
So… I’m here to ‘team teach’… How does that work at JHS then? “Well for starters, isn’t it all in English?” “No!” “Well it must be a 50-50 split on the workload and input to classes?” ‘No! That is “Tell him he is dreamin’ ” team teaching.’ “But… at orientation they said…” “Did they now…?”
But… but… but I’m indispensible… The JHS teaching system is more than capable of running without you. There are heaps of additional tools and materials available to fill the void of an absent ALT. Some teachers will be overjoyed to see you… Others will try and sneak to class and ‘forget’ you were assigned to them… We bring all unique qualities to the room, in time, if you display a good attitude, adapt quickly, work hard and demonstrate reliability, you will get more freedom in teaching here. But, until then we have to perform many ‘mundane tasks’, with a big smile and ‘super genki’ approach! It’s work, after all! Sorry, No. No, you are not!
Be ready for anything! Assist, Assist,Assist… Whatever your role may be, at any given moment during a class, or outside of one, you are there to help and empower the teachers, inspire confidence in them, help them be the best they can, and in turn, help the students to become the best they can! So what do I do? Let’s explore this through the media of… …video…
Don’t worry... (in good time and if you make them) So what AM I supposed to do then?
Assistant (Language Teacher) Being seen to communicate effectively is as important as actually doing it. What is the point of the students trying to study, if the best English speaker they know, their teacher, can’t make you understand simple things during lessons? Likewise, if you are communicating well, and having fun, students will become curious… Your students will never be able to speak or use English as well as you. You should not give up, just be realistic. With your help they will improve in English use, but they are also realistic. You may be cool, you may be interesting, you may be nothing like the other teachers. Ultimately the students may want to be like the role model in front of them, and sorry, but it is not you… It is the Japanese person using good English to communicate with you, using English at a level beyond where the students currently are, but at a level they could reach, (they can see from their teacher it is achievable,) and so this may be the most powerful thing you can bring to the classroom. Remember we are here to assist, so help as the teacher wants, not as you want to. Build the team, develop familiarity and trust, through action as well as conversation, and you will get greater responsibility.
So, where does that leave me? (It’s not about you…)
It may not be as exciting as you hoped, but on a day to day basis, you are in a great position to help your teachers and students. That’s why we are here!
So, I am just a puppet? No! You are just entering a system where you have a role to fulfil. After that it is up to you to develop your relationships with your team. This may lead to new opportunities and greater input. (but the reverse is possible.) The students are great, but you have to help inspire them, through you, the English teaching in your classes can really come alive.
An experienced ALT’s experience… Middle School ① : In the classroom, I do skits with the JTE to demonstrate the new grammar, give quizzes or do warm-up actives, do pronunciation practice with the students, and walk around and help students as they work on making skits/doing worksheets. Outside the classroom, the JTE is usually good about informing me what she plans to do for the next class and asking for my advice. She usually lets me make changes to any worksheet or activity she has planned, which are usually changes to make the skit scenario more interesting or add in an interview game here and there. She also has me correct papers and tests, with the exception of final exams. Middle School ②: In the classroom, I usually lead the class in reviewing the new words, reading the dialog, and sometimes even going over the meaning in Japanese or explaining a new grammar point. At times, I am T1 for the entire class. I still have difficulty understanding what the JTE wants of me and what she expects of the class; sometimes the students will recite a dialog, when I try to move on to the next activity, myself satisfied with their performance, she'll ask that they do it again. Sometimes, when she's T1, she'll look at me or make gestures at me, trying to tell me to do something (write something on the board, take the lead of the next activity, etc.), but sometimes the message doesn't get through; only recently have I been able to read her expressions and understand what she wants me to do. Her English isn't that great, so that may be why she doesn't just use words to tell me what to do. Outside of class, she gladly lets me make worksheets, but, there aren't many times when we get to use them.
What teachers said… We want to… Perform Skit’s together, to help students put English in to context. Make activities, games, pair work, bingo, songs, movies, Q-A conversations to reinforce learning opportunities. Talk about your home culture, events, seasons, school life and life, anything the students may find interesting. Help with writing, check the students worksheets, grammar, sentences, word use and writing ability. Pronunciation practice, as a class and individually practice vocabulary, join in with groups. Bring English to life. Speech contests, work with students to get the best from them, they represent the school. Smile, be nice to students. Tell us if there is a thing you want to do something in the class. Other things… Check your work hours, be early or at least on time. Feel free to ask anything, not too personal. Before the class, make time to talk about it. If you have an idea or want to do something go in and speak to us before. (Elementary school too.) Make time to share your ideas with us before we get too busy. Dress appropriately for school, you are at school to teach, look around your teachers room for guidance, but if you are unsure, dress smartly and conservatively. Don’t be rude, to other teachers, students, parents, anyone… It sounds obvious, but even directness can be perceived as rudeness sometimes.
At first, find your feet. Use your time to fit in. Look around you. Watch the teachers at work. Look at how you can help them. Ask questions. (when appropriate, maybe in the teachers room.) School is ready for you. Relax. You will be guided. Share ideas, don’t rush in. Take rejection on the chin. Bounce back with fresh ideas.
Remember… You are a stranger to your teachers and students. So you must earn their trust. Be patient, be calm, be enthusiastic, be ready, be professional and communicate effectively inside, and outside, of the classroom. Your teachers will assign you tasks that they think you are ready for and want you to do. You must demonstrate, not just say, you are ready for more responsibility. Develop trust. You are entering school half way through the school year.
It sounds tough, but it’s really all ok! Because you are…