I have discovered a couple of new ways to improve my efficiency today. It is always a good idea to kill two birds with one stone as they say so if I can find a way that I can do two things at the same time then I am interested in that. We only have 3 score years and ten on this planet as they say, if I can manage to always do two things at the same time then I will be able to lay claim to 6 score years and twenty of productivity. I generally think of myself as being pretty lazy because I am never doing the thing that I am supposed to be doing but the truth is that I value everything I do do so I suppose technically I am an overworker who is never satisfied with what he has managed to achieve.
Anyway my first point of efficiency is that I want to write this mindsplurge as often as I can. I often don’t find the time to write it because I have so many other things that I am also trying to do. My tutor for my teacher training wants me to write a personal journal of what I learn and how my teaching develops. This is something I also do not do because I have better things to do. Solution: combine both into this blog. My teacher wants me to mind splurge, why shouldn’t I do it in my blog. That now gives me twice as many reasons to write this blog so it has therefore become twice as important. It is therefore twice as likely I will do it and technically it will take up half as much time. Winners all round.
The blog is interestingly tied in with the last demonstration class I had to prepare for the course. I was speaking on assessment methods and after considering the options outlined in the books I decide to advocate a new option. Assessment by social network; where students are members of wordpress and linked in and about.me etc they can get peer review form the other members of the class as well as students and even lecturers in other colleges. It prepares them for the working world, it shows they are familiar with technology and social media, it gets their work and CV out there and shows they are developing experience beyond what occurs within the classroom. Essentially they do what I am doing here. The internet is the portfolio of the future. This is the twentieth century, it is time that education moved on. It has been evolving for centuries but with the state of modern technology it is time for a revolution.
I was also pleased to see a new development in the classroom this week. I took on a couple of new students last week. Until now all my students have spoken Tamil and Singhala. My new student speaks Romanian. I gave them a task to do today involving rearranging of verbs, prepositions, etc so as to correct the vandalism I did to the first page of chapter two of Alice in Wonderland. This was a lot easier than it looked. Some of the students decided that it was too difficult to be bothered with any serious focus on the work. They later discovered from the group that had done the work that it was actually rather easy. Anyway, this group decided that they were going to chat to the Romanian instead. Normally Tamal and Singhala students do not communicate too much with each other and when they do they do it in their own strange patois. However they had no choice but to speak English to the Romanian. It was a pleasant morning because although they were not doing what I had told them to do at all they were doing exactly what they needed to do in order to progress their English. I sat and listened in and was amused when they tried to defend having done no work whatsoever because I had been thinking all along that they were devising their own lesson plan that was probably more beneficial than the one that I had constructed.
So that was my moment of laziness and ease for the day. Allowing the students to basically construct their own lesson plan. I wonder if many other teachers allow their students to so flagrantly flout the set tasks. I suppose anything that gets them talking is the best thing. One of the people I have worked with in the past has said that she is always pleased when an argument breaks out in the class because as long as it stays in English it is helping them develop and forcing them to really try and find the best way to express themselves.
The conversation continued so long that the work I had given them stretched well into the afternoon and there was no time to start another project. I suppose it would have been possible to give them some work to do but as it was Friday evening I thought it would be far more decent to let them go a quarter of an hour early so long as they agreed to do some research for a field trip we are planning to the Science Museum in the next couple of weeks. I do sometimes work them past their hometime simply because I am pure evil but I guess it is a sunny day so I went easy on them.