Teacher Talking Time (TTT)

If you are teacher you are expected to talk more than anyone else. They have even  called pharyngitis as teachers’ disease, because it stems from too much talking.  However, the case should be the opposite. Actually , a professional teacher should know when to speak and where to wait.  approximately a lesson lasts 40 minutes. It is impossible to use this time completely for teaching. the efficient learning time is limited and the teacher should give a chance to students to participate in and think about the topic.

Questions are efficient and inevitable part of a lesson. Every teacher uses them as a means of communication in the class. the point is when to give an answer to the question . If a teacher asked a question,s/he should wait for a while to let students process it and find the answer. If s/he gives them enough time, it’s probable that the question will be answered by a student. However, if the answer is immediately given by the teacher, it demotivates the students. It’s not something hard, as Rowe suggests it’s matter of a couple of seconds. When it’s cared, it’s something managable.

Teacher talking time is also as important as teacher wait time. As the century requires, communication is the major aim of learning a language. that means, in a language classroom there should be as much communication as possible. It also requires classes to be more student centered rather than being teacher oriented. unfortunately, most of the teachers ignore this point. as clearly stated in the article teachers give information which can be elicit easily from students or they make unnecessary explanations.  there is a correlation between teacher talking time and student authonomy. as it is claimed in the article if the TTT decreases, learner authonomy increases. that’s why teachers should use their talking time for students own good.  simple adaptations like pair works and group works will sort this out. the article points out a very common thing which is silence filling. We, teachers feel like we have to fill every silence with something which is usually irrelevant teacher talks. As we read the article, it’s better to let students be silent time to time.

When it comes to my observations, I think our teacher is successful in teacher wait time. She gives enough time to students to answer a question, but if the given answer is incorrect she directly g,ves the right answer. I think she would wait for a while or ask another student. If we talk abot TTT, it’s a little bit problematic, because she  always follows the course book. As she does so, teacher always talk, gives the meaning of unknown vocabulary items directly instead of make students try to find themselves. I think in order to make the lesson more engaging and the students more responsible for their learning, she should give to students time for self learning. this is mostly because of time issue, because teachers have to catch up with the curriculum. In my opinion, the thing is the intensity of the curriculum. The time is limited but the content is so dense. The result is bombarding students with a lot of information.

To sum up, TTT and TWT is two important component of an efficient teaching. both should be taken into consideration and teachers adapt themselves accordingly. Even though it’s hard because of the system, the teacher should avoid being in a hurry and bombard students with to much information.

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Warm Ups and Warm Downs

 

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“The warm up and warm down work together as the bookends of a lesson. Just like an essay needs a clear introduction and a conclusion, so too does an effective lesson.”(Farmer, 2010)

I like the way the article describe warm up and warm down. To be honest, this is the first time I have heard such a term “warm down”.  Now I learned what it is, I can say a couple of things about it.

I think warm downs are crucial as much as warm ups. Everything has a beginning and an end, so why a lesson doesn’t. Moreover, they are so important parts of a good lesson. A warm up makes students ready to class, activates their English, and arouse curiosity to the topic. Warm down finishes what warm up has already started in a meaningful and neat way. Warm downs are important not only for learners but also for teachers. Revision, summarizing, giving feedback, homework, correction, etc can be named as warm down strategies. Thanks to warm downs a student can evaluate his/her learning and recognize his/her weaknesses.” an effective warm down will also leave the class with a clear understanding of what they learned and is an opportunity for teachers to address any loose ends”( Farmer, 2010 ). Similarly, a teacher can have an idea about which points need to be revised, what the students learned well, did I obtain my objectives for today, etc as it’s seen, warm down is like a final report of the day consisting of pluses and minuses for both side. Warm down also shows that the teacher knows what s/he is doing in the class and well prepared. Otherwise the students may think that the teacher is just “killing time” or “disorganized” as stated in the article. Warm down signals that the class is about to over and the students need wrap the things they have learned up and have a clear ending.

When it comes to my observations, the situation is a little bit complicated. As stated in the article, warm up is crucial for a good lesson, It signals that the lesson is about to start. Like every organized thing, lessons also need a beginning; however our mentor teacher rarely used warm up and down. For four weeks she started lesson by taking attendance and simply saying open your books to page x and where are we….. It took her nearly 5 minutes to make students ready for the class. The students opened their books reluctantly as if they have no interest on the topic.  She never talked about neither the previous class nor the current one. She directly started to read exercises. It would be better if she started with asking the students how they are and found a transition to introduce the topic of the day. Maybe it’s because of her dependence on the course book. She may be in a hush to catch up the curriculum. I don’t know the exact reason, but I think it’s mostly because of her not being a graduate of a faculty of education. She may have never heard of such a thing. As I said before our teacher doesn’t use warm down so often.  In order to signal that the class is about to finish she asks the time or looks at her watch, instead of giving homework, revise the topic, make correction etc. She corrects students’ mistakes immediately and rarely leaves it to end. Once I remembered she gave homework, but it was in the middle of class and probably most of the students forgot to do it. If she gave it at the end of the class, it would be a good way to say the class is over.

As a prospective teacher, I think I get the importance of warm up and warm down with the help of my observations and the article provided. In terms of being professional and efficient in the class warm up and warm down is significant. May be warm down is more crucial than warm up, because of providing a feedback for both teacher and students. When the stage is mine, I will definitely pay much more attention to warm up and warm down.

Classroom Attending Strategies

This week was exciting as usual. We observed our regular classes and our mentor teacher. It’s exciting to get to know students. We know each other better than the previous weeks. Every week, I am looking forward to Thursday to see our students and benefit from our teacher’s experience. This Thursday we paid a close attention to teacher’s attending behaviors.

To be honest, she uses many different strategies. She sometimes warns them by calling their names, but sometimes a look or eye contact is enough for the same situation. She rarely asks questions to the students. Lectures are mainly teacher centered, so students just listen to the teacher. They only attend if they are asked to. The most frequent strategy that she uses is calling names. For example, if she is going to let a student answer the question, she absolutely calls his/her name. She rarely gives verbal prompt. If she used words such as well done, super, thank you, great, etc., students would be more motivated to participate in.  I haven’t seen her touching a student. Maybe it’s because of their age. They are averagely 16 years old and touching might not be a good idea. They are unique individuals and can be disturbed by being touched. I don’t know maybe it depends on the culture. For example, in the movie Mr. Keating taps his student’s shoulders and they are comfortable with that, nobody bothers. I think teacher attending behaviors changes depending on the situation. In that, our mentor teacher rarely uses verbal warning for eleven graders, but she always has to warn ninth grade students verbally. She sometimes reprimands them because of not listening to her during classes. I observed that students respond differently to different attending behaviors. For instance, one day a ninth grade student was chewing a gum and wandering in the class, the teacher looked him without saying anything, and then he kept doing the same things. This time she warned him verbally, but it didn’t worked he started to shift his position and sit wherever he wants. He was also chewing his gum recklessly. After a while, she reprimands him due to his behavior, and then he threw the gum and sits his usual desk. All my observations showed me that every teacher uses attending behaviors according to his/her specific context which is classroom setting. Also I learned that every students responds differently to the same strategy. For example, an angry look may be enough for a students, but not applicable for the other one. As a prospective teacher I think teachers should know her/his students very well and then decide on attending behaviors accordingly.indirindir (1)

Dead Poets Society was a film I watched three years ago. I wasn’t impressed that much then, however, this time I watched it from a teacher’s perspective. It was just wonderful. I admired Mr. Keating and appreciated his effort for students. He influenced his students and gave them a hope to be different. If you asked me why he was so influential in student’s lives, I would say his self confidence and his deeper understanding of his students. From the first lesson, he showed that he knows what he is doing. He didn’t depend on the stereotype books; he used his own competence in his field. He did everything without hesitation. He was also graduated from that school, which made students to feel closer to him. They thought that if he became so free and different, we could do the same. He knew his students’ fears, wishes, passions, personal problems, etc very well. For example, when he asked Todd to read his poem, Todd doesn’t want to read. At this point he clearly expressed why Todd was hesitating so much. From the scene we can say that he knows the internal side of his students. With every attitude he impressed them and he was a door opening to a different world which is free and the way as you wish. He was a model of his student’s alter ego. He unveiled his student’s suppressed feelings and wishes. Even with the way students call him “oh captain my captain or Mr. Keating” instead of “sir”, he made them feel closer to him. Student’s lives were monotonous, but thanks to him they broke the shell of and dared to go out at night and founded a society. He gave them an adventures life.

When it comes to attending strategies, he always used students’ names instead of their surnames. However, the other teachers used students’ family names when calling them, which shows he cares only the individual and others are giving importance just students’ families. While other teachers were just sitting on the teacher’s desk, he was wandering around the class and tapping their shoulders. He always had an eye contact with his students.

After watching the movie, I didn’t feel sorry for Mr. Keating. He was fired his position, but he is in a higher position in students hearts. I realized that status is not that important for a teacher. The actual success is gaining student’s confidence and influences their life in a good manner. As long as you believe you formed or at least contribute to your students’ lives, you are the greatest teacher regardless of your position in society.