Previously I worked at a bilingual school, the nature of which made the teaching time an extremely rare resource. I was thinking about a solution, which eventually led me to look into blended learning, especially the flipped classroom, to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the precious class time. Little did I know, due to the outbreaks of COVID-19, we were forced into a state where we had to look into blended learning during the unexpected development of the pandemic.
With little preparation, we started our synchronous learning a day after the planned starting date. There were many struggles along the way but much learning as well throughout the semester.
Looking forward to this new school year at ISB, I think the 5Cs provide a very useful framework for me to reflect on my strengths and weaknesses in teaching so that I can focus on my areas of improvement in the coming year.
I think care is one of my strengths in teaching as I have been making conscious effort to care for the students during my teaching and interaction with them. As an EAL teacher and a language learner, I totally understand the emotional state of the ELs when their additional language is developing in an academic environment. When they feel being cared for, naturally their affective filters are low and language learning happens more effectively. Therefore, I tend to have built-in time for greetings, check-ins, and free sharing at the beginning of the class. During this difficult time, it’s even more paramount to having these emotional connections with students.
Another area of strength, I think, would be clarify. I often think about the words and sentence structures I use to explain meanings, ideas, concepts, processes, etc. to help students understand. I also try to use various ways to explain, including using students’ native language when I can. However, when offline classes are moved online, a new set of skills are required to make the content clear to the students.
Based on the 5Cs, I’d like to focus on these areas as my goals for improvement this year:
- Use student-friendly language to present and explain learning goals and objectives.
- Use digital tools to create models for students.
- Teach students to ask clarifying questions.
- Understand the grade level collaborative model.
- Use various digital communication tools to collaborate with my co-teachers.
Since I am new this year at ISB, my goal is to quickly get accustomed to the system to effectively support the English language development of the students, with whom I will be working.