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The Learning Pit

Discussion in 'Classroom' started by Internationalteacher, 10 Nov 2016.

  1. Internationalteacher

    Internationalteacher Thread Starter Well-Known Member

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    ^Sounds good, keep on keeping on.. ..just fyi, decent international schools are not easy by any means. Ask anyone that knows me and they know I work hard and often. Decent international schools have high standards and expectations. With teaching 30 or more hours a week, plus many unpaid extra curricular activities, I keep busy. I get formally observed twice a year and many drop in visits by administration. I like what I do and know that I make some sort of impact because once students graduate high school they get a dual diploma and can study in the west.
     
  2. bahn_farang

    bahn_farang Well-Known Member

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    Who said they were easy to work in?
    What I meant was that I would assume that the set up in International schools is more conducive for constructive methods. I am not prepared to give up just yet and work in an environment which serves the elite and this means I will for the time being, try to find ways to work within the system but create episodes within my context of culturally sensitive constructivism.
     
  3. bahn_farang

    bahn_farang Well-Known Member

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    By conducive I mean

    Class sizes
    Resources
    Mangement support
    Co-worker support group
    Parent understanding of methods
    Language levels
    Constructivism across the subjects

    But I have no experience of International schools, so you will have to let me know

    It is very difficult for the kids not to concentrate on drilling since the standardised tests are a huge opportunity to get out. Content coverage is taken to the extreme and although research disputes this mentality, the masses still face a set of tests which can make them and their family. The people I teach do not have the luxury of the back up plan of rich parents (in the main as it is not always the case, but I'm talking majority)
     
  4. SundayJam

    SundayJam Well-Known Member

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    All this talk of pedagogy and lack of resources...I once worked at a school that had no budget for printing and no text book for my classes. The superintendent looked at my lesson plans and said, "Your methods are fine but why don't you have more vocabulary?" I said that 10 - 15 vocabulary per lesson was sufficient. He said...okay. For one of my daily teaching adventures at this school I hand drew and cut out various articles of clothing to get the students to put the items on a character that I drew on the board. I then had them pick items blindly from a bag to illustrate a soon to be clothed character and make a presentation before the class.

    We have complete freedom to engage, entertain, enlighten, and uplift anyone that we so choose. For 50 student classrooms, it just takes a bit longer. Don't be discouraged.
     
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  5. Internationalteacher

    Internationalteacher Thread Starter Well-Known Member

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    You said the easy way out, so It sounded like you meant that working in an international school was easy. Thanks for clarifying. I know what you mean by standardised testing, but our students also have these types of tests, but in lower/middle school they are assessed on more than just tests.

    I wish you the best on working within the system.
     
  6. Internationalteacher

    Internationalteacher Thread Starter Well-Known Member

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    Yup, the big difference is the income levels of the families, and again the cultural expectations. Children here are pushed to learn and many of my elementary students even go to school after regular school to learn English, piano, art, etc. The same thing in Korea where the children are pushed to learn more outside of class. I don't think from what I know that Thai children are pushed like that to learn and get good grades by their parents.
     
  7. Internationalteacher

    Internationalteacher Thread Starter Well-Known Member

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    That's great to hear that, SundayJam. Do you work in a government school? Do you get a teaching assistant to help with that many kids?
     
  8. bahn_farang

    bahn_farang Well-Known Member

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    very true it can be done but socratic classrooms of 50 people are difficult to master
     
  9. SundayJam

    SundayJam Well-Known Member

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    I've mostly worked in government schools. I've had teaching assistants before. They didn't help much...with a few exceptions...a math teacher who helped me to explain the completing the squares method of factoring trinomials and also long division of trinomials. At another school, a kindergarten teacher helped soothe the teaching beast in me. ;-) At one point in my intense drilling of kindergarten students on days of the week she said, "enough of this. Let's go outside and enjoy nature." After which I led the kids outside and began to sing, "I see color...I see color...everywhere around me, I see color..." They loved it.

    For the past 4 + years...I've had no teaching assistant. I take a long term view of classroom expectations. My high school students can write paragraphs and essays with purpose and without irrelevant sentences. Things like subject/verb agreement and verb tense are hit or miss. I'll employ bosses at times in different classrooms. More importantly, I get to know my students.
     
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  10. Internationalteacher

    Internationalteacher Thread Starter Well-Known Member

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    ^That's awesome. I agree that getting to know your students is crucial to know the best way to teach them and also to gain their trust to take chances in the classroom.

    If anyone is interested in learning more about concept based teaching I came across this great .pdf. It may not relate to what you are teaching, but it just might as concepts cut through all subjects.

    http://worldview.unc.edu/files/2013/07/Getting-the-Big-Idea-Handout.pdf
     

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