Naiman Lorena
Taller de Práctica Docente
The school where I did the secondary practicum experiences was Colegio
Provincial Kloketén. This school is lo...
to every teenage reality, the head teacher and the pedagogy department assistants
made clear emphasis on that specific asp...
The secondary practicum was a difficult experience but a rewarding one. Leaving
all the difficulties aside, I f...
Naiman - tpd - secondary final reflection
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Naiman - tpd - secondary final reflection

Secondary final thoughts
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Published in: Education      

Transcripts - Naiman - tpd - secondary final reflection

  • 1. LENGUAS VIVAS DE BARILOCHE FINAL REPORT SECONDARY Naiman Lorena Taller de Práctica Docente 2015
  • 2. Introduction The school where I did the secondary practicum experiences was Colegio Provincial Kloketén. This school is located in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego and it offers public integrated secondary education. When I began looking for a secondary where to teach my practicum I found myself without options. I asked four private and public institutions before starting and there were no positive answers. When I finally got to Kloketen school it was already November and classes were finishing. In addition, the city was in a complete chaos. The teacher’s union, state workers union and the metallurgist unions were protesting because the state government was taking legal actions against the teacher`s and metallurgist unions as they were involved in a violent protest that took place two years ago when the state government decided not to raise teachers’ salaries. During that public protest the members of the unions broke in the government’s house and destroyed everything they had on their way, they also hurt other workers and police officers. The event was recorded by several cameras. Nevertheless, the trial was unfair as the judges speeded up the trial so as to finish before December; to be able to do that they jumped several steps and the unions reacted against the judges maneuvers. The unions made as many strikes as they could, and they even took control over the city cutting off all main entrances. The trial hasn´t finished yet, today, December 2nd , there will be another strike as the trial is getting to an end and workers are being prosecuted. When I started the practicum period at Kloketen school I was told that the school has been making strikes during the whole year. Besides that, this year we had a long tough winter that took almost six months and the school building was not ready to bear the harsh weather. Therefore, there were no heating services and no water services throughout the whole winter so students didn`t have lessons during that period. At Kloketen school lessons begin at 7:45 in the morning but nobody controls the entry; so students arrive late at school. I started observing one lesson of 40 minutes at the first hour, so the lesson took around 25 minutes. I think it wasn´t enough time to observe the group and the teacher’s dynamics in the classroom; however, I had a glimpse ahead about how the English lessons were delivered. I presented a schedule that had to be modified because of the strikes, I lost three 80 minutes lessons at once. I didn´t know what to do so I asked the teacher and the tutor if I could work with other groups the teacher had. I was authorized to do so, and I ended up working with three different groups. I had to observe the other two groups that were added so that to be able to give my lessons. As a result, I observed three lessons, gave eight lessons and lost four lessons; as I couldn’t give the last 40 minutes lesson because of a new strike. It`s been a really hard period and working against state decisions was really exhausting. Development This school presents specific characteristics as it receives students from different contexts. The students that attend the school come from other schools, from other provinces or work hand in hand with other schools to integrate the curricula. The community of students present several features too, they got to this school as it was their last option to continue with their secondary education. The school works daily with different social difficulties as drug consumption, desertion, family abuse, violence, among others. Even though these aspects belong
  • 3. to every teenage reality, the head teacher and the pedagogy department assistants made clear emphasis on that specific aspect of the school context. The original aim of the project was to get familiar with a group of students and to be able to present lessons that differentiate from their usual English lessons. The group teacher used to work basically with the book; although she used some games, crosswords or puzzles and followed the course book lines which was a book that includes communication sections in all its units, the lessons I observed didn´t show me that students were working with the language communicatively. I did observe some aspects of the communicative approach in the lessons, but at the end students only worked with book exercises and that was all. The lessons I wanted to deliver were based on the Communicative approach. Based on that approach I focused the lessons on communication rather than on grammar or vocabulary. The activities that I included in the lessons varied, I used games, oral questions and answers, group and pair work, among others. The resources I included were videos, digital presentations, flashcards and word cards, wall papers, and the use of the course book website which were meaningful input for students and helped with the creation of a context that enabled students’ understanding of the topics we were dealing with. I believe that the lessons were useful for students as they could have another opportunity to experience the use of the language in a different way. In some occasions, I noticed that students were speaking for their first time as they even made jokes among themselves because of that; they were also eager to participate in the activities I presented. Sometimes I noticed that some students were not interested in working during the lessons, but I gained confidence lesson after lesson and felt able to approach those students and tried to convince them to continue working without chatting and without disturbing the lesson. Some of the skills that were necessary to work with these lessons were to be able to manage the groups, to be able to adjust the time so that to work during lessons that lasted less than expected, and to be able to adjust the lesson to student´s needs. It wasn´t the first time I worked with adolescents, but it was my first time working at a public secondary school and timetables, school organization and group management were really poor at this institution. Students almost did what they wanted to do no matter who they had in front of them. Therefore, I think or at least I hope it was like this, that I caught their attention with the variety of material I used as the group teacher wasn´t used to working like that. I also tried to be as sure as possible of what I was doing as losing one second was enough for students to start chatting or disturbing. I learned many things from this period regarding several aspects of the practicum and about myself. The need to speed up the practicum and to find other groups to work with because of external factors that I couldn´t take control of was really surprising and exhausting at the same time. Although strikes happened at all levels, this school added to all the strikes as some of the teachers involved in the trial worked at this institution. So, I had to be as resourceful as possible so that to organize new practicum schedules, my own schedules and to be able to stand in front of other groups of students who I observed one lesson and gave one or two lessons. They were like fast visits to the extra groups.
  • 4. Conclusión The secondary practicum was a difficult experience but a rewarding one. Leaving all the difficulties aside, I felt I gave the best lessons I could give, I even did better at lesson planning and that helped me gain confidence regarding what I was offering students to do. The groups were different but they gathered the same features. Students weren´t used to working with visuals or with concrete material, they almost didn´t practice speaking in the lessons, they were all talkative teenagers and they only wanted to let the lesson go by without any effort. So, it was hard work preparing lessons for these groups but they had good results. I also enjoyed working with teenagers, it wasn´t a nightmare but it was hard work to do. Regarding all the drawbacks I found myself with during the period I think that maybe they were necessary so that I could make the best of myself. If I had the chance to give the secondary practicum again I would choose a private institution as they have classes throughout the whole year. However, I found myself being able to solve problems that I´ve never encountered before and that was a positive side of myself working under pressure. Moreover, I really got interested in the way the school works, I think that there are a myriad of possibilities to change and improve the institutions´ functioning. I also felt worried about students´ realities and also thought of different ways to help them. I think that this experience left me thinking about how to help those students as I couldn´t create a stronger or at least deeper relationship with them. Even less state institutions have constrained possibilities to give students the necessary tools so that they get profit from secondary education, I still believe there is something else that each of the teachers that work in that school could do for them. It is unfair to leave these students aside of the system.

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