We had another gathering of the teachers in the Yokkaichi teachers' initiative today. Several things that I want to write about. First is that one of the teachers' father died last week and she couldn't attend today. I feel for her loss. Teachers are always there for their students, especially these teachers. I hope she has the support she needs and deserves.
We did a workshop on Reflective Teacher Development today. That is always an interesting topic. Our first activity was to write an autobiography as it relates to our chosen profession. Some of the commonalities were revealing. Most of the teachers had overseas experience before they chose their profession. All but one of the teachers started out in other professions or with other professional goals before choosing to become teachers. All of the teachers had an extensive background in English learning before they chose to become teachers. Many of the teachers expressed an interest in meeting many people as being a reason for becoming a teacher. Everyone had a generally enjoyable first experience in teaching.
Their second task was to remember how their visions of teaching were similar or different from the actual practice of teaching. Some of the teacher mentioned that even though they were sure that students understood student/teacher roles, their students did not always obey the teacher. (Surprised?) Next they were all surprised by the stuff involved with teaching that actually has nothing to do with teaching like clubs, meetings, and busywork. This left them, in one teacher's words, "pressured, stressed, tired."
One other quote that I heard today was, "They (students) don't come to class to study English. They come to have fun in English." I liked that distinction.