There goes perfection, for now
I finished the 3rd module of the TEFL course I’m taking. This module was large in quantity; 15 parts when you count the written submission that must be done prior to taking the 15th part, the whole module assessment.
My number on this assessment was 85%. I still passed the test with 15 points to spare. A passing grade is 70%.
This section entailed the “Fundamentals of English Grammar”. There are a few items I’m just not recognizing in accordance with the technically perfect that is required. Things like what is a fragment, and what is a mistake to name a couple.
Why the problem? Why because I do things in writing that fly against the rules but make sense when you read what I’ve written is why.
I cross lines and blur edges in my “Communicative Expressionism*”. I don’t apologize for my behaviour either. I am not writing you a technical document or trade agreement and am telling you a story.
Within the context of the course and proper English, the keepers of the course are correct. It is incumbent on me to make sure I have this technical aspect wired in to my brain so I recognize the objects far more readily and correctly.
I had opportunity prior to submission to go back and change answers. I gave that option serious thought. I didn’t do it because I was concerned I could make it worse. “Guesstimate” is not in my action plans at the best of times and when it comes to test taking, not at all.
That module exam had to be done before you could even look at the next module.
I had to set that small section aside for the moment and move the ship on. Should I so choose, I can revisit and redo that test. I can go back and make the perfect number but I don’t think that’ll happen.
Revisiting and posting that number isn’t going to change the fact that there was an issue that required remediation. I’ll know it aint a real perfect number. I know it’ll look pretty on the façade if I revisit. If all someone is looking at is my façade in assessing my qualifications to teach, I probably don’t wanna be there.
I like that you’re asked for your philosophies. The administrators want to see what the tools and strategies are that you first person personal are bringing to the teaching. Simply, you’re being asked to identify your/the resources and how you’re going to use those resources.
In a previous submission I gave my teaching philosophy in my piece, “Teaching Philosophy, Mine”.
This one asked for philosophy on teaching grammar to others and myself. Verbatim what I said.
I’m a believer in the “Completion Backwards Principle”. The principle isn’t just a “Tubes” album and it works. I’ve been using this technique for years and the continued success is why I know it works. Before being able to define the term, I was exposed to the “Completion Backwards” usage by my high school trade teacher.
One of the things I am is a Life Coach, a CPC (Certified Professional Coach). An imperative in the process is defining the whole. Figure out what the whole looks like and then you can go about creating it from the blank sheets of metal or paper. I’m also a tradesman, a Tinsmith. I take the “Smithy” moniker seriously and wear it with pride.
My philosophy says that the Teacher is entrusted with building the learners relationship with the word. The principles and theories of “building” are universal and applicable to learning language. You provide the materials or building blocks and set the learners up with tasks so they can achieve small accomplishments.
It’s ridiculous to expect anyone to create “a whole” from the collection of grammar parts without knowing what the whole is and how it is expected to function.
Give the learners a couple or three paragraphs from a book or newspaper and let them engineer the paragraphs backwards. For the purpose of the lesson, the selected text is deemed absolutely correct. Deeming the text absolutely correct allows you to introduce different types of narratives.
Let the learners build mistakes in to the provided content and then let the class tear the altered passages down. In later exercises, you can define the types of grammatical errors you want to see written in to replace the existing correct word or sequence of words.
I’m going to have my students plugging their stories in their native language in to a translation engine and let the learners go English Grammar all over the return!
There will come a time that I let the learners take my narratives apart. I’ll let the learners critique the Context, style and flow. I’ll have the students apply formal rules where I intentionally went with communicative expressionism or slang. I expect that exercise to provide some very interesting reading that we can all have fun with! If an understanding and appreciation of a little self deprecation.
These are three of my pieces that will get used for lesson purposes in my classroom.
Tools, Weapons and Toys
Ranked Ballot System
Music is going to have an important part in my class. I’m going to use all those terrific tools that others made possible for today’s teacher to use. While “School House Rock” isn’t a television staple, there is no reason it can’t be a classroom staple. Music triggers memory and that is a fact the teacher should not only know but put to good use!
Part of my own grammar learning philosophy is to not have structural knowledge interfere with my writing style. I’m not writing academic papers and am telling stories.
I don’t know if you can call wanting to be knowledgeable and possess the latest greatest information on your chosen path qualifies as philosophy. Paying attention to what is taking place in the field of English Language Study. I’ll be doing that.
Of course, I’ll continue to write as well.
G.R. Hambley © – all rights reserved
September 27, 2017