In workshops with elementary teachers in Taiwan the trainers worked collaboratively with the teachers so they could raise their concerns, share their experiences, and learn through collaboration with their peers and experienced trainers. In the workshops trainer Steven Murray kept coming across these questions:
- How can we manage our classes to maximize the learning opportunities for our young learners?
- How can we deal with mixed ability classes?
- How can we incorporate aspects of culture into our English classrooms?
- How can we use literature in a more attention-grabbing and purposeful way?
These issues are common to teachers in many countries and below are some suggestions that Steven shared with us, for dealing with them. These techniques were incorporated into the workshops with theTaiwanese teachers, so that they learnt by doing.
The teachers responded extremely positively to this approach with one telling us that:
After so many years of teaching, I was starting to feel exhausted. I was exhausted because I had run out of all the tricks I had to make English learning delightful to my students. My career seemed to have come to a dead end. My passion was still alive, but my flesh was weak and my brain drained. I was in the middle of great confusion in terms of being a teacher or not. However, the five-day training course lit me up. I am now loaded with a lot of great new ideas to explore a new world with my students.