Teach English in BAyantaolai Sumu - Alashan Meng — Alxa

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I’ve had the opportunity to work at an nontraditional language school, where the groups were reduced (5-student limit) or students could opt on having individual classes. This gave me a new take on how classes should actually feel like, what kinds of activities work better on different situations, and forced me into adapting myself to different ways of learning. Every student has their particularities. Different personalities and backgrounds require different approaches. For a teacher, as important as the knowledge of a given subject is the ability of making it relevant to a student, so they can connect with it and absorb the information. For that to happen, there needs to be a connection between teacher and student. When the student starts seeing the teacher as a facilitator, not a superior, they tend to feel more comfortable with making mistakes and more open to being corrected and taking in the lessons and everything the tutor has to transfer. Having that as a guiding thought, the student should be the center of the class, not the teacher. Classes shouldn’t follow only the logical sequence of grammar topics designed for specific levels. They should actually have the students’ needs and experiences as the focus and guideline as to where to start and in which direction to go. Knowing what sort of activities they have as a hobby, what genre of music they prefer, whether they like watching movies or not, and bringing that to the classroom as subjects and material will have more engaged students and, consequently, they will retain the contents taught. Seeing themselves in the material, knowing that class was designed for them makes the experience of learning more attractive. The way great part of schools work is by having a standard material, following a sequence, which if the student misses a class or is unable of fully grasping the concept, is up to them to make up for it at home. In my view, knowledge should not be imposed. Students don’t have to adapt to a school. Each person has their strong suits that should be explored to make learning relevant and fun. The role of a teacher is to grant the access to knowledge. When we fail on doing that, we deny the right to education. One of the most reported reasons to learn English is to improve professionally. The desire to evolve is innate in today’s society, as is the drive to create connections. We grow by learning with each other and sharing with one another. We must first connect, so then we can earn their trust and attention. From that point on, our knowledge is much more pertinent to the ones willing to receive it. Learning happens in the intersubjectivity. The fundamental of personal development is connection, being connection the base and development the consequence. Teaching and learning are not solitary acts, rather solidary. For the teacher, it means relating to the student to a point where you know their strong features and how to use them to potentialize their learning. The student, in return, even without noticing, helps the teacher by signaling how efficient that approach is, giving live feedback through their response and adhesion to the activities. The entire process does not depend on only one person. The student should be willing to learn, the teacher must be attentive to how the student reacts to different types of activities. Only a teacher who is able to establish a connection with the students is capable of assessing this. If the classes are not interesting or relevant, there is no perceived value of the content by the student. Where there is no rapport there is no learning. Schools are not buildings. Schools are people. If people are always changing why should schools remain the same as they were over a century ago? Education must evolve to meet current expectations. Agreeing with Paulo Freire, ‘Education doesn’t change the society. Education changes people, and people change the society.’