Teach English in Xinxing Zhen - Yancheng Shi

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I chose to use topic number 88, personal teaching experience. I found this topic particularly interesting, not because of the amount of experience that I currently possess, but for the impression that was left on me from a teaching experience last year. That experience has driven me to pursue additional teaching opportunities, starting with enrolling in this course. These opportunities will potentially have a large impact on my life in the upcoming years. I currently work as an engineering manager specializing in railroads and transit with emphasis on at-grade crossing designs. I have over twenty-five years of experience and am considered an expert in the field. My company recently opened an office in India and asked me to travel there to teach a class of recent graduate students on engineering basics and procedures for entry level engineers, along with an emphasis on grade crossing designs. I jumped at the opportunity as I love to travel and learn about other cultures, and having never been to Asia, I thought it would be a wonderful experience. The assignment was in July 2019 and was for three weeks in duration. I was to teach a group of about twenty-five students who were new employees with the company. Throughout the course of my career I have mentored and tutored many new employees, which has always provided me with a great level of personal satisfaction. I had rarely taught or gave presentations to large groups of employees, so I was fully aware this was going to be a new challenge and learning experience for me. Prior to leaving, there were a few of the students that I had previously spoken with on the telephone, although I hadn’t met any of them in person. My teaching time was scheduled for about two hours each day. I did not have a set agenda when I started the course, so most of my daily lesson plan was created without preparation. I was pleasantly surprised on how attentive the students were to every word that came out of my mouth. I soon discovered that when I asked a question to the class, many arms shot into the air, with hopes that they would be chosen to provide an answer. Not once did a student leave the room for a bathroom break while I was teaching, nor did they have a disruptive conversation with another student. Their attention was completely on the material that I was teaching. I found the experience very rewarding and something that I will cherish forever. Although this ESL class is primarily focused to learn how to teach English to students, I found there were several items that would have been helpful to my teaching experience in India. I would certainly do things differently faced with a similar opportunity in the future. I reflected on several things that I did well, including a strong emphasis on making the class enjoyable and fun. I used gap fills, games, multiple choice scenarios, and found that I tried to engage the students, making sure they were included equally with the amount of attention they received. My last day was special as I arranged to watch “Unstoppable”, an American movie about trains. The class absolutely loved the movie, and we discussed it afterwards focusing on some of the scenarios that would not be possible. If I am given a similar opportunity to teach in the future, I would use what I have learnt in this course. I would base my lessons utilizing the Engage, Study and Activate stages along with preparing a lesson plan for the course. I would be much more diligent in establishing the goals of the class and start by being much more prepared. I would to reduce my teacher talk time and give the students more time to discuss their goals with the class, along with their goals for their future with the company.