I’ve just watched Luke Meddings’ presentation of Twenty steps to teaching unplugged along with his Found objects: How Picasso’s bull’s head can be used in the ELT classroom. The first point to note is that when you copy the title from the page and paste it into your blog post, it’s already loaded with the hyperlink, saving me time on saving this quick post, opening it back up and inserting one. Thanks for that. I’m feeling rather productive and de-stressed at the moment. What the? 

Yesterday, I posted on someone else’s blog asking them how they actually plan SOWs for ESOL. I have never been shy about how frustrating I find it, or how fellow tutors/trainers skirt around it, or how much is involved and I can never get to self-actualisation of my own learning. Admittedly, it’s partly because of the other revelation today; that I am in fact a serial procrastinator. Not in the common-belief sense that I find other things to do apart from work, but that I search and search for answers that don’t exist, and have developed some pretty negative behaviours towards this without even realising them.

I came across Dogma. I’ve watched the above two seminars and I’m feeling pretty at one at the moment. It makes sense to me. What doesn’t make sense is how to fit teeny bits of grammar, phrases etc into lessons, when they don’t seem to fit anywhere else. I like coursebooks. They offer comfort to a novice. They offer tested methods. They offer stability for a tutor, knowing that if a question comes up, and you haven’t learnt the grammar for it yourself, then you can flip through to the back of the book on break to find the answers.

I work outreach. All the more reason to travel light, yet I teach 2 sessions back to back, and find myself dragging a suitcase with a dodgy wheel up cobbled streets. Then I get to lesson and realise that the person before me in the office didnt fill up the paper in the photocopier drawer, and my stuff is sat in ‘load paper’ purgatory. Learners are transient in nature, but particularly so with the client group I work with. Learners don’t attend every session. they can start at any point in the term. I want set course dates, but see the benefit of having rolling classes for learners who want to still be involved, or for those who drop off. Afterall, I’m trying to encourage change in people’s lives. Being part of transforming lives even.

The sessions have left me with many questions. Mainly on a practical level of how to teach using a Dogma approach when using a syllabus. My intial ideas are to use it in the classroom, and possibly give learners homework for the evidencing side of it. getting homework from learners is difficult. I suppose it’s encouraging a change in culuture and expectation in my classroom.

I’m about to research ‘Dogma when teaching to a syllabus’. I’ll update you how I get on. It’s embarrassing putting your thoughts out there publicly. People don’t have boundaries online. You leave yourself open to some know-it-alls who crush your self-esteem and lead you back to procrastination. If you don’t agree with me, explain why. Help me see. It never ceases to amaze me how vicious and precious teachers can be. I’m learning. Help me learn and I will help someone else learn.

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