Monitoring: Context & Emotional Proximity

When you observe 41 teachers, you learn a lot. This is what I did during the last 5 weeks. My task was to observe my participants’ microteaching, and give them feedback on what I noticed. The most memorable teaching behavior I observed throughout this experience was the different monitoring styles, notably the “too-close-for-comfort” teacher, and the teacher I like to call “the avoider”.

*Disclaimer: the avoider was a teacher who never gave feedback on his/her students’ performance throughout the lesson.

During our last class together, I thought it would be important for me to help them become aware of how these different monitoring styles might affect their students. With the inspiration of a quick 5-minute, pre-class brainstorm with my colleague, Michael Griffin, I decided to give my participants insight into their monitoring habits, and did a little microteaching of my own; I became the teacher, half of the participants took the role of students, and the other half were observers.

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Preparing for Confidence

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There is really something to be said for feeling prepared. When I know I’m ready, I worry less. I can spend my time focusing in my lesson or the task at hand. When I don’t feel ready, I lose focus, and in the end, I lose confidence in myself.

I spent last weekend in Seoul with Tana Ebaugh and Kevin Giddens, preparing for our upcoming KOTESOL National Conference presentations at KAIST in Daejeon on Saturday, May 14.   As you can see, we were into some pretty serious stuff. As one of us stated, “we were really geeking out.”

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