English Teacher – Part 1

I used to be terrified to teach English. I felt Maths and ICT were my strongest, so in the early days of my teaching career, when I had lesson observations, I would always opt to teach Maths or ICT. After about 2 years of teaching, I decided to tackle this ‘English’ business. It was my ‘goliath!’ A mountain of a challenge that I need to face and conquer! I made this decision because I realised that it is hard to teach what you do not enjoy or what you are not sure of!

If your pupils are struggling in a particular subject, search yourself! Examine yourself ! You may be the cause! I once met a teacher who was complaining bitterly about her pupils not doing well in SPaG (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar). As we progressed in the discussion, I realised that she did not like SPaG at all. Partly because of her lack of confidence with the technical terminologies associated with it. Subconsciously, she had passed this dislike of SPaG to her pupils.

How confident are you with teaching English? Are you creative with it? Do the children enjoy their English lessons? Or are you a textbook teacher? Textbooks can be great when used as a teaching aid not when used as ‘the teacher’.

So one of the first things I sought to learn was the basic story structure. If all pupils know the basic narrative structure, they can invent or even recycle stories by themselves. A basic five-part story structure looks a mountain and will have:

Opening – Once upon a time…

Build up – One day…

Problem – Suddenly…

Resolution – Eventually…

End – Finally…

Here is an example in practice:

Story writing

One sunny day, somewhere in Lekki, two sisters; Tomi and Tolu were playing outside their home. They had played hide and seek, got fed up of that game and where now playing ‘it’. It was Tolu’s turn to be ‘it’ and she was performing terribly. She did not like been ‘it’ because she was younger and could not run as fast as Tomi. This meant that she had to be ‘it’ for a long time!

After about ten minutes into the game, Tomi started feeling frustrated with Tolu as the game was becoming boring. “I am going to give you one more chance to catch me and if you don’t, I am going inside the house!” she declared. Just as she took the next step,

 

Can you continue this story? Or give it to your pupils to finish up?

 

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