My first blog post for this instruction internship is about nerves (a subject, I am sure, many other interns have written about). I did not think that I would have this specific internship opportunity because I am heading down the public libraries path, but luckily I have been welcomed and encouraged. My previous experience has not been unbelievably formal. I have reflected on these experiences to develop some of my ideas and goals for this internship and the corresponding course (User Instruction).
I taught ESL courses in Seoul, Korea for 8 and a half months in 2010 through 2011.When I started work the first day, I was just tossed into the classroom with no training and little to no experience. I was able to observe some classes for two days, but I was on my own after. I quickly realized that I needed some guidance, and I borrowed a book on teaching English as a foreign language. I learned some basic techniques, but my teaching style and techniques were something I just developed independently. After having taught for several months, I realized that I was able to survive my classes with little to no anxiety with moderate success. However, I had to move past merely covering the content. Eighty percent of my students were comprehending, but I had to reach the other 20% . I did some research in some ESL forums, through some teacher’s supplemental texts, and by observing and collaborating with other teachers. I was able to increase my success and saw my students exceed the goals set for them by the school’s administration. My students comprehended more and were eager to be involved in class. Working with the students was less like pulling teeth.
While my time in Korea was in no way an example of exceptional teaching, or even good teaching, I was and still am, very proud of what I accomplished. I suppose that I am aware of what I need to improve, and this is what I am most self-conscious about. I am still quite nervous about how rusty my teaching is, how teaching English speaking students compares to ESL students, and if my teacher mentality will come back; but I guess the only way to find out is to try? Hopefully my nerves will calm down.