It’s fun being me as an ESL teacher. While my classes sometimes resemble a literary circle, there are times when they feel like film festivals or even music concerts… And yes, there are other times when they are as silent as a church. All in all, teaching is easy because the rapport I have with students allows for positive learning experiences to take place.
I wonder if we, teachers, are aware of the side effects that a project can have when we tell students to use their creativity. Personally, I always look forward to being impressed by my students’ productions.
Part of what I enjoy most about teaching is celebrating students’ success. I believe that my students make strong collaborative and intellectual efforts because they feel engaged, and because they know I will devote some time to looking at their work and give them feedback in a variety of ways.
I must say that when I ask students to be creative, my instruction includes a very generous amount of freedom in terms of the language they use and the images they decide to portray. The one thing I always ask them to keep in mind is decency and appropriateness, for I must just get the greatest idea of showing it to the whole school – or put it in my blog, for that matter. They seldom disappoint me.
We are currently looking at how language and images can be used for persuasion; at how marketing understands their power and, thus, takes advantage of it in order to convince people to buy products of follow trends. Similarly, we have looked how specific language is selected to target a specific age group / social background; and we have, likewise, analysed the values that need to be present when addressing different audiences.
So, in this occasion, as if we were all part of a publicity firm and we had to choose the best videos for selling products.
I am always afraid of sounding like a broken record, but students truly make the most of the opportunities they are given to use their voice and their creativity. In this particular experience, I am quite pleased to see them all taking specific roles, considering their strengths, and understanding the responsibilities their choice of role implies.
I must be honest and admit that at times I feel somewhat uneasy as certain students are about to present their productions, for do not know if they have been sensitive about everyone’s reaction, but this feeling vanishes when I see what they are able to do. At any point, I guess this is also part of being a teacher: taking risks and exploring ways of appreciating a learning experience in manners unfamiliar to us.
This is an example of the great infomercials my students produced.
The video for the post was inserted in August, 2014.