So 2012 comes to an end with most of the world preparing for a big blow out tonight (I say most of the world as us poor teachers in Turkey have a full day at work today followed by one day off to get over the late night and inevitable hangover) and then it’s time to say hello to:
I’m not much of one for resolutions or generic hopes and dreams for a fresh start. However, there are some simple, really simple things that could make my life as a teacher of EFL so much better and easier… Most likely, these things will continue to bug for much of the new year but I thought I’d get them out there in the hope that some positive changes come about. Anyway, here’s my 2013 teaching wishlist:
- A reliable PTT (Turkish Postal Service) - not immediately relevant to teaching but I am still waiting for my Masters certificate, transcripts and other paperwork that was apparently sent nearly 5 weeks ago.
- A reliable 21st century standard internet connection in class that doesn’t require me to pre-load a 2 minute YouTube clip 15 minutes before we will need it just so it can be played uninterrupted.
- On the subject of computers, while the retro look may appeal to some, actual retro computer equipment that strains to display basic files on the class blog or even run Windows XP smoothly is not so appealing. Upgrades please!
- Less of the summative testing and more of the formative stuff, especially as that is what we ‘officially’ do anyway.
- Less paper - the piles and piles of worksheets, homework tasks and grammar explanations for primary school kids that I see concern me both pedagogically and ecologically.
- Some room in the syllabus for a bit of improvisation, creativity and LEARNING - we are simply too overloaded with stuff to do/cover/prep for at present.
- For professional development to be seen by all concerned as a useful opportunity for, well, development rather than a chore to be endured or a set of motions to be gone through.
- Early and appropriate action for students having difficulties in class - I don’t mean punishments or singling out, just recognition of problems and a pro-active response with plenty of help and support for students and teachers alike.
- And finally, having 31st December 2013 as a holiday would be nice!
So simple but I can’t help but wonder…. too much to ask?