Today marks the 5th day of TEFL and the last day of my first week on the course. What a week! It’s so strange to think that a week ago I was still in sunny old Essex and now I am here in Florence. It has been a full on week and I can honestly tell you that I am pretty exhausted. My brain is pretty tired.
Today was an interesting but challenging day. I’m not sure if it is because I was tired but I felt I struggled a little today – there was a lot to take in. It was focused on grammar and all of the different areas of grammar and vocabulary and this is a topic that I have never been “strong” in when it comes to actual in-depth knowledge of it. Oh and please don't judge me if my grammar is a bit off in this article too, there is only so much thinking I can do in one day....
My day started early as I didn’t want to miss my train to Borgo San Lorenzo, I would’ve been late if I had missed it. Michael who works at the School was on the same train so we sat and chatted about the course during the journey. Michael introduced me to the very delicious pastries at a café on the walk to the school (thank you!) and I will definitely be visiting there again!
Nikoletta arrived not long after me and we began our sessions for the day with Kristin as our tutor. The first topic on the agenda was Teaching Vocabulary. We went over how the use of vocabulary and grammar can impact on the students and how the variety of words and uses can be very confusing for them so we talked about strategies to help. This was interesting and I picked up some really useful information in this session. Kristin is able to explain it all simply but also in-depth so it was easy to follow for the most part anyway.
We went through all of the different word classes (verb, adverb, conjunction, determiners, etc) and I’ll be honest I struggled to understand all of it. There are sub-everything and there is a lot to remember! Kristin said that the more we teach it the more we learn and remember of it. I hope so!
Nikoletta and I had to complete a few tasks where we had to identify all of the different word phrases in a variety of sentences. At this point my brain was not functioning at full capacity and there were quite a few that I couldn’t identify but luckily we went through them all together so I could see what I had missed. I am really going to have to keep going over this so I start to remember more.
Following a simple but delicious lunch (Pizza!) we had a bit of time to complete the prep for our demonstration of a communicative activity. We were both given the task of creating and presenting an idea for an activity we could use for beginners. Mine didn’t go to plan! I am so unfamiliar with what beginners may actually have already covered that I struggled to determine what I could do. Nikoletta’s demo was good and I picked up some good things that I could think about doing. The feedback was mixed but I completely understood. The constructive feedback was really helpful though, I’ll do better next time!
At the end of the day we went over the teaching schedule for next week, we all have a few more lessons to teach. I am excited. I’m already coming up with some ideas as to what I can teach in the lessons.
I just got back to the station in time for one of the faster trains so I was back in Florence for about 5.15pm. It’s warm and humid today so I was planning on making my way (very slowly) back to the apartment to relax for a bit but I ended up on the back of a friend’s scooter and riding up above the city to admire the beautiful view. Florence is incredible. The scooter ride in the traffic…. not so much. I think there was a fair amount of screams from me but it was fun, and a great way to get up there to see the view.
I stopped in at the supermarket on the way home and I’ve since just been relaxing with a delicious glass of wine and some treats i.e cheese!
I’m looking forward to a little rest this weekend but I am looking forward to the next week too!