The classes for the autumn semester started, and I am back teaching Japanese at uni. Meeting a new group of students was a true pleasure for me, all the more after a long summer break!
Due to greater demand for beginner levels, I am teaching the first level of Japanese. This has turned out to be a very good opportunity for me to revise all of my materials.
Every week after each lesson, I make a record in a little notebook about the topics I covered, the students’ reactions and questions, and what I should cover again in the next lesson. This notebook helps me greatly, as it reminds me of the weaknesses in my explanation and presentation of materials.
Based on that, I have amended my slides, materials and the order of the topics, from which I’ve already gained better outcomes from the students this term. I personally believe that making records of students’ questions is very helpful for further improvement, simplifying the lesson content, and time management.
Mindset on teaching styles
There are many different styles of teaching.
Some teachers perform a charismatic role and lead a discussion with more active students in lecturing. Some teachers are quieter and let students lead the discussion.
Applying the method I learnt from the psychology seminar in September, I found my mindset for teaching:
I must make eye contact with and talk to all the students (if the number of students is less than 20).
I must ask open questions to generate their knowledge.
I must give answers to students’ questions.
I must facilitate pair/group work.
And so on.
This surprised me when I discovered the hidden mindset!
Because of this, I realised why other teachers’ methods that contradict my mindset have made me uncomfortable sometimes. But that’s now changing. Many different teaching methods exist to enhance learning effectively, and it’s always great to try out and use different methods even though they contradict one’s mindset.
So, trying different teaching styles is my new goal for this semester.
It would be important to identify the most comfortable style for the class.
I look forward to seeing how my old mindset will be influenced by the new challenge.