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Lindsay Richman
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I can see why attempts to "quantify" and "standardize" teacher performance are attractive. However, I agree that there are a lot of independent variables that determine student performance. Honestly, I do not know too much about VAM and need more information. I'm assuming that this model takes student improvement into account? Otherwise most teachers will start flocking to wealthier schools, especially if merit-based pay is allotted. I am, of course, an advocate of merit-based pay and performance bonuses. :)
Lindsay Richman is now following TESOL
Aug 19, 2010
Hi, I taught EFL part-time in college and decided to return to it after the economy changed. I wanted to pursue a career with a lot of flexibility, and I believe ELT offers just that. Wit the right credentials, I have the opportunity to work almost anywhere in the world, with any age group, in any setting. Moreover, I can go into administration, consulting, or publishing/editing. My ultimate dream would be to design and publish engaging and helpful curriculum. Having said that, both of my parents are educators and I grew up in an academic household. So while I do appreciate the multicultural environment, I also believe it's in my blood to teach. The English language fascinates me as well. So many great works of art - whether in print or media - are composed of English. I'd like to share my knowledge with anyone who's hungry to learn.
CORRECTION: Brock, not Bill, sorry.
Toggle Commented Aug 19, 2010 on What We Have in Common at The TESOL Blog Spot
I currently teach adult ESL at a private language school in New York. However, I am pursuing a masters that leads to K-12 certification. As a Native English Speaking Teacher (NEST), I agree with Bill that it is important to get very good teacher training. As a "NEST," I definitely lacked declarative knowledge of grammar. I never remembered learning the rules. When I first started teaching, I had never taught grammar. I found myself saying, "I know it's right, but I cannot explain why." I suppose this epitomizes my grasp of procedural knowledge and deficiency of declarative knowledge. It was embarrassing, though. While my "global learners" brushed it off, my "local learners" were frustrated. Why didn't I know the rules? I was a native speaker, and therefore a presumed expert of English. I also recall my embarrassment when a student asked me if a verb was transient or intransient. I admit that I had no idea what he meant. I felt that knowing all the tenses was mastering grammar, but that was just the tip of a very large iceberg. The only way I have learned grammar is to find a good book and teach it. I recommend the Azar series. They're very teacher-friendly. At the beginning, I tried just doing the exercises, which was somewhat helpful. However, actually teaching was much, much better. I had to explain to students, who in turn helped educate me. I actually love teaching grammar now, because I feel like I am learning. Even yesterday, when introducing gerunds that follow "to go, " I learned a new rule. I still cannot explain everything -although I haven't completely taught all three books :) - but I feel much more confident. I've also gotten better at learning inductively myself - recognizing a pattern that I can then explain to students. So, I agree that every English speaker - native or not - needs to understand how to explain the language.
Toggle Commented Aug 19, 2010 on What We Have in Common at The TESOL Blog Spot
Lindsay Richman is now following The Typepad Team
Aug 19, 2010