The Secret to a Great Lesson is a Math Formula?!?!

climbing up to the top

I mentioned in an earlier post that I changed regions recently. I am having a blast meeting new people and working with new coworkers. I have gotten very comfortable as of recent. I, however, was not so comfortable in the beginning.

Before I continue there is a little more to be discussed about my pedagogical stance. As an adolescent, I was not very good with authoritative roles; therefore, I have made it a point to not be an authority figure in my classroom. I learned to let students have the same amount of power as me in my classroom. I wanted to create an atmosphere for learning through creative outlets that would not be derived from a rigid structure. I wanted the learning process to be fluid and flexible.

Now my maxim is for American students, but I currently teach Japanese students. If you know anything about the Japanese education system, then you might be aware of the algorithmic style learning. This is learning, by way of the teacher, a proven system to get the correct results every time.  I never learned that way (maybe for math…), so it was hard to accept it at first. Now that I am in a new region I have been taught all these steps and formulas to help my students speak English! I never would have thought I would say it, but it really works. It is easier on me, as a teacher, and the students for both of us to know exactly what to do and when to do it.

I have heard this spouted as “McEnglish” by nay-sayers of this system. I would have to tell them to stop applying their given countries method of instruction and to open their minds to learning a little culture. The Japanese system and culture enjoys this style of learning. I would have to argue that no system is perfect and have thought about systems of education in earlier posts. As I sit back and take a look at the big picture, I am enjoying a back-to-basics methodology to my pedagogical toolbox and an all new approach to learning. The caveat to this whole approach is I am still not an authority figure in my classroom. I am a facilitator!

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Filed under instruction, Japan, learning, method, pedagogy

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