On Sunday, I went to the ETJ EXPO in Nagoya, near Hoshigaoka. There were a lot of English teachers from Aichi who had come to learn more about teaching. There were also a lot of textbooks and English-teaching games available. I really liked looking at the selection of classic books that included activities for each chapter. They reminded me of some of the books we have at Big Bow, which I think are very helpful for students because it gives them the chance to explore and understand the text more.
Anyway, the first presentation I attended was about how collaborative activities help motivate students. Students will look forward to lessons if they know their classmates well. I also believe it’s very important for teachers to build rapport and trust with students because it shows that you care about them. Furthermore, I discovered that ice breaker activities can bring students together by breaking down walls of insecurity and shyness. When students can relate to one another and have fun together, along with the teacher, this creates a healthy learning environment.
The second presentation I went to was about using games to enhance learning, particularly with phonics. There are a lot of games you can come up with just by using a simple pack of cards. I learned that it’s important to be creative and flexible when teaching so that students are entranced (although we should be careful to discern what activities will be appropriate for the class we’re teaching). I discovered that allowing students the freedom to choose will also establish a positive relationship between teacher and students.
Overall, I had a lot of fun going to the ETJ EXPO. I met some of Lesley’s friends as well. They were very lovely and welcoming, so I didn’t feel out of place. I’ve only been at Big Bow for less than four months, but I feel like I’ve been learning and growing a lot in my teaching ability and understanding!