Mario Rinvolucri, Pilgrims, UK
At the end of a very intensive two week Teacher Training course on our Hilltop site overlooking Canterbury, UK, I will sometimes, in my exhaustion, wonder what the course may have meant to the participants, for real, as an integral part of their teaching life.
- At this stage I am normally aware of the warmth of the group that has just closed.
- I am aware of some of the positive and negative things that some participants have been though.
- In the case of a few participants, I wonder why they came on a course like this.
- I usually have serious doubts as what will happen when the participants get back to their familiar classrooms. Will the course turn out to have been just froth and
fun and theatre and a welcome escape from home routines?
Yes, I think it is right to continuously question the work I /we do and to wonder about its validity.
Do Pilgrims Teacher Training courses actually encourage positive change in
the classrooms that our participants go back to?
Is the money that participants spend on our courses or that the European agencies pay on their behalf, is this money well spent? After all, 1500 euros/ US$ is quite a lot of money, and a fortnight is quite a bite out of a teacher's summer vacation.
As the Northern Hemisphere autumn turns to winter I will normally get a trickle of e-mails and letters that are the real evaluation of the summer courses which I offer. They are the real evaluation, because they speak not of the course, but of returning to the classroom after the course.
Let me give you an example of just such an email:
Marie-Anne, from France, writes on December 30th,2002:
Do you have a nice break over the Christmas period?
I must admit, I needed mine. Teaching after a Pilgrims course is quite rewarding but also exhausting because you change a lot of things…..
although I must say I enjoy much more the actual teaching part of the classes, because something has changed in my attitude and I am probably less tense than I used to be. Does it make sense?
Any plans of coming over to France?
Lots of love.
I find this participant's brief report thrilling because of its calm, grounded, almost casual style. This is a real " thank you", not one of those more gushy ones.
It is a real " thank you" because it gives me firm news about Marie-Anne's classroom at three levels of the Bateson hierarchy of logical levels:
Behaviour level: "….. you change a lot of things …."
Attitude or Belief level: "……something has changed in my attitude….."
Identity/Ego level: "…….I am probably less tense than I used to be….."
To hell with Batesonian analysis - the bit that I really like in Marie-Anne's email is where she writes: " I enjoy much more the actual teaching part of the classes….."
February is a the time when many Northern Hemisphere colleagues decide how they want to spend July and August.
If you are thinking of a fortnight improving your teaching skills,
why not go over to THE PILGRIMS WEBSITE
www.pilgrims.co.uk and have a read of the TT course description sheets?
These are the courses on offer in 2003
What's new in Language Teaching?
Teaching English and other Languages to adult Immigrants
Creative Drama for the Language Classroom
Making exam Classes interesting
The Creative Pilgrims Teacher
English for Teachers
Methodology and Language for Primary Teachers ( 7-12 years)
Certificate in Teaching English to business People
Neuro-Linguistic-Programming for Teachers
Teaching through Multiple Intelligences
British Life, Language and Culture
Teaching other Subjects in English
Taking the Stress out of Modular Teaching
Skills of Teacher Training
Teaching large, mixed level classes humanistically
The Lexical Approach and spoken Grammar .
Teaching advanced Students
Now is the time.
|For full information about Pilgrims courses :