I’ve always seen myself as a creative type of person (and teacher). And I’ve always considered creativity a virtue. Another trait I’ve always admired is diligence. I see hard-working people as consistent, thorough, conscientious, and systematic. Let’s face the fact, though; I’m pretty lazy and my inventiveness and creativity spring from pure indolence.
That’s probably why I hate reading recipes, manuals, and teacher’s books. That’s why I hate writing (and reading) detailed lesson plans. That’s why I’m so attracted to Dogme teaching.
If I ever come across a fifty-tips-for-your-English-lessons type of publication, I usually rejoice at first. However, I’ll most likely put it away soon. These books look like cookbooks and that’s why so many people love them, I guess. They are so neat and well-arranged. Everything is in the right place and category. The reality is, however, that if you want to find something quickly, you never do because as if by magic, it suddenly disappears from your sight. If you do find what you need in the end, it’s often too late. Or you stumble upon it by chance; when you don’t need it at all. You say: How cool! I’m going to use this. In effect, you never do because you forget as soon as you utter the pledge.
Rather than grappling with these ‘cookbooks’, I much prefer reading blogs which share tips for lessons. But once the post starts with a long introduction stating the level, timing, aims, etc., I soon simmer down.
Apart from being somewhat impatient, I’m becoming slightly grumpy. I’ve recently come to a conclusion that teacher’s books are getting more and more confusing these days. For example, it bugs me enormously when the transcripts are in one section but the key is in a different part of the book. Only an idiot keeps flipping through the book feverishly in an attempt to find the answer to a disputable question, often as late as in the actual lesson. Well, I suppose the authors count on the fact that teachers spend hours preparing for their lessons so they have plenty of time to get familiar with the structure of the teacher’s book. Obviously, there are no surprises for well-prepared teachers. Did I mention that I sometimes underestimate the difficulty of an exercise and thus I have to consult the key right in front of my students? Humiliating, isn’t it?
Now that I’m looking at what I’ve written, I seem to be a truly complicated person. But here’s the point of the post: I like to shape my own ideas to avoid all the trouble related to ready-made content. It doesn’t mean that I don’t get inspired by other teachers and professionals out there. However, if I use some of their ideas, they must be adaptable to various levels, ages, and teaching contexts. Otherwise, I can’t be bothered. Sorry. I’m too
lazy creative, you know…. 🙂