Creative lazybones?

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.

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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…. 🙂

 

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About Hana Tichá

I'm an EFL teacher based in the Czech Republic. I've been teaching English to learners of all ages for more than 20 years. I love metaphors and inspiring discussions concerning teaching, learning and linguistics.
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4 Responses to Creative lazybones?

  1. Peter Pun says:

    Great post. Sounded like real teaching, and just real life! Your confessions don’t fall on deaf ears, I’m the same with cookbooks, blog posts, other literature. Maybe I should be more patient. These days I feel I spend more time writing about what I do than actually getting to grips with it. That’s something I should think about…!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hana Tichá says:

      Well, writing about what you do refines your ideas so no worries. I sometimes go through similar periods of theorizing. Cherish them is you can; I personally feel very uncomfortable when I have no need to write and share. This is a signal that there’s something wrong with me. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by, Peter.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. M. Makino says:

    I also gravitate towards teaching methods that place more of an emphasis on improvisation, i.e. not planning. There are fortunately plenty of theoretical justifications for this. I feel quite insecure around language teachers who talk about following meticulously laid-out lesson plans and even months-long curricula, which usually manifests in loud extolling of Dogme or TBLT values. I wonder sometimes how much this is self-serving and due to my simply not liking to plan myself.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hana Tichá says:

      You say you feel insecure around language teachers who talk about meticulously laid-out lesson plans. I’d say that those teachers would feel extremely insecure having to teach a Dogme lesson, for example. So I think it all comes down to our preferences – something I shouldn’t say openly because it’s all about the learner’s needs and preferences, right? 😉 I mean, it’s a widely accepted truth that learners are different, but I still feel that we teachers are supposed to be the same; we should follow some rigid set of rules when planning and teaching. And I can’t say I like it.

      Anyway, thanks for reading and commenting, Mark. It’s much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

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