Last month, a day I’d been dreading arrived: the GET Teaching Competition.
We’ve been hearing about this competition since we GET’s (Guest English Teachers) arrived at Orientation. It’s not difficult, per se – you need to develop a lesson plan, film one of your classes, and then submit a self-evaluation afterward. Not difficult, no, but stressful.
What made it even more stressful was its mandatory status. I’ve only found my teaching feet these last few months, and still am often more unsure than not that I’m doing the right thing in front of the class. Especially after speaking to Andrea about her lessons (and the hours of prep work she puts out both in and outside of school), I usually feel like a pretty shitty teacher. (Just the fact that I’m typing this at my desk instead of doing lesson planning attests to this).
But seeing as there was no way I was escaping from the mandatory submission deadline, I tightened my belt (or more accurately stopped blogging/facebooking/redditing at work), wrote a painstaking lesson plan, balanced a video camera on some chairs at the back of the class, and filmed the lesson.
I’d come up with what I thought was a great lesson plan. I chose my 5.2 class (by far the best of all my classes). In grade 5 we were doing directions. So my co-teacher, HM, and I devised some activities for the kids. We made a map board game for them – simple rules in that they roll the die and then direct their partner to the location associated with the number.
What we did to make it interesting and more motivational, however, was to use a map of Suamgol, the painted village behind the school, as the game board. So I drew up a map using real locations that the students would be familiar with (with rough approximations of geography since my geography sucks).
Then – and this was HM’s brilliant idea – we filmed ourselves in Suamgol a few days before the class using the key expressions that the students would need to use for their game play.
(I’d lost my voice earlier that week so I sound a little squeaky lol).
My awesome co-teacher, HM, and I. Filmed courteously by the 6.2 homeroom teacher.
All that we needed then was to film it! And it turned out not to bad. Watching myself wasn’t nearly as uncomfortable as I’d thought it’d be, and though I finished my self-evaluation while sick in bed in between bouts of expelling various liquids from my body (this was taking place on my first sick day from work), I managed to send it off on time.
HM and I were pretty confident about the results, and so we eagerly awaited the list of finalists, to be posted on May 15th.
Alas, there were so many submissions this year that the results were only posted today.
And we didn’t make it.
Lol jks! We totally made the round of finalists!! WHOOOO!
The downside of this is that we now are entered into a second round that requires an open class (so the judges come and sit in the back of the class and make scary notes on scary notepads while judging you with scary, emotionless eyes).
Buuuut I only have to worry about that next week. Thank goodness. In the meantime, I feel like I should crack open some champagne. Or wine. I could settle for wine.
I’m astounded, disbelieving, and incredibly grateful to have made the final cut since the regional coordinator said competition was “very steep” this year. Even if I only get 3rd prize on the second round, it’s certainly boosted my confidence that I’m at least somewhat on the right track for teaching (despite my sister’s references to me being a bad teacher). So here’s a shout out to everyone who’s in the finalists and made honourable mentions! Congrats 🙂
Now only an hour more until I finish my workday and can crack open that bottle of celebratory wine.