Here’s an easy task I often set in conference sessions: Look at these diagrams; what do they show? They look not unlike dance formations…
Yes, obviously – classes. But where is the teacher in each image and what is he/she doing? The teacher has not nipped to the bathroom or out for a few photocopies and a coffee in the bottom left image, but is still in the room.
And what are the differences between the bottom two classes? Why is the one on the right made up of psychedelic fruit Polos or Cheerios, rather than just green ones? Think for a moment.
I have never used course books in my classes, so games have always been part of my lessons and, to tell the truth, they have turned to be an extremely successful teaching strategy.
Why are games so successful when it comes to teaching and learning?
GAMIFICATION AS AN EDUCATIONAL TOOL.
Nina MK, Ph.D.
All the world is a stage, and all the people are merely players. To play a role, to use games in everyday life is in the human nature. It is no wonder that using games in education is a subject which keeps cropping up, to the extent that a new term, gamification, was coined circa 2002; it has been floating around ever since. All work and no play makes Jack and Jane dull children. All play and no work makes them ignorant children. As a teacher, I believe the topic deserves discussion on several levels.
Reflections on a Lesson and Other Subjects.
Nina MK, Ph.D.
When I graduated from Southampton University with a degree in Politics and International Studies, I stumbled into the world of insurance and financial services. I'd like to say that it had always been my ambition to be a life assurance salesperson (!) but I would be lying. The truth is, it was the first job I secured and not really knowing what I wanted to do I thought I'd give things a go.
The first activity – which fans out into five activities - ended with so much laughter I couldn’t speak for tears. The second I had originally intended as a speaking ‘warmer’, but ended up as the basis for the whole lesson as it ran for over half the class (the trainees were getting so much from it, I let it run)! The joys of affordance. Both involve images and moving around. Both turned out to be more motivating than I could ever have dreamed of. One was a fantastic group builder, the other an amazing ice breaker. The third activity is a way of reviewing the first two. Ready?
- Teacher and career development - World Teachers' Day is celebrated every year on October 5th. To celebrate this event, we would like to know your feelings about being a teacher. What inspired you to become a teacher in the first place? What are those moments that happen which make it feel like a worthwhile profession? How have you evolved in your career since becoming a teacher?
My journey in the teaching career began when I was 18 years old and developed in two different areas at the same time over the years. I had just finished secondary school and I decided that I would study to become a PE teacher, which I did.
Possibly because my greatest influence as a teacher has been my mother. A teacher of Modern Greek, my mother embodies everything I admire in teachers - that is, a sense of sharing, gratitude and kindness. She has always been a true educator who sees students as individuals with unique personalities, needs and strengths. Someone who teaches beyond the classroom walls and incorporates students' reality in their teaching. I have to admit that she still influences my teaching choices and has been the main reason I've come to realize that teaching is more than a profession, that it's my call.
The words on the back of my new CELTA certificate were awfully comforting:
“They [those with a standard pass] will continue to need guidance to help them develop and broaden their range of skills as teachers in post”.
Madrid, 2011. With those words still ringing in my ears, I went for my first meeting with my new director of studies. Armed with a shiny new notebook and pen, I was ready to embark on my teaching career.
The meeting went something like this:
D.O.S. “Hi, David. These are your new classes. The resources are there behind you. Any questions?”.