TEAMBUILDING IN THE CONTEXT OF JINGDOU
In a busy and fast-growing society, people still need support from each other. The term “team” now takes an important role in the society. Here in Jingdou, teamwork is given importance. We take time to gain awareness of the other teachers' practical applications of their educational ideologies and philosophies in the courses that they are teaching.
Last February 19, the Management Committee provided a workshop for the teachers across all levels, with focus on the Secondary courses. The said workshop lasted for about 2 hours. The speakers are teachers from various secondary courses. They were invited to present their respective outlines, course objectives, the challenges they face in teaching and how they deal with them. The first one to present was Ms. Luffey Chan with an outline for the Special English classes for Forms 5 to 6. She also brought up one relevant methods. “Do not just tell students what the words or sentences mean directly, instead, prepare a matching exercise.”
Next in line was Ms. Maria de Souza, presenting her Forms 5 to 6 General English course outline, challenges and strategies. She emphasized on encouraging class discussions about current events, hobbies and interests of the students in order to build their vocabulary. Forms 3 to 4's General English outline was presented by Ms. Susannah So. She highlighted on the more practical topics for students to learn such as stress management, food labeling, community involvement, threats to the environment, and newspaper reading. Moving forward to the lower levels of Forms 1 to 2, General English classes, Ms. May Chan presented her course outline. She views the students who are in this level as in their “transition stage”. An emphasis on boosting their social skills is the focus of her classes where students get to talk every session, thus, building their confidence.
The last one to present was Mr. Werner Botha, imparting his experiences for Oral English. “I use the communicative approach by using a lot of videos and newspapers. These activities try to prepare the students to use English as it is used in the real world, and all that this entails.”
Getting the students' trust by not making the classes “Chinese” is one of the techniques. Hence, a shift on its focus so that the students don't perceive what they are doing as 'learning' and getting everyone involved is the key to motivating them.
The workshop ended with a round-table discussion on tackling a specific issue such as translating Chinese idioms into English that can make learning more fun. However, they do not make much sense in English. Therefore, the teachers need to explain to the students the right words that should be used.
Although the workshop was brief, the organizers thought that this is a good start to encourage the teachers to brainstorm some ideas to help improve classroom instruction and learning, helping each other and working as a team.