Teaching has become an exercise is self-scrutiny as the class is so small. I feel as if I am watching myself and I have time to self-reflect almost all the time. As I turn to the board my last objective gels and the next objective germinates. This morning the passive emerged and as I coaxed the structures out of the student it became clearer and clearer. “Who is responsible?” I asked. “I don’t know,” he said. “Exactly,” I said. “Exactly!” he said and the air relaxed. I’m so tired, but I’m so focussed. It is just flowing and easy and obvious. Move around the room – talk, ask, pause – perfect third conditional – we all smile.
What do they REALLY need? What can I give them in 5 short days that will allow them to go away re-energised, hopeful, confident? How do I make sure that this thing that I do is a thing that is valid? How do I keep on doing it with the same conviction?
I know they don’t need the theory – they never need the theory. They think they need the theory, but they don’t. Today they needed words – words that were precise, right and worked together. Chunking is where it is – always give the collocates – always give the context – “drug trial/ murder trial/ horse trial” – to trial a drug, to try a case, in cases like this, in case, just in case, just now, justify, clarify, so that there is no misunderstanding, so that we can move forward together, go ahead, up ahead, beyond, by the time that…. I love this – I love the way it unrolls, I love that my thoughts are so clear.