…or so I keep telling myself. Since IATEFL, I have had some time to think and reflect and although I join heartily in the chorus of everyone who has blogged about how inspiring, exhilirating, edifying, rewarding and also marvellously manic it all was, I have to look at the other side: what I should have done and what I could have done better.
I should have stayed for the Tuesday sessions – I shall next time.
I should have gone to a lot more talks – I shall plan better next time.
I have agonised over these two thing so much. All that wasted opportunity and all those beautifully crafted talks that I missed.
I should have thanked and said goodbye to so many people, but I’m sure they will forgive me and we will see each other again on the circuit, no doubt.
And then there’s my talk. Solipsistic though this verbalisation may be, I am so exasperated with myself for not delivering everything I had planned and doing it too fast and South Africanising too much (it happens when I get excited). I’ve watched me on a video taken by Willy Cardoso and an urgent amount of focussed self-reflection is to be undertaken.
I’m also not a little abashed at having inadvertently stolen the ever-accommodating Anthony’s warmer. *’_’*
I was SUPPOSED to start by singing a song, but my best advisor said, in obvious emotional pain, “PLEASE don’t embarrass your audience; it’s really not recommended. I’m BEGGING you not to sing. Say you would like to, but then don’t – please.” So I didn’t. Probably for the best, really!
But then I forgot the bit about African story-telling and how in Swaziland – where I grew up – it is the old people who tell the stories. They tell the story through, pausing after each rhythmic phrasing, and asking the children to repeat what they have just heard. At the end, the children are asked to retell the entire story and are corrected for any errors of fact, language or expression. This is done until the story, and the lesson, is learned sufficiently well.
And then there was all that stuff about my classroom being like a rehearsal studio. I think it is like that, because the students bring to the rehearsal stuff they are able to do and demonstrate how well they do it. In that designated practice space, they begin to build on those skills and experiment with what they think they may like to be able to do. As a group we then refine and hone and maybe reform that and practise it until it is as good as it can be and they leave the rehearsal studio better able than when they arrived.
I forgot to say all that. And I didn’t sing……but I’ll let it be just now.