Here’s a guest blog post of one of the wonderful teachers I met while implementing the British Council Teacher Leadership Training Project in Montenegro (2014/2015).
It takes a dedicated and enthusiastic teacher to teach young learners as it is both amazing and extremely challenging.
We teach and learn from them; and every class is a new opportunity to grow, learn, share and improve ourselves both as teachers and people.
Zorka Radonjic tells us about her teacher’s journey.
IF YOU CAN’T EXPLAIN IT TO KIDS, YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND IT YOURSELF
I think I didn’t understand the essence of teaching up to the moment when I entered the classroom packed with five-year-olds. Then the whole new world opened in front of me; the world of smiling faces and glimmering eyes. I smiled back and it all started. I fell in love with teaching.
KISS – Keep it simple and simpler
There is a great difference between teaching young learners and teenagers. I prefer teaching the young ones. Once you sense what they need, it’s amazing what you can do and achieve. There is nothing a child can’t do, if you make it simple. I read it somewhere: If you can’t make it simple, then YOU don’t understand it. It soon became my motto. And it is THAT simple. Find a way to amuse them and you will teach them. They’ll learn and be happy, and even better you will feel happier and more fulfilled, and I dare say a better person. All of us learn. They teach me to understand their needs so I can teach them English. It’s a mutual learning and understanding that goes without much saying or explaining. The only thing that you must do is try. And give them credit, they’ll surprise you. I know I was several times with their answers. They never stop to amaze me with their simple, but on the other hand meaningful answers.
Happy teaching, happy learning
Create a classroom full of love and joy and you will succeed. But not in completing a curriculum objective, but a life goal. To teach them something and shape the world they live in. And it’s such a wonderful world. Once you made an impact, it will last for a long time. Or, at least, I think so. Just give it a try. They won’t mind anything you do and they won’t think it’s a big deal if you don’t succeed in doing it.
Working together, better together
A few days ago my students did something out of the ordinary. I’ve asked them to make leaflets. They were divided into groups (pulled a piece of paper coloured with a different crayon; five colours- five groups).
Students were asked to decide who will draw, colour, write and present in the end. I was amazed with the results. I didn’t interfere much, just at times to let them know that they are doing a great job.
And they were brilliant, working together as one team. The teams chose the topic quite quickly, decided what to draw and write and did it. They helped each other along the way and what’s most important they truly enjoyed the ride.
They didn’t leave the classroom until they finished it completely.
I felt immensely proud and fulfilled.
I have been teaching English for ten years. I teach in the elementary school Kekec in Sutomore, but I have taught teenagers too. I’ve worked in several elementary schools and high schools in our town. I love teaching, cooking and singing.