The final test scores from the final class of this academic year have just been wrapped up in Excel. A brief R t.test showed that the population means from this term’s against last term’s scores are not different. I wonder what difference I’m making to my classes term-in term-out. So much for teacher development.
data: h26_1 and h26_2
t = -0.8239, df = 72.766, p-value = 0.4127
alternative hypothesis: true difference in means is not equal to 0
95 percent confidence interval:
mean of x mean of y
This piece of tomfoolery should be taken with a pinch of salt. After all, I tend to reappraise my teaching at the end of the year, which is now, not between terms–unless there’s either a disaster needing to be avoided, or a sudden inspiration overpowers me.
Next term, however, things may be different. I’ve tried over the years to become a more learner-focussed teacher. Yet, in this environment, students don’t seem to care if I am or if I’m not. Being the only native speaker of English teacher (NSET) on campus, I’m already seen as different. My methodology is categorically unique from the Japanese professors, and it’s usually the case that these classes with me find more students than not having regular classes with an NSET for the first time in their lives. When I’ve tried ideas from well-known communicative teaching methodologies that I know work, the typical reaction is hardly different from when I apply teaching actions that (I believe) are similar to Japanese teachers’. In other words, the level of passivity facing my regular day is so high that I’m almost flummoxed as to what to do.
Almost, but not quite. In the domains of personal and professional development, I have a long way to go before I can be confident in both my personal and teaching identities. There is a high degree of interrelatedness between these two concepts. Recently, I have begun working on developing my self. By that I mean, I’m taking a hard look at those negative traits that I’m coming to believe are holding me back professionally and personally. And upon merely scratching those traits, I can see that the negativity runs deep. My sincere hope is that I can see a far better set of professional practices if I discover the whys behind my personal failures. It seems plausible that the same or similar methods of improving myself can be employed to improve my classes.