How not to teach

As I draw to the end of my holiday in France I think how ironic that my most hated subject at school was French. However I have married a language’s teacher and now happily spend most holidays in France.

And why was French my most hated subject? One thing… awful teachers. From the strict teacher in the first year, who’s teaching technique was to basically make us spilt our exercise book into 8 boxes, draw a picture of whatever we were learning at the time (animals, food etc) in each square and write the matching noun underneath. Hardly rocket science. I would love to know what ofsted would have thought of this lesson if they had been around then. Hence this is the reason why my basic vocabulary is great but I can’t string a sentence together.

Then moving onto the next two years of dreadful teaching. Actually I don’t think I was taught at all during these years, as most of the time different classmates took it in turns to tease, distract or even lock this particular teacher in a stock cupboard.

Finally GCSE (why I chose French is a still a mystery to me), where this particular teacher terrified me. I remember before each lesson physically shaking outside the classroom door, afraid of being shouted at or humiliated. I was a very quiet 14/15 year old and for some reason I think the teacher in question hated this. They liked be questioned, challenged and argued with and I didn’t cut the mustard. I could carry on and on about this teacher but this writing will quickly turn into a therapy session rather than a blog.

So years of bad teaching has helped me form the teacher I am today, I am pleased I have gone against everyone of these reaching techniques. In fact I feel I am a better teacher because of my experiences, hence the title ‘How not to teach’. Fortunately I also had some wonderful teachers (in other subjects) who guided the way for me, showing me how things could be done.

So I somehow manage each time I go to France, with my very broken French, despite my terrible teachers I managed to get a grade C at GCSE (that surprised me as much as my teacher) and more importantly I have learnt what makes a good teacher. Give me a nuturing teacher, in tune with children any day! Word of advice though… please don’t observe me teaching French! Merci!


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