Last night I couldn't sleep well. I was really excited about the first day. English words and grammatical structures were passing like subtitles from my mind.I arrived at 9 o'clock to Milan and had an espresso at a bar near school while reading the newspaper. Around 9.45 I went up and found the other trainees waiting in the classroom. Luca and Claudio. Both of them are Italian.Luca is from Reggio Emilia and is 30 years old. He is a patent translator and is a head of a internet game. Claudio is 46 and lives in Mottavisconti and teaches English and French at a private school. I was suprised to see male trainees. I don't know why but I have imagined a group of females. I usually had female teachers during high school and university . Maybe that's why I had presumed so. Then came Sara who is English.She's been living in Abbiategrasso for a year. Her boyfriend is Italian. Patrizia and Richard were next to come. Patrizia is 37 and she left her job for to make a drastic change.She was a sales manager and she is from Venice but lives in Milan. She will try this new career as a teacher after this course. Richard is from New Castle, England and he also lives in Milan and it's been already 18 months. He teaches informatics at a private school. Katie is also English and in 2009 she stayed in Ferrara Italy with the Erasmus program. The last trainee other than me is Dion.He was absent today. He is Australian. We are eight trainees and it seems to be an interesting group. I was terrified to find only native speakers and teachers with experience in this course and I am really suprised to meet such different personalities having different backgrounds and experiences. I really felt happy and at ease on my first day. We started talking and getting to know each other right away.
Our main course tutor is Siabhra Woods.She is Irish and lives in Verona.She introduced the course and gave an overview. Then she handed out sheets. On the sheets there were two facts about each of us. We stood up and asked each other questions trying to guess who is who?? This is called mingling activity and is ideal for the first day. Usually when adapted to learners , the studenst are split in to pairs and have to guess together and then check by asking questions to others.
Later Siabhra assigned us letters and gave us a TP teaching practice timetable. My letter is B and I will be teaching for 20 minutes tomorrow.Being B, I am the second trainee to teach tomorrow.I am excited but not so frightened for now.The day after tomorrow I will be teaching for 40 minutes!! Siabhra told us to jump in and enjoy.We'll see what will happen tomorrow. She gave us inputs. I will be teaching by listening activity. I have to write four important numbers on the blackboard and say facts about that number. The students will listen and write and then talk. I'll give more details about my and others trainees' first lesson tomorrow.
We had a long lunch break.We went to a bar nearby. Sara who is the only one who doesn't speak good Italian went shopping so we spoke Italian. I do not prefer so but for the first day I guess everyone wanted it.
At 2 o'clock we had our first Irish lesson.Irish is completely different from English.The oral and the written forms are so different from each other. It was suprising and overwhelming. In this way we felt how a learner feels on the first day of course when he or she does not know a word of that language.
At 3 o'clock Cristina Cattaneo the second course tutor took over and we talked about classroom management such as the importance of the voice of the teacher,the gestures,actual management of the classroom,using the students names,grading of speech etc.
Well I have to go now. I have to prepare for my first lesson and organize and type my course notes.I am very happy to live this "scolastic adventure" at this age like my new trainee friend Claudio says.