I always read Anthony Gaughan’s posts with great interest, and the post Copy Cat is no exception! But this time I was literally flabbergasted to read that he and his colleagues are criticized for modeling lessons to their student teachers.
O,K, I teach in an Israeli High-School, not a British Language School and don’t know my “Delta” from my “Celta”. For me “DOS” still sounds like something I used to have in my computer before Windows. Perhaps I’m commenting on something I shouldn’t be due to a supposed lack of knowledge.
But I’ve been teaching for 26 years, have had quite a lot of student teachers (have one now, too!) and am a teacher’s counselor.
I have reached two conclusions.
The first is that no one can EXACTLY imitate the way you teach even if you want them to do so. Teaching is something that involves the teacher’s personality to a large extent. Over time the methods the trainee refers to as “my teacher’s methods” will only partially resemble mine. Every teacher develops his /her own style.
In addition, each trainee doesn’t have to keep inventing the wheel! A new teacher needs to start with some useful, tried and true methods in his /her toolbox of teaching skills. Over time, according to the teaching situations and the students’ needs, the teacher will add other methods and perhaps even discard some of the early ones. But surely it is the responsibility of any training course to model lessons so that that trainees have what to start with!
it is most certainly desirable that trainees be exposed to a number of teachers modeling lessons. But I cannot imagine training done without it at all.