teaching unplugged – in brief

On noticing

Mum was a teacher all her working life, and her varied career ranged from voice training at Central School of Speech and Drama to remedial English in secondary education.

I only recently learned that her first teaching experience, in London in the 1950s, was in ESOL. Recalling an occasion when only a few students turned up and class was cancelled, she described how her delight at the thought of an evening off turned to sadness when she noticed an elderly Egyptian man walking away in disappointment. She said she never forgot it.

I wonder whether, if she hadn’t noticed, she would have gone on to become a teacher? Or whether her orientation towards teaching led her to notice?

Either way, this kind of noticing is just as important as the language kind.


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