Reflecting on the past week classes

The past few days have brought about few changes . For me it has been to consider my learners requirements before I start a new session . What I learnt was how to see if my students are all ready for the level at which I would monitor that particular subject and also for that particular day . While i was teaching I remembered to think of how useful it would be in real life . I learnt that if the students can't make sense of what they are learning whether it is applicable or experiential or not - they lose interest immediately . Even adults are impatient and want instant results . I want my adult students to give me feedback so that I can review my style and content and make sure that my students understood what I taught . Earlier I taught them limited syllabus just enough for their basic application but TTF taught me how to raise the bar so to speak and encourage students to build upon previous knowledge . Even after the class is over I try and think of ways for betterment . TTF taught me to make learning an integral part . Some topics I found exciting but there were times when I felt that even though I worked hard on a lesson I would not be able to teach it well . Earlier I taught in a one-sided manner . Very little participation from the audience . I learnt the benefits of group work . Actually my adult students mentioned that they enjoyed the class better as they interacted with each other and found learning a fun activity . For me I learnt how to organise my time and my materials better . I am still figuring out how I will work MI and group work in the next classes . I have 2 adults who have newly joined and they will be also attending the same workshops next week . I plan to first get to know them individually through a short interview .

MI in classroom

I teach grades eighth, ninth, tenth, IB1 and IB2. Among all these classes I teach my ninth graders were quite moody in class and didn’t enjoy my Math lessons very much like the other classes. After attending my TTF classes I started thinking how to make my students get more interested in the subject. I was doing the topic on volume and surface area of prism in this class. First when I started talking about prism many of them as usual didn’t show much interest and didn’t participate in classroom discussions. Then I continued my lesson with PowerPoint presentations on different types of prisms. Slowly I was able to see the change in behaviour of few students in class who never responded to the class. They were very active for the rest of the period and did quite a couple of problems on their own. It was quite surprising for me when one student who never liked Math came to me after the lesson got over and said I think “I have started liking Math and today’s lesson was very interesting”. I have assigned homework problem on the same topic and most of them completed their work when they were back to school the next day. I realised that many of them in this grade nine classroom are visual learners. When I spoke about 3- shapes they couldn’t show much interest but they learnt better when they had a visual presentation of the same.

Grade 8 Math Classroom

The topic I was dealing in this grade 8 classroom was on ratio, proportion and percentages. After completing this portion with them I decided to assess them on this topic through bulletin board which I got to know from TTF. The total number of students in this classroom was 15 and I divided them into groups of 3. As I was doing this kind of an assessment through bulletin board for the first time there was lot of chaos in my classroom. Most of them were ESL students and they were unhappy with the whole idea of bulletin board. Probably they were scared of losing their points in their report card because they were expected to give detailed content as per my instruction. So they decided to join the group where students had good communication and writing skills. As a result there was one group which had only two students and they were Koreans. Their ideas were fantastic but not attractive like others. My criterion for the topic was the board should contain a topic, detailed content in attractive and fancy manner with border and neatness. They all did a fantastic job finally, by the end of the class I realised what went wrong as some of the students were fooling around by just sitting in the group and not contributing to the group. I told them later that they will loose points for not participating with the group which I should have done in the beginning. Next time when I do this kind of work I will make them into smaller groups where each student will have to participate and contribute their understanding of the topic. After the lesson I realised that I should have prepared better by showing them some sample posters in projectors which would have given them an idea of how a good work will look like. Next time I will plan my work in a better way to make my lesson more successful.

Session on Understanding Colour

The objective is to understand how colours affect our personality

Activities :

Draw a colour wheel chart - one group handles the primary set , another the secondary set and another the third that is tertiary set .

Make a list of how colours bring out good feelings and bad feelings in you and how they affect your moods. ( Individual exercise )

Describe colours that you like wearing and those you don't and analyse why ? This has been done in the form of a discussion .

Compare these with the facts given on psychology of colour .

After session activity - Find out why different countries use the colours that they do for overall symbolism and culture representation ?

Training Session 1

The first session that is the induction program made me aware of the effective ways of learning . I was also happy to meet others who were keen on going on this self introspective journey .

Workshop content - part 1

Learnt what being brain - friendly was .

1. Relaxed Alertness - Safety , no-stress , no threat , absence of fear , stability and familiarity , desire for exploration , turst and comfort levels , how to arouse curiosity .

2. Active processing - create opportunities for students to think and talk
3. Orchestrated Immersion - Engage mind , body and emotions . Pay attention to physical comfort , use posters , films , music etc . Provide real life experiences .

Learning happens internally and not because of what the teacher does .

characteristics of successful learning

for e.g

singing ghazals


1. indentifying the talent early
2. had a great support system
one on one based teachers attention
encouragement and praise
genuine interest
emotional anchor

characteristics of unsuccessful learning

for e.g



1. Fear
2. Poor spatial abilities
3. Impatient teachers
4. Lack of ineterst
5. No need to drive as have a comfortable lifestyle

Experiential Learning

At school, it is term three. As part of our social studies curriculum my class did myself and my family during first term, the school community during second term and the outer community for third term. The planning to help them understand the outer community was in such a way that we will visit a community every week and see how they function as a community. Since the children are learning to write paragraphs in class for language, we have integrated our language curriculum with social studies. For example the next day after they get back from their trip they write a recount about the trip. Experiential learning plays a major role. The children are able to understand, think and enjoy these activities and its wonderful to see how learning can take place in diverse ways. 

Multiple Intelligences

M.I Inventory

Identifying all intelligences . Aware that everyone has all intelligences which can be strengthened .

MI is not used to label learners .

Results of the test show that I am inclined towards being self smart - intra personal strength , then people smart - Interpersonal strength and wonder smart that is existential strength and next word smart - verbal strength .

What is my prefered learning style ?

The best learning style for me according to a recent test is Kinesthetic .

1. Like to get involved , hands on
2. Choose mainly on how they feel , the texture , the comfort
3. Like to memorise by doing something repeatedly
4. Like to talk it out while walking
5. Use phrases like - I need a concrete example , That feels right etc
6. Remember what was done , what it felt like
7. Use lots of hand movements , talk freely
8. Write it down - does it feel right ?
9. Remember the emotions
10. write notes

The advantage of this exercise was that once I am conscious of my students or clients distinct abilities and strengths and also I am aware of my own strengths and learning strategies , I can then incorporate different teaching startegies to maximise classroom understanding and potential .

I think I will be exhausted if I were to try teaching a concept in all different ways at a given time hence maybe I could concentrate on combining only two intelligences at a time or maximum three styles of intelligences weekly . I can rotate the approach and give every intelligence a chance .Helping a student identify their learning style will also give them confidence to tackle subjects at their own comfort level and will also show them the way to develop thinking skills

What am I learning ?

Every workshop affects me . I find that I am rethinking and redefining what a true teacher is ? I am thinking about what I want to continue teaching ? What do I expect my clients / students to learn ? What are my strong foundations and beliefs ? I can clearly understand that teaching demands professionalism and cannot be taken lightly . I have been surrounded by traditional , text – book , ranks , marks , competitive ways that are used in most schools . The CIDTT program is opening my eyes to new methods , encouraging us to develop the feeling of empathy and empower students through so many learning styles . The principles of learning are going to help in making my classroom instruction multi – dimensional . I absorbed that teaching is about constructing new knowledge on prior knowledge - about setting new standards . Teaching is about helping learners to think about what they have learnt and also how they plan to apply it to real life and also how to connect the past with the present . A facilitator ought to be inspiring , creative and enthusiastic .

A teacher’s role

1. To be a facilitator who empowers others
2. Designs a creative curriculum and plans activities that give students relevance of the content.
3. Encourages students / clients to develop ideas on their own
4. someone who connects with the audience
5. Someone who delivers high expectations
6. Clear about instructional goals
7. knowledgeable about content and strategies and spend time fine tuning it
8. Accepts responsibility for outcomes
9. Addresses higher as well as lower cognitive objectives
10. integrates their instruction with that of other subjects / situations
11. Assesses and evaluates.
12. Offers appropriate feedback.

Why I joined CIDTT ?

I have worked as an Image Consultant and have trained people on a one on one consultancy basis. I find etiquette and soft skills a sensitive topic hence I design exclusive individual need based schedules. Lately I have been encouraged by clients to train them in groups . Common , non-sensitive personality based topics like social etiquette , international dining skills , verbal and non-verbal communication etc can be taught in groups , in a classroom . It is at this junction that I wanted to learn the characteristics of successful and unsuccessful learning and also be able to learn various teaching methods on how to train adults . I was also aware that a classroom of adults meant that I would have to assess and evaluate the entire practice and provide differentiation in the classroom . When I read the CIDTT program I was thrilled to know that I would be one of those lucky ones who will be able to find the answers to their questions and who will be able to grow as a teacher and stay empowered .

Thank You

It is indeed very helpful to be able to join the TTF blog as it enhances the process of learning . Special thanks to TTF for this opportunity . I will indeed use this as a reflective journal .

Welcome to TTF's Global Teachers Blog

Dear Teachers and Trainers on TTF's CIDTT,

The Cambridge International Diploma for Teachers and Trainers (CIDTT) is a highly respected teacher qualification from the University of Cambridge International Examinations, UK recognised in over 170 countries. The CIDTT course that The Teacher Foundation  runs in collaboration with the British Council, Chennai is a value-added one. It is your ticket to acquiring global excellence in your teaching practice. As CIDTT emphasises the importance of being a reflective practitioner, TTF has created this special blog for you!

If you have a thought, a question, a sudden insight, a photograph or a film clip that has relevance to CIDTT and/ or teaching - then TTF's Global Teachers Blog is the right forum for you to share.

Do use this platform to regularly reflect on the learnings from the course as well as your classroom practices. Others who read your reflections are welcome to comment or give feedback - be they your fellow course-mates or your students.

We at The Teacher Foundation will help you make this blog a vibrant learning community. May your CIDTT dreams turn into distinctions:-)!

Warm regards,

Maya Menon
The Teacher Foundation, Bangalore