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12 BECOMING A TEACHER ‘ACROSTIC’ TEACHING

12 BECOMING A TEACHER
'ACROSTIC' TEACHING
When you begin teaching you will be surprised at the range of different types of writing which the
children are expected to engage in. Children have to learn to write narrative accounts, imaginative
stories, descriptions of their 'experiments', diaries, letters, poems etc. Many are introduced to acrostics
and enjoy the challenge these present. What are acrostics? … They are poems or other compositions in
which certain letters in each line form a word or words.
I use an acrostic when giving an introductory talk to students at the beginning of their course of
teacher education. You will notice that I don't call them 'trainees' and I don't talk of 'teacher training'.
Like you they are not being introduced to a simple straightforward activity where they can be trained
to perform like machine operators on a production line or like circus animals. They are being inducted
into a very complex professional activity – illustrated, for example, by the fact that this introductory
text you are reading contains over thirty units and it is just an introduction!
I present the following:
T……..
E……..
A……..
C……..
H……..
I………
N……..
G……..
and ask the students to characterise primary teaching using eight adjectives corresponding to the eight
letters.
Of course there are no right or wrong answers and an activity as complex as primary teaching
cannot be captured in eight words.
As 'a starter for eight' I offer you (as I do my students) the following:


Tiring: primary teaching is very demanding work – demanding physically as you have to cope with a
class of very active, growing human beings; demanding interpersonally as you have to deal with the
myriad of social interactions occurring in a crowded classroom; demanding intellectually as you have
to translate complex ideas in your head into terms that children of a particular age can understand.


Exhilarating: primary teaching is equally (but paradoxically) invigorating work – when both you and
the children get 'fired' up with enthusiasm for a particular activity, project or piece of work.
What do you think primary teaching is like? What does it feel like? What kind of activity is it?
Make your list and share it with fellow students.
Task 1.1.1
The nature of primary teaching



:

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12 BECOMING A TEACHER ‘ACROSTIC’ TEACHING

12 BECOMING A TEACHER
'ACROSTIC' TEACHING
When you begin teaching you will be surprised at the range of different types of writing which the
children are expected to engage in. Children have to learn to write narrative accounts, imaginative
stories, descriptions of their 'experiments', diaries, letters, poems etc. Many are introduced to acrostics
and enjoy the challenge these present. What are acrostics? … They are poems or other compositions in
which certain letters in each line form a word or words.
I use an acrostic when giving an introductory talk to students at the beginning of their course of
teacher education. You will notice that I don't call them 'trainees' and I don't talk of 'teacher training'.
Like you they are not being introduced to a simple straightforward activity where they can be trained
to perform like machine operators on a production line or like circus animals. They are being inducted
into a very complex professional activity – illustrated, for example, by the fact that this introductory
text you are reading contains over thirty units and it is just an introduction!
I present the following:
T……..
E……..
A……..
C……..
H……..
I………
N……..
G……..
and ask the students to characterise primary teaching using eight adjectives corresponding to the eight
letters.
Of course there are no right or wrong answers and an activity as complex as primary teaching
cannot be captured in eight words.
As 'a starter for eight' I offer you (as I do my students) the following:


Tiring: primary teaching is very demanding work – demanding physically as you have to cope with a
class of very active, growing human beings; demanding interpersonally as you have to deal with the
myriad of social interactions occurring in a crowded classroom; demanding intellectually as you have
to translate complex ideas in your head into terms that children of a particular age can understand.


Exhilarating: primary teaching is equally (but paradoxically) invigorating work – when both you and
the children get 'fired' up with enthusiasm for a particular activity, project or piece of work.
What do you think primary teaching is like? What does it feel like? What kind of activity is it?
Make your list and share it with fellow students.
Task 1.1.1
The nature of primary teaching



:

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