School! Lessons, games, clubs, homework. A bell rings. You go to a classroom. A bell rings. You have lunch. A bell rings. You go home.
But one day you go to school for the last time. What to do after that? You realize that the time to choose one job out of the hundreds has come. It's going to be a hard choice and nobody can make it for you.
Before you can choose, you ask yourself quite a lot of questions. What do you know you are good at? What do you enjoy doing? Perhaps you enjoy working with your hands. Or you may prefer using your head your brains. Are you interested in machines? Or do you like meeting people? It's difficult to know all the answers to these questions until you have left school and actually begun work.
Many young people consider teaching as a career. It's not surprising: after your parents your teacher may be the most important person in your life. With all the teachers you meet, you think there isn't anything you don't know about the work. That's where you are wrong, since only those who are in it can appreciate it. Have you ever asked yourself why most teachers are so devoted to their work and privately think, though they may not like to admit it openly, that they serve humanity doing the most vital job of all? Those of us who spend our days in schools know how rewarding the job is. At the same time it is not easy and a real challenge to your character, abilities and talent, as teaching is a constant stream of decisions.
Children in your classroom aren't just boys and girls. Every one is a unique individual who has never been before and will never again exist. If you like people, you will love teaching. To be a good teacher you must be genuinely interested in what you are doing.
The most important things in the world are awareness and learning wanting to know every day of your life more and more and more. Because every time you learn something new you become something new. An ignorant teacher teaches ignorance, a fearful teacher teaches fear, a bored teacher teaches boredom. But a good teacher catalyzes in his pupils the burning desire to know and love for the truth and beauty.
John Steinbeck, writing about his school days said, "I've come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist and you know how few great artists there are in the world. Teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since its medium is the human mind and the human spirit." What an incredible responsibility to be the guardians of the human spirit and the human mind! I think, that is the reason why humanity has the deepest respect for teachers.
I would never stop teaching and I'm sure that you, having chosen it for your career, feel the same way. If you don't feel that way then, please, for all our sakes, get out! The human mind and the human spirit are too wondrous to destroy. But if you are prepared to accept the responsibility, I wish you all the luck in the world.
TEXT Â. CHOOSING IS NOT SO EASY AS IT LOOKS
Jane: Hallo, Bob!
Jane: Oh, you've just left college, haven't you?
Jane: What are you going to do?
Bob: Er... well, it looks like a choice between teaching or going into an office and... I think I'd much prefer to go in for teaching, because... well you get long holidays.
Jane: But, Bob, wouldn't you get bored with the same routine year after year teaching... teaching the same material to the children. And... a sense of responsibility you need all those children, all those parents.
Bob: Oh, look, it wouldn't be as boring as... as working in an office. Teaching is terribly stimulating. It's ... new every day I'm sure I'd enjoy it.
Jane: But I mean, there's so much variety in office work! Look at my job: I'm dealing with people and their problems, there're new situations to cope with all the time.
Bob: Yes, that's quite true, but I think there's a number of differences between teaching and office work and, well, I think I'll go in for teaching because... it really attracts me.
(From J. Jones "Functions of English". Cam., 1981)
In the other gardens
And all up the vale,
From the autumn bonfires
See the smoke trail!
Pleasant summer over
And all the summer flowers,
The red fires blaze,
The grey smoke towers.
Sing a song of seasons!
Something bright in all!
Flowers in the summer,
Fires in the fall!
(R. L. Stevenson)
ESSENTIAL VOCABULARY (II)
appreciate v genuinely adv responsibility n
career n job n responsible adj
challenge n profession n vital adj
choice n reliable adj vocation n
educate v respect v work n, v
to make/take a (careful) choice rewarding/stimulating work
to have no choice to be devoted to smth. or smb.
to be interested in to be responsible for smth.
to leave/finish school to take/accept responsibility
school leaver to have/need a sense of responsibility
to consider teaching (medicine,
etc.) as a career to cope with smth.
to take up a career/a job to earn/enjoy gratitude and respect
to go in for teaching
to be in teaching (medicine, to have (no) respect for smb. or smth.
to be in/out of one's line love of smth./for smb.
Note: The nouns "work, job, profession, career, vocation" have more or less the same meaning. Nevertheless there is a certain difference in their semantics and usage.
"Work" has the most general meaning and can be applied to anything one has to do in the way of making a living. "Job" is close to it in its meaning but tends to denote less prestigious work. Apart from that the word "job" can also denote a position in employment, in which case the difference between the words "work" and "job" is quite obvious (e. g. I'm very fond of my job, even though it means doing a lot of work). "Profession" is work which requires advanced education and special training. Traditionally it's applied to law, medicine, architecture and military career. The word "career" itself means either a course of progress in the life of a person or has the same meaning as the word "work" and is mostly used when speaking of the choice of work. The word "vocation" means the kind of work to which a man is led by natural talents (compare with the word "calling"). It's a learned word and is seldom used in everyday speech.
Remember that the word "work" in the meaning mentioned above is uncountable and shouldn't be used with the indefinite article or in the plural.
In contrast to it the word "job" is countable and can be used with the indefinite article.
I. a) Transcribe and learn to read the following words:
b) Study Texts A and Â and explain the meaning of the words and word combinations listed below:
think privately, the most vital job, a rewarding job, a challenge to your character, an ignorant teacher, a guardian, the same routine, stimulating work, to go in for teaching
II. a) Write English equivalents of the following words and phrases. Use them in sentences of your own:
b) Find in Text A synonyms to the following words and word combinations:
to do well in smth., in fact, because, faithful, confess, gratifying, sincerely, knowledge, to ruin.
III. a) Enlarge upon the following topics:
1. After your parents your teacher may be the most important person in your life. 2. Teaching is not easy and a real challenge to your character, abilities and talent. 3. To be a good teacher you must be genuinely interested in what you are doing. 4. Teaching is a constant stream of decisions. 5. Every time you learn something new you become something new.
Prompts: there's one more thing to be noted, moreover, what's more ..., I might as well add that ..., in addition, on top of that ..., something else I'd like to say is ..., talking of ... .
b) Comment on the quotation from John Steinbeck, say if you share his opinion. Do you also think that teaching equals art? Why do you think that? Find more quotations concerned with teachers and teaching, comment on them.
c) Continue the text on the part of the teacher. You may find the following ideas useful:
A good teacher is one who learns all the time, from life, from colleagues, from children; a professional teacher integrates theory and practice; this sort of work demands great patience; there are many skills necessary for good teaching.
d) Prepare a 3-tninute talk on one of the great teachers of the past or today, give reasons for your choice.
IV. a) Act out the dialogue "Choosing is not so easy as it looks".
b) Role-play a talk between an intending teacher and a will-be journalist on differences and similarities of the careers they've chosen. Use Text Â and Essential Vocabulary II.
V. Speak about:
1. possible change in the system of secondary education in Russia.
Prompts: universal compulsory education, to extend the training course, to improve the educational process, to modernize programmes and manuals, to use up-to-date technical equipment, to provide optional training in various subjects.
2. an ideal school as you see it.
VI. Read the Jokes below. See how the verbs learn and study are used In the context. Consult a dictionary and find out the difference in their meaning and usage. Retell the jokes in indirect speech:
1. A young teacher just beginning his career asks advice of an older member of the faculty: "What have you learned in your years of experience?"
"I've learned one thing. Often you will find while you are giving a lesson in class that there is one young upstart who always disagrees with you. Tell me, would you stop him and try to make him shut up right then and there?"
"I suppose I would."
"Well, don't. He's probably the only one who is listening to you."
2. A high-school girl seated next to a famous astronomer at a dinner party struck up a conversation asking, "What do you do in life?"
He replied, "I study astronomy."
"Dear me," said the young miss, "I finished astronomy last year."
VIII. Comment on the given proverbs. Make up a situation centered ' round one of them:
1. Better unborn than untaught.
2. Like teacher, like pupil.
3. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
IX. a) Fill in prepositions and adverbs where necessary:
Bob: What are you going to take ... as a career?
John: Architecture. Actually, I've already started. I began my studies ... last October.
Bob: What are you going to do when you finish?
John: Oh, I shall go back ... home and practise ... my native town. There's a lot of useful work to be done there building schools, hospitals, homes ... the people.
Bob: What made you decide to take ... architecture as a career?
John: Well. I was good ... Maths and Art ... school and I think I had a certain feeling ... design. My teacher encouraged ... me and said I had a bent ... architecture.
Â î b: I find that some young people fail to take ... a career because they're not sure what they want to do and what career opportunities there are.
John: Yes, that's true. But usually your personal qualities show......school, don't they? Teachers guide and encourage ... the young to take ... the careers ... which they're best suited.
b) Tell your friends how John chose bis career.
c) Make up your own dialogues on choosing a career. Use the word combinations in bold type in them.
X. a) Read the following:
Caring teachers take an active part in defending peace and in solving other social problems, such as struggling for better living conditions and a happier future for their pupils. Their demands are well grounded since millions of boys and girls throughout the world are being deprived of a happy childhood.
b) Support the idea with information from Russian and/or foreign press. Pay special attention to the situation in the USA and Great Britain.
c) Speak on:
1. your idea of a happy childhood;
2. the problem of deprived children in Russia and abroad.
XI. Here is a series of extreme opinions. Build a conversation about each topic. Begin as in the model:
English is a very easy language to learn.
A.: It says here English is a very easy language to learn.
Â.: I'm not sure I quite agree. I'd say it's fairly difficult.
A.: Why do you think that?
Â.: Well, ...
O p i n i î n s: 1. A teaching career isn't suitable for men. 2. Teaching a foreign language in a school is pointless. 3. Education is the responsibility of teachers and parents shouldn't interfere. 4. Schoolchildren should be allowed to choose the subjects they want to study. 5. In the near future schoolteachers will be replaced by computers.
a) Act out in pairs the following situation»; use Essential Vocabulary II:
1. Mike's father has been asked by the headmaster to come to school because of his son's unusual behaviour: bad marks, lots of missed classes, rude behaviour. Discuss the causes of his behaviour and steps to be taken.
2. Next year George and Nick are going to take entrance examinations at the University. Imagine a talk between them about their plans and the reasons that have determined their choice.
3. Mother and daughter have a very serious talk about the girl's decision to take up teaching as a career. Her mother, though, is rather sceptical about her choice.
4. Imagine a talk between two friends, one of whom is fed up with his or her present boring, unrewarding job. The other tries to suggest what he or she should do.
Prompts: might it be an idea to ...; have you ever thought of ...; you could always ...; if I were you, I'd ...; why don't you ...; you'd better ...
b) Role-play the following situation:
You are at a Parent-Teachers association meeting. You are discussing a problem you feel very strongly about. Among you there is a mother who's sure that children shouldn't be strictly disciplined at school, a father who has the opposite opinion, a father who tends to blame teachers for his children's faults, a grandmother who tends to spoil her grandchildren, a mother who gives other parents advice for the only reason that her daughter is at the head of the class.
XIV. Pick one of these topics and discuss it, making sure each member of the group gets a chance to speak:
1. How to encourage a child to make better progress at school? Should parents use: praise, presents, promises of future rewards?
2. Should a child be punished? If not, how to make children obey?
3. Should children be allowed to wear clothes of their own at school? Should boys be allowed to have long hair, and girls to use make-up?
4. How can parents help teachers with out-of-school activities?
5. Should parents insist on their children doing equally well in all the subjects or should they encourage their sons and daughters to specialise in one or two subjects essential for their future career?
XV. a) Read and translate the text:
My Memories and Miseries As a Schoolmaster
The parents of the boys at school naturally fill a broad page in a schoolmaster's life and are responsible for many of his sorrows. There are all kinds and classes of them. Most acceptable to the schoolmaster is the old-fashioned type of British father who enters his boy at the school and says:
"Now I want this boy well thrashed if he doesn't behave himself. If you have any trouble with him let me know and I'll come and thrash him myself. He's to have a shilling a week pocket money and if he spends more than that let me know and I'll stop his money altogether."
Brutal though his speech sounds, the real effect of it is to create a strong prejudice in the little boy's favour, and when his father curtly says, "Good-bye, Jack" and he answers, "Good-bye, father," in a trembling voice, the schoolmaster would be a hound, indeed, who could be unkind to him.
But very different is the case of the up-to-date parent. "Now I've just given Jimmy five pounds," he says to the schoolmaster, in the same tone as he would use to an inferior clerk in his office, "and I've explained to him that when he wants any more he's to tell you to go to the bank and draw for him what he needs." After which he goes on to explain that Jimmy is a boy of very peculiar disposition, requiring the greatest nicety of treatment; that they find if he gets in tempers the best way is to humour him and presently he'll come round. Jimmy, it appears, can be led, if led gently, but never driven.
During all of which time the schoolmaster, insulted by being treated as an underling, has already fixed his eye on the undisciplined young pup called Jimmy with a view of trying out the problem of seeing whether he can't be driven after all.
[From "College Days" by S. Leacock)
b) Answer the questions below:
1. How does the author characterize two opposite types of "British father"? 2. Why, in Leacock's view, the "old-fashioned" type is more acceptable for a schoolmaster? Would you prefer to have Jack or Jimmy for a pupil? 3. How did the acquaintance with the fathers influence the schoolmaster's attitude to the boys? Do you find it natural? 4. Do you think the problems raised in the text are outdated? Justify your answer. 5. In what way should teachers and parents cooperate in educating the child?
XVI. Act as an interviewer. Let the rest of the group speak about why and how they decided to qualify as a teacher of languages. Find out:
1. if anybody or anything influenced their choice;
2. when they finally made up their minds;
3. what attracts them in the work;
4. what they consider its advantages and disadvantages.
XVII. Interview a teacher at the school where you have school practice. Ask him or her the questions from Exercise XVI and also try to find out:
1. how long he or she has been in teaching;
2. if he or she ever regretted having taken up the job;
3. what is the most notable feature of teaching;
4. what advice he or she can give to a teacher trainee.
Discuss the interviews in class.
XVIII. Comment on the picture (p. 30). You may find these phrases useful:
a Teacher-Parent Association meeting; to keep discipline in the classroom; to use traditional (new) methods; to be in the habit of giving orders; to be strict with the pupils; to tell the pupils off; a bossy teacher.
"I will now explain the progressive methods by which your children are taught so keep quiet, sit up straight and don't fidget."