6. Summary and Suggestions

1.1 Purposes of practicum

  • To give opportunity to student teachers to get experiences to the real teaching

The student teachers can experience real teaching in the new environment since it is the first time for student teachers conducted real teaching at the school. This real teaching experience will be helpful and meaningful for the student teachers to prepare ourselves for future career as a teacher.

  • To enhance student teachers’ ability in teaching

The student teachers enhance the ability of teaching by observing the teacher previously and practicing all the knowledge and skills learnt from the teacher and from the home university. Knowing and mastering theories and knowledge related to teaching are not enough to master the teaching skill therefore by practicing during the practicum allow the student teachers to apply and implement all the knowledge which have been learnt.

  • To encourage student teachers to improve English skills

Student teachers use English all the time when teaching the students. It makes us get used to speaking English every day. Besides that, English is also used to communicate with the teachers and school staffs. The more frequent student teachers practice speaking English in daily life, the better the English skills will be. It is not only good for the student teachers but also the students. It is important to expose English to students since the early years, by this way the students will get used to listening English and trying to speak English although they cannot speak it in a complete sentence.

  • To allow student teachers to adapt to the diversity of new teaching and learning situations and opportunities

Teaching in new situations requires student teachers to adapt to it quickly. The student teachers have to deal with the diversity found during the practicum such as the lesson plans, the students’ characteristics, and the cultures.  By teaching in these new situations and opportunities can engage the student teachers to be able to adapt to the diversity.

  • To enable student teachers gain confidence for future career 

To get a chance to teach abroad is not a chance that everyone can get. It is also a challenging job to do since the challenges faced will be more complicated especially in terms of the language since most of the student teachers cannot speak Thai well. However, by passing the challenges can increase the student teachers’ confidence since the challenges encountered can help student teachers to develop the teaching skills.

1.2 Procedures of practicum

  1. The first week                : Introducing ourselves to the principal, to the teacher mentor including to the other teachers, to the school staffs, and to the students. Observing the teacher mentor taught in the classes, observing the school facilities, and getting to know closer to the teachers, school staffs, and students.
  2. The second week           : Practicing to make lesson plans, consulting the lesson plans with the teacher mentor, practicing to make teaching media.
  3. The third week               : Teaching independently in the classes by using our own lesson plans and teaching media.
  4. The fourth week            : Teaching independently in the classes and being assessed by the teacher mentor on the last day of teaching.

1.3 Outcomes of practicum

  • Experiencing the real teaching

The practicum gives a great chance for student teachers to experience the real teaching. Real teaching involves students who study at the school, rules applied in the class, materials used in the class, problems which occur, etc. It allows student teachers to apply all knowledge and skills which have been learnt during the study in the university to teach students at the school in which everything that happens during the learning process naturally come from the students and the teachers.

  • Enhance teaching skill

Teaching is a complex skill needs to be mastered which involve mastering the materials, controlling the students, handling the students’ misbehaviors, making engaging teaching media and activities for the students, and using effective and appropriate methods to teach the students to achieve the goals of the lesson. Those important aspects are learnt by the student teachers during the practicum. By this way, the student teachers can improve their knowledge and skill.  

  • Improving English skills

The student teachers speak all the time in English for communicating and teaching. We do not only speak English to the English teacher but also to the other teachers and the students. So, it makes the student teachers get used to speaking English and can increase the fluency.

  • Increasing confidence

Getting a new experience to teach abroad is not an experience that everyone can get. Experience and skills learnt during the practicum are the process of self-development to increase the quality and improve the skills that we have. Gradually, it can build student teachers’ confidence. It is a great opportunity for student teachers to be more ready for other opportunities.

  • Widening the knowledge of teaching

There are a lot of things learnt during the practicum such as how to make the teaching media, how to attract students’ attention and interest in the lesson, how to make the students understand, how to handle the students, and how to make engaging activities for the students. We learn all of them from the suggestions given by the teacher mentor which can enrich the student teachers’ knowledge.

1.4 The challenges of practicum

  • Language barrier

     The students do not speak English well and the student teachers cannot speak Thai so it is quite difficult to communicate with the students. To overcome this challenge, the student teachers use gestures while teaching the students and also use pictures to give the command to them such as to ask them to be silent or to make a line.

  • Lack of experience in making teaching media

Teaching media is not a new term for us but we never practice to make it for the real teaching. We already knew some examples of teaching media however we still need a lot of practices to make it. The first time we made teaching media was at this school. It was a very new experience for us. The teachers guided and gave us advice to make an interesting teaching media. Finally, we could make it by ourselves.

  • Students’ misbehaviors

Sometimes we found it difficult to make the students calm at the class. They are boisterous, active move around the class, and difficult to focus on the lesson since they are young learners who like playing so much in the class. Usually, it takes a long time to make them be quiet. We have to louder our voice and approach the students who do not do the commands given. Besides that, when some students do not pay attention, I will point those students and ask them to answer the questions that I gave. They gradually they will be silent and start thinking the answers.

1.5 Overall impression

       This Sea-teacher project is a great opportunity for student teachers to enhance skills and enrich the pedagogy of teaching. There are many things learnt such as making the lesson plans, making teaching media, controlling the students at the class, handling students’ misbehaviors, managing time, choosing appropriate techniques and methods in teaching the students. I enjoyed the process of teaching and everything that I learned from the teachers. It enriched my knowledge about teaching and enhanced my teaching skills.

1.6 Suggestions for future improvement

The instructions on WebEx training sometimes are not really clear. The video also cannot be played smoothly. It might happen due to the bad internet connection between the server and the participants.