Purpose of my portfolio

The overall goal of this Portfolio is to show you what I have learned/experienced at the Faculty of Education which impacts who I am as a person and a teacher.

Self Introduction: Kazuha (Details)

I am Kazuha Ota. Please call me either Kazuha or Kazu. I was born in Nagoya which is located in almost the center of Japan. I lived in my hometown, Nagoya, for eighteen years and moved to Morioka three years ago to study in Iwate University. One bad thing for me here is Morioka's climate is much colder than it is in Nagoya. I miss Nagoya's warm climate.

My most favorite sport is soccer. I have played soccer for twelve years and I came here to qualify for All Japan University Championship which is one of the biggest national soccer competition for university players in Japan. Fortunately, I achieved that goal when I was a freshman. I love also English, and I am majoring English-teaching so that I can become a sophisticated English-language teacher and make my students interested in English. Talking with people from all over the world in English is very exciting!

-Reasons why I would like to become a teacher-

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” This is the word of Nelson Mandela who won the Nobel Prize in Peace in 1993. It is certain that the education has a great influence on people. In fact, when I was a junior high school student, my homeroom teacher changed my life. He always responded to my request for advice willingly as if I had been his only student. In Japan, teachers cannot earn a good salary, and the salary does not depend on how much they work. They are required to work for their students, not for money or fame. These are the reasons why I have been making efforts to become a teacher.

My Development Goals (October 12, 2016) (Details)

Here is what I would like to accomplish in the ETM classes together with the other members:

1. Understand the course of study.

 To conduct meaningful classes for JHS students, teachers need to understand what they are supposed to teach to the students.

2. Consider why we learn English.

 To motivate students to learn English, teachers should have clear purposes of learning English and should help students find their own purposes. 

3. Accept feedback from co-workers and advisors and improve my own lesson.

 I think sophisticated teachers can listen to others' advice carefully and they can revise their teaching methods.

4. Become proficient users of English inside and outside the classroom.

 I believe teachers should be role models for all the students.

5. Understand and internalize the broad principles of Communicative-Language-Teaching and other relevant theories.

 To become an English-language teacher who conducts interesting and meaningful classes, understanding of many principles and theories about English teaching is necessary.

6. Have a positive attitude towards collaborating with others and develop identities as a teacher.

 Team Teaching is a good method for education, hence teachers should be able to cooperate with other teachers, students, and parents well. 

7. Learn about Learner-Centered Teaching and provide JHS students with such classes.

 I would like to put students center of the class. They should play a leading role in classes. 

8. Be able to select appropriate topics and materials according to students' level.

 Although choosing proper topics and materials for students may be the most important work for teachers, it may be the most difficult work for them.

9. Be able to conduct classes having smooth transitions between each activity so that students can follow the class easily.

  If each activity in class is irrelevant, it causes students confusion.

My Teaching Philosophy (October 12, 2016) (Details)

I would like my students to enjoy learning and using English.

I would like my students to regard English as one of communication tools rather than a memory work.

An English-language teacher's roles are

1. To place students at the center of the class based on a well-organized plan. Students should play a leading role in the lesson.

    From my experiences, JHS students do not prefer listening to lectures, and thus I want to provide them with a lot of opportunities to speak and write English.

2. To provide students with enough experiences so that they can regard English as a communication tool.

    Many students learn something new from real experiences, so teachers have to provide them with many opportunities to interact with each other so that they can think that English is one of  the communication tools.

3. To become a proficient user of English and make students proficient users of English inside and outside classroom.

    Nowadays there is high possibility that teachers have students who speak English fluently such as returnee students in their classes, and I believe English-language teachers should be able to conduct classes where even returnee students, or students with high English skill, can have enjoyable and meaningful time.

4.  To understand various cultures so that students can listen to a lot of profound stories from teachers and deepen their understanding of other cultures.

    When I was a high school student, my English-language teacher told me what she did in foreign countries when she was student. She experienced a lot of interesting things in many countries, and her experiences made me felt like going overseas and talking with people there in English, and also I learned about culture differences from her stories.

Teachers need to continue learning, or they must quit the job.

My critical incidents 1- 6 in my Teaching Experiences show that I have many opinions related to English-teaching but I am not sure what the best solutions for those issues are. Therefore, I have to learn harder and try to understand the essence of English-teaching. I do my best so I can improve my teaching skills through ETM classes.

All Japan University Championship 2013 (Details)

Class Characteristics that Encourage Student Communication (October 12, 2016)

I believe classes that encourage students in English communication have the following characteristics:

1. Teacher has his/her opinions about why he/she teaches English, and students think about why they study English.

2. Teacher conducts classes mostly in proficient and comprehensible English.

3. Teacher understands students' needs and provides students with a lot of interesting and meaningful activities where the students use English.

4. Classes have a friendly atmosphere, and students do not hesitate to learn from their mistakes.

5. Classes are structured well, and students concentrate on studying English smoothly.

6. Teacher has a positive attitude towards learning new knowledge or theories, and students have respect for their teacher. And also, the school recognizes the teachers' efforts and supports teachers a lot. 

7. Class has some rules so that both teachers and students improve their class.

My Development Between 2013 ~ 2016

Critical Incident 1 (June ,2014, Nakano ES): I taught an English class at Nakano ES with four other student-teachers. I found that if a teacher translates English into Japanese a lot in classes, students tend to listen to only Japanese because they do not need to understand English. Although students cannot understand what the teacher means if the teacher speaks English as if they talked with a native speaker, students can understand teacher's English if every English instruction is given slowly, clearly, and repeatedly.

Critical Incident 2 (December, 2014, Nakano ES): Students and I made original Momotaro plays together in English. Through this teaching experience, I decided that I would conduct English classes that provide students with a lot of opportunities to make a guess.

 Critical Incident 3 (December, 2014, Nakano ES): During the activity that students make their original Momotaro plays in English, I supported them, and then I used only English. They tried to understand my English very hard. Students should learn English by listening to instructions which are given in English, not in Japanese.

Critical Incident 4 (June, 2015, Fuzoku JHS): I think classes should be organized based on the theory of 'controlled', 'freer', and 'free' so that they have flow, but conducting such classes is not easy. One thing I learned through this teaching experience was that a teacher must control students somehow even in a free activity to accomplish the goal.

Critical Incident 5 (June, 2015, Fuzoku JHS): One of the goals for students of this class was to make appropriate responses or give some advice instantly in conversation. Through this class, students found that they were poor at making responses in English, however, they could not understand how to do it. I wonder how teachers can teach students about responses in English.

Critical Incident 6 (August, 2016, Fuzoku JHS): Teachers always need to conduct classes for all of their students. Based on this theory I learned through the teaching practicum, I always prepared more than one small activities for each activity. Since I adopted this theory and made various types of activities, my students have been able to choose activities based on their skill and less students have felt bored with class.

Earlham College (2015.8 ~ 2016.5)

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James
I have never seen a professional soccer game, but I have seen professional basketball, football, baseball, hockey, rugby, Aussie rules football, and lacrosse.
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