Learn from the Best: David Paul

Amy and I believe that when you get guidance for life, you should learn from the best.   


Learn from them.   Develop their ideas and make them your own.   


David Paul set us on the path to where we are now.  


Amy and I  have been attending ETJ Expos for over 20 years.   Phew those years flew!


We went to learn how to teach.   We both had experience and TEFL certificates but teaching in Japan is ahem, unique.    We knew we could improve. Teaching manuals weren't the answer.


David Paul appearing in Ikebukuro!  How could we resist such a billing?     Even though David Paul sounds like the name of a slightly camp hairdresser in the UK, David is anything but.     He's a big strapping Dorset country boy.  He has masses of real kids teaching experience and oozes brilliant ideas. 


The hall was crammed.    David asked  "who has students count to 10 on their fingers?”   I stupidly and excitedly put my hand up.   I noticed around me nobody else did.     David went on to explain that this was boring and uninspiring.   Of course, couched in his gentle sympathetic manner. 


I slumped, deflated in my chair.   Then I started to scribble notes furiously. 


David went on to say, rather than total physical response (as often used in Japan), have the kids' brains move around.    Rather than fingers and thumbs maths, just toss a cuddly toy around the class, counting as you go.       


It all started to make sense.   Kids are having fun, leading the class.    Increasingly you are in the background as kids direct their own learning. 


Pause.........let students think, search for that answer.   Learn the 4 skills of English not just repeat after me.    Phonics, phonics, phonics and did I mention phonics?


How did our lessons / lives change after meeting David Paul?  


1.  Phonics.   With a systematic approach (games/ flashcards/ texts) that complement each other, begin easy and level up gradually, our students become very strong readers and writers from a young age.   


2.  Kid centered:  Teacher in the background.  Kids playing the games / doing the flashcards in pairs, helping each other.   The teacher is merely a facilitator, intervening only when necessary.


Our lessons became better, our students improved, our reputation stronger….   and we’re where we are now.    With high achieving students, satisfied parents, happy teachers and growing student numbers.    


So, check out David Paul and the wonderful presenters at your next ETJ expo.   


It might just change your life.

Write a comment

Comments: 0