Feeling resourceful?

During the summer holidays, I have seen many tweets from teachers showing resources that they have made. Indeed, the MFL Twitterati community is very generous about sharing resources for free. However, whilst it is true that excellent teaching can be greatly enhanced by excellent resources, excellent resources do not automatically mean excellent teaching. This is something that I failed to realise in my PGCE days. Back then, it was flashcards and OHTs. I had the most beautifully drawn flashcards, covered with sticky backed plastic, which had taken hours to make, yet I lacked the class presence and confidence to build relationships with my classes (probably because I was so shattered from spending hours making flashcards). In my second placement, I did better with building relationships with the classes but still spent every free lesson laboriously sticking TL labels over a set of Happy Families cards from the Early Learning Centre, such was my commitment to making resources.

Fortunately, a happy accident in my first term as a newly qualified teacher cured me of this. My Year 7 class turned up outside my room for a lesson. I had forgotten that we had the lesson, so had to improvise with only a whiteboard and pen at my disposal. All went well. I subsequently tried to be as light on resources as possible and I think that this has made me a better teacher as I have been focused on the students, not the resources.

By the way, I work and have worked with many teachers who enjoy producing beautiful resources which they use effectively in their excellent lessons. However, whilst admiring their pretty booklets, you’ll find me with my battered old scrap paper box, playing consequences.