Saturday, February 25, 2012

Week 7 - Procrastination

Photo on Flickr by Andy Heather

I love travelling, but I hate packing. I always panic that I will forget something. So I procrastinate.

I did the same when I was a student and when I needed to write longer academic papers. I would sit down to write the first draft, then end up writing poetry on the margin. Or drawing candlesticks.

I am no different now while I am trying to get onto paper the results of my project. What I am doing reminds me of one of my favourite YouTube clips:

Don't get me wrong, my report doesn't look like that empty suitcase up there. There are things in it. But it isn't exactly finished.

All this got me thinking about procrastination. Do we know why we really procrastinate? People don't miss their flights because they procrastinated while packing and Lev Yilmaz obviously "got his stuff done". This great video is the result of his procrastination.

Maybe we need to procrastinate in order to think things through. Maybe we just need to sleep on our ideas or get some physical exercise and things will click into place.

While writing the first draft of my project, I realized that I hadn't been doing too bad with the forum. I kept it going during the four week holiday between terms. During those four weeks, I kept the students reading, listening and writing. Otherwise they would have done nothing about their English. The group was small and they didn't participate equally, but those who did show improvement in their writing. I created a questionnaire for them using Survey Monkey and the initial feedback is positive. Classes start on Monday. Four out of five of my old students have enrolled and I will have two new ones. Let's see how the forum copes with these changes. I am also eager to find out whether the one student who didn't participate because he was "too busy" at least read the assignments.

This week was very interesting in Webskills. I like the idea of having one computer in the classroom. I haven't got any computers in my classroom at the moment, but with up to twelve students, I would be really happy with just one. I am not sure I am ready for a computer lab. Somehow I believe I wouldn't like them to stare at their screens instead of talking to each other and to me. If I had a computer lab, I would probably put in extra effort to learn how to use it creatively. But right now I would be happy with a single computer.

Another thing we discussed this week is learner autonomy, a topic very dear to me, as it is connected to learner motivation:

View more PowerPoint from lunas994

Creating autonomous learners might be just an ideal, but giving them tools to become more autonomous is quite achievable. Having one computer in the classroom as a reference tool can be the first step. Students could walk over to the computer every time they need to look up a new word or find something out. Giving them creative "homework" is another thing we can do. Technology can help us there as well.


  1. Hello, Natasa!

    Your post is really nice and the presentation you offer is absolutely fantastic. It is a clear instruction of how to motivate our students.


    1. Dear Helen,

      Thank you. I am glad you have found the presentation useful.


  2. Hi, Natasa!
    It's funny: I love that word - procrastination! It reminded me of a video I enjoyed very much and I'm sure you will, too. Check it here: Still, that's something I never do. Stress for me is not having things done, so I do everything immediately and then I just admire the others, working! I also enjoy Tales of mere existence very much! And everything else about your post is good. We do have similar tastes!

    1. Hi Luisa,

      I love the word too. It has a beautiful sound to it. Although it is long, students learn it quickly. Probably because they can relate to the phenomenon.

      The video is great. I am already thinking of ways I could use both videos in class. They give some very innovative ideas of what you could do in order to procrastinate:)

      I don't like approaching deadlines either, so I prefer to do everything in advance. I do procrastinate, but only before I start something. I need to do things in my head before I start.

      Yep, we do have similar tastes:)

  3. Hi Natasa,

    Considering myself as a learner, I wished to learn more ideas of teaching English from different corners of the world. I love to spend time reading most of the posts especially those of yours.

    I like this post too. I like the way you say "procrastination"


    1. Thank you The. I am really happy that you enjoy my posts and that you have liked this one as well.

      I too tried to visit as many blogs as possible, but often there isn't enough time for that. Once the workshop finishes, I plan to reread most of the participants' posts and to leave comments. And if we continue blogging, our community can live on after the workshop is over.

  4. great post. For some light relief here is a funny about procrastination

    1. Thank you Carole. I love the cartoon and your blog in general.