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Table of Contents
1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) 8) 9) Professional Learning Network (PLN) Through Social Networks........................................................................ 2 English Language Teaching Chats (via twitter) .................................................................................................... 4 RPSIG (Reflective Practice Special Interest Group) Meetings ............................................................................ 6 Webinars............................................................................................................................................................... 9 Table of Professional Development Techniques ...............................................................................................10 Professional Development Example Action Plan ..............................................................................................11 Professional Development Action Plan Template ............................................................................................12 What reflective questions can we ask about our teaching? .............................................................................13 Awesome Blogs to Follow ..................................................................................................................................14
1) Professional Learning Network (PLN) Through Social Networks
So here we go! (the list is not in any order and the information is directly taken from the people’s Twitter pages.) Educators in (or very near) Korea: @AlexSWalsh: (Me) EFL high school teacher, surfer, scuba diving instructor, snowboarder. CELTA Qualified, studying for M.A TESOL. Education is my passion. Author of AlienTeachers Seoul ·http://www.alienteachers.com @ChopEDU: English professor at YeungJin College, Daegu, South Korea. 대구 영진전문대학의 교수. @BC_LETeens: LearnEnglish Teens is the British Council's new website for teenage learners of English. @JohnPfordresher: avid introspector, devoted learner @BarryJamesonELT: I teach English........ @kevchanwow: English teacher, father, husband, book reader, pun lover. I have no time for fools but all the time in the world for foolishness. @seouldaddy: Daddy, husband, English education professor, ed tech researcher, and overall tech geek in Seoul @michaelegriffin: EFL teacher, teacher educator, interpreter coach, writer, connector, talker, listener, nudger, editor, why guy, workshopper, feedbacker. Views not always mine. @breathyvowel: Korean university English teacher & MA student. Probably tweeting in a completely unprofessional manner. @JosetteLB: awareness seeker; explorer of compassionate communication; EFL teacher; teacher educator; learner; blogger; community builder; dreamer... ____________________________________________________________________________________ Educators Around the World (from http://burcuakyol.com/2009/06/top-elt-people-to-follow-on-twitter/) @TheEngTeacher : Aniya Adly. E-Teaching Consultant, Personal ESL Trainer @kenwilsonlondon : Ken Wilson. ELT writer and trainer, drama wallah, former English Teaching Theatre director, sketch and songwriter, soccer fan and movie addict. @kalinagoenglish : Karenne Sylvester. EFL + ESP: IT teacher, teacher-trainer, blogger, writer, webmaster and juggler of many frogs. @nealchambers: Neal Chambers. English Conversation teacher, EFL guy, social media buff, technology fanatic. @hiannie: Annie Cook. Learn Languages As Easy And Quick As Kids. I teach Mandarin, speak 5 languages, and am still learning. @ShellTerrell: Shelly Terrell. US english language teacher in Germany. Interested in e-learning, educational technology, writing, learning languages, traveling, poetry, and pugs. @MissShonah: Shonah Kennedy. ESL teacher. Learn English Online. Passionate about language aquisition and teaching English. @tamaslorincz: Tamas Lorincz. English teacher, English learner – forever, likes talking to teachers and student. @dudeneyge: Gavin Dudeney. Edu-technologist, Author, Teacher Trainer, E-consultant, Moodle and 2nd Life. @cheimi10: Jamie Keddie. Teacher, teacher trainer, writer. @teflclips: Jamie Keddie. A website dedicated to the role of YouTube in ELT @Larryferlazzo: Larry Ferlazzo. Inner-city High School teacher — ESL; Mainstream. @sjhannam: Sara Hannam. I do all manner of things really. @bcinfrance: Betty Carlson. Live in France, into online pursuits, reading, food/wine, music, and my teaching job. @NikPeachey: Nik Peachey. Learning Technology Consultant, Writer, Trainer http://nikpeachey.blogspot.com/ http://quickshout.blogspot.com/ @suewaters:Sue Waters. Helping others with education, elearning and blogging. Edublogs and Blogs.mu community faciliator. My other blog is theedublogger.edublogs.org @chriscattaneo: EFLteacher/teacher trainer, BBChick. @CotterHUE: Chris Cotter. Online, offline, always an English teacher. @Glenniehubb: Glenn Hubbard, 53 year-old British teacher of English. Fluent Spanish speaker. Geeky-ish. Occasional birdwatcher. @FelipeMorales: Felipe Morales. Teacher, Educator, web 2.0, e-learning, social learning, blogs… @lunas994: Natasa Bozic Grojic. Mother, wife, teacher of English, Webhead, lifelong learner, daydreamer, geek, insomniac. @Harmerj: Jeremy Harmer. ELT writer, teacher, trainer and presenter. Music lover, singer, player. @EnglishProfi: Kenny Christian. Engineer, Thinker, Entrepreneur, Artist. Developer of things and Ideas. New clients and projects for English language services pros http://bbltwt.com/02rg7 @annehodg: Language lover (english and german), at home around boats, music and curious people. @Marisa_C: Marisa Constantinides. Run CELT, TEFL Teacher Training centre in Athens, Greece; offering CELTA & DELTA courses.
@barbsaka: Barbara Sakamoto. English teacher, author, webhead, Second Life resident. @lclandfield: Lindsay Clandfield. Writer, trainer, teacher. @langwitches: Silvia Tolisano. 21st Century Learning Specialist- Technology Integration. @prestwickhouse: Providing useful information and quality products to English teachers since 1983. @dontspell_esl: Jack Drolet. ESL teacher in the post lobotomy stages of self-actualization. @abfromz: Arjana B. A teacher, a traveler, a travel writer wannabe. @sinikkalw: Sinikka Laakio-W. Hello! I am a teacher of English and French from Finland, active in many online and face-toface student exchange projects. @LUZBEGO: LUZ BEGOÑ A. English / Spanish language trainer. @grahamstanley: Graham Stanley. Barcelona-based teacher, ICT co-ordinator, Second Life resident, music lover. @carldowse: Carl Dowse. Education – ICT & English for Business. @vale24: Valentina Dodge. Online moderator, EFL teacher at the university of naples L’Orientale, materials developer, business English trainer and ICT consultant. @rodericksilva: Roderick Silva. How do you use all this new technology stuff in the classroom? Real EdTech advice, for real educators. The how and the why explained from a certified geek. @cgoodey: Carol Goodey. Work in ESL, ESOL and ALN. @adhockley: Andy Hockley. Brit living in Transylvania. ELT Management consultant and co-author of CUP’s From Teacher to Manager. @tomwhitby: Tom Whitby. Professor of Education in Secondary English. Linkedin group Founder/owner Technology-Using Professors + TWITTER-Using Educators. @carolrainbow: Carol Rainbow. RL – ICT Education Consultant UK, SL – interested in all sorts. @NergizK: Nergiz Kern. EFL teacher, photographer, Internet enthusiast, lifelong learner, Mac user, Second Life language teacher http://edurizon.com/ @jangeronimo: Jan Geronimo. Powered by coffee, laughter and dreams. @carl_robinson: Carl Robinson, Dr Who fan, Publishing Manager in ELT, recent twitter convert, like to think I am a thinker… @BCHK_teacher: I’m a Teacher of English at the British Council in Hong Kong, I’m into sharing learning resources for teachers and students. @daylemajor: Dayle Major, EFL teacher in South Korea; interested juggler; language learner. @icpjones: Head of Languages in the North West of England, French and Spanish teacher also teaching in Primary, EAL and basic German, qualified translator/interpreter. @DailyEngHelp: Tom Guadagno, English Teacher, Grammar and Vocabulary Nerd, Proofreader for Spelling and Grammar, Artist, Poet, Memoir and Inspirational Writer,Optimist, Married. @gsellart: Gabriela Sellart. EFL teacher from Buenos Aires. @etalbert: Secondary languages teacher, principal, now in IT web filter manager. @esolcourses: Sue Lyon-Jones. ESOL/ICT tutor, web & multimedia developer, Interests include: web 2.0/accessibility, language learning, photoshop, film & animation, screenwriting, music. @English_Phrases: Peter Travis. Learning or teaching advanced English? Free materials to develop communication skills at Splendid Speaking. Try our daily quiz on English phrases. @Gapfillers: EFL mlearning elearning site new topical content everyday. @tseale: EnhancedEnglishTeach. 9th grade English teacher teaching in a computer lab using technology to enhance the curriculum. @paulallison: Paul Allison. English Teacher at East-West School of International Studies and Tech Liaison for the New York City Writing Project. @sethdickens: Seth Dickens. I’m a happy chap, living in the beautiful Italian Alps as well as being a consultant on ICT in language teaching. @englishteach8: Pilar (aka Dreamer). Teacher and bookworm. Love the English language, books, cooking, blogs, new technologies, education, Second Life… @diamondfingerz: Peter Thwaites. EFL teacher and lover of learning. @Englishonthenet: Simon Bourn. A French Kiwi, teaching English and French face to face and in virtual learning environments. @ELLCteacher: Floria. Tweetering about life as an ESL teacher at Howard Community College in Columbia, MD, USA. @cuppa_coffee: Tony Watt. EFL school manager and MA student. Into language, culture, critical theory, continental philosophy, jazz, ambient, classical music, coffee and Japan. @webenglishteach: Web English Teacher. English teacher, technology advocate, webmaster. I’ll follow you back if your bio indicates you’re an educator.
2) English Language Teaching Chats (via twitter)
1) #KELTChat (Korea English Language Teachers. Fortnightly, Sunday Evening 8pm. For info:
2) #ELTChat (English Language Teachers. Weekly chat with educators all over the world: 3)
http://marisaconstantinides.edublogs.org/2012/08/10/eltchat-the-loss-of-eltchat-com-plan-b/#.UDro-6Bt7TU) #AsiaELT (Twice a week chat for educators in Asia. http://www.britishcouncil.org/accessenglish-news-asiaeltweekly-discussions.htm)
All of these chats take place on twitter:
Getting Started (from http://pathwaypr.com/how-to-participate-in-a-twitter-chat) In order to participate in a Twitter chat, attendees will need to have a Twitter account. To sign up for a Twitter account, go to http:// twitter.com. Once you have your Twitter account, you are ready to go.
There are a number of formats to use to follow a Twitter chat but the easiest way I have found to follow the chat is to use TweetChat (http://tweetchat.com). Assuming you will be joining me on #CollegeChat, simply log in to TweetChat with your Twitter information (email or username followed by password) and then enter in CollegeChat without the “#” and you will be placed into the chat room with only those participating in #CollegeChat.
You can also participate in the chat from the main Twitter screen. Just enter the #hashtag for the chat with the “#” sign into the ‘search” box and you will be able to see everyone who is participating. If you want to join in, you will need to remember to add the #hashtag after every entry. You don’t need to do this step if you use TweetChat.
3) RPSIG (Reflective Practice Special Interest Group) Meetings
A letter from Michael Griffin (co-founder)
What is the RP SIG (and can it help you be a better teacher)? In Korea, there seems to be no shortage of opportunities to talk, read, or hear about teaching. There are monthly meetings for KOTESOL chapters. There are conferences. There are bars and coffee shops. There is ESLcafe.com to ask questions and occasionally receive helpful and polite answers. There is also the KOTESOL Facebook group. There are hundreds of websites and groups devoted to teaching and teaching materials. There are plenty of people around to offer opinions on how to handle different situations and contexts. There are peers, managers, supervisors and admin staff willing to give feedback. The three original co-facilitators (Kevin Giddens, Manpal Sahota, and myself) of the Reflective Practice Special Interest Group (RP SIG) felt that in spite of the opportunities listed above there were not actually many chances for teachers to talk productively about teaching. We also felt that there were even less opportunities for teachers to be listened to talking about and trying to understand what really goes on in the classroom. It seems to me that professional development often amounts to one person at the front of the room telling others how and why they “should” do something. In the SIG we try to get away from that and have members come to their own conclusions about their own teaching practices. It was with this concept of professional development in mind that we held the first RP SIG meeting in February, 2011. Then, what do we do in meetings? The main idea and focus is to practice reflecting. With this in mind, the middle and longest part of each meeting is focused on practicing reflective skills. The meetings start with an icebreaker which is useful because we often a mix of new faces and experienced members. After the ice-breaker is the “check-in”: where members share how they reflected in the previous month and if they met their reflective goals. These goals are set and shared in the check-out which occurs at the end of the meetings. So, in order, meetings generally consist of an icebreaker, check-in, reflection practice, check-out;. From my perspective, meeting and reflecting just once a month is not likely to make much of an impact in terms of knowledge, skills, attitude or awareness. Hopefully by coming to meetings, reflecting, and talking about reflection and reflective goals we can become better and reflecting and then ultimately better teachers. We hope that members can take the ideas, thoughts and experiences from the meetings and transfer them to their own contexts. So,
For the last few months we have been holding monthly meetings in Seoul and Daejon. The Seoul meetings are held on the second Sunday of the month (in Sinchon) while the Daejon meetings are held on the third Sunday (near City Hall). Please email for more details. KOTESOL members and non-members alike are invited to attend for free. Also, people are very welcome to attend meetings in both Seoul and Daejon. Happy reflecting!
Bio Michael has taught EFL for nearly 10,000 hours. Unfortunately, most of those hours were before he got into reflective practice. Currently working in the Graduate School of International Studies at Chung-Ang University, Mike is also an SIT TESOL Teacher Trainer. In KOTESOL Mike is co-facilitator of the RP SIG as well as Associate Editor of TEC Email: firstname.lastname@example.org . SIG Email: email@example.com
An example of topics of discussion at a RPSIG meeting: From: http://eltrantsreviewsreflections.wordpress.com/2012/04/20/considerations-for-reflection/#comments
The following are the questions/considerations that the group came up with (along with my own thoughts and additions): Journals Is there a format/structure? What is it? Do you want to follow a rubric? What type? Why? Is there a specific topic/focus? Or just what comes to mind on the day? How often do you write in the journal? How long is each entry? How much time do you spend on each entry? Where do you write it? When do you write it? (Examples include during class, right after class, another day) Do you want to get feedback on the journal? From whom? How? On what? Do you want to choose the journal topic before teaching the lesson? When/how do you revisit the journal? What do you do Do you include some degree of accountability for yourself? How? What is it? A quick note about journaling: It seems to me that many people equate journaling with reflection. From my view, journaling is just one of the many ways that we can reflect. I think it is helpful to think of journaling as a useful way of reflecting but not the only way. Journaling is surely not the only way and is not the best way for everyone. Some people just don’t like writing. Some people don’t want more time on the computer. Some people feel better with charts or pictures. Some people think better when they are talking (with or without someone else). Some people are self conscious about their writing skills. So, let’s take a look at some other ways. Group Discussions
What are the expectations? Are they the same for everyone? Are they clearly stated? Are there agreed upon norms/code of conduct? What are the goals and objectives of the discussions? Where are the discussions held? How comfortable is the room? What equipment is there? Is there a seating plan? What purposes does it serve? When are the discussions? Day? Time? (Duration?) What about refreshments? What? Who organizes? Who pays? Is booze ok? Is there equal participation? Is this a concern? How can we create a situation where some people don’t dominate and so everyone speaks? How can we create space for some people not to speak if they don’t wish to?
Is an agenda set before the discussion? Is an agenda set at the beginning of the discussion? (So that people know what is coming and what they can get out of it) Is there a leader/facilitator? What are his/her roles? How is the leader determined (volunteer, nominated, rotating etc.)? Class Observations What are the goals of the observation? Is it for development of the teacher that is teaching? Is it for observers to learn new skills? Is it for teachers to practice new skills? Is it to show off? Is it for continued/future employment? Are there guidelines? What are the guidelines? Where do the guidelines come from? What purpose do they serve? Are there SMART objectives for the observation? How will the observation be conducted (live/videotape/audiotape)? Who will observe? A critical friend? Peer? Supervisor? Education professional? Other? Which class will be observed? Some considerations include students’ level/ability, Student-teacher rapport, the time of day and the type of lesson. Will the teacher do anything different/special for the observed class? Why/Why not? Teaching Portfolios
What goes in them? Some possibilities: awards, philosophy, curricula, teaching material, lesson plans, conference information, student work, teaching demos, reflections) What is the medium? Dead trees? Digital? Is it interactive (like an app or something?) How long/big is it? What is the format? How will we organize it (chronologically, by class type/student level)? How often do we update it? How can we make this more for reflection than for job hunting? (Some wisdom from the group: It is the curating that matters.
Of course this is just a short list of different ways of reflecting and some considerations for these ways as there are many more ways (and considerations). What other ways of reflecting would you add? What other considerations would you add? As always, any comments are greatly appreciated. Thanks for reading and happy reflecting!
A webinar is an online seminar, that has usually been recorded, on a specific topic, in this case EFL education. The two links below have a huge number of really useful and informative webinars you can watch while relaxing on one of those desk warming days you will inevitably have at some point!
5) Table of Professional Development Techniques
Attending Workshops Often run by organisations such as KOTESOL, it is an intensive, short-term learning activity that is designed to provide an opportunity to acquire specific knowledge and skills. Participants are expected to learn something that they can later apply in the classroom and to get hands on experience with the topic. You may ask your colleague to focus on a particular aspect of your teaching (for example, your patterns of interaction with students), or to comment on your teaching in general. Your colleague can take down notes or use a standard form (which myself or Nayeon can provide you). Immediately after the lesson, make notes about what you felt were your strengths and weaknesses, and then discuss the lesson with your colleague. The teacher collects information, via surveys (survey forms are available from myself or Nayeon) or interviews, which allow him to evaluate his performance over a period of time and analyses improvements that can be made in future classes and syllabuses. The teacher collects information from colleagues, via surveys or interviews, which allow him to evaluate his performance over a period of time and analyses improvements that can be made in future classes and syllabuses. - Can provide input from experts - Offer practical classroom applications - Develops collegiality - Allows you to see how a different teacher teachers - Third party can provide an objective view of the lesson - Gives teachers a chance to share expertise - Helps the teacher to understand students’ feelings - Makes students feel like their opinions are important - Is easy to administer - A good opportunity to build on relationship with colleagues - An easy way to learn from other professionals - Is easy to administer - Is less obtrusive than having a peer observe a lesson. - You can review it over and over, each time concentrating on a different aspect.- Is not time consuming - Can be quick and easy to administer, meaning it can be repeated over time to help track development. - Is very personal, no one even needs to know you are doing it. - Can be useful if recycling lessons in the next academic year. - Time Consuming - Hard to keep track of when and where they are organised - Often require professional memberships - Can make you feel nervous or stressed - Can be difficult to find another teacher with the time available - Teacher might teach differently to normal or students might behave differently - Students might not be mature enough to give constructive feedback - Teacher might take criticism personally
Co Teacher Feedback
- Can be difficult to find a co-teacher who has time available - If co-teacher writes negative comments it can put a strain on your relationship - You may only see what you want to see, therefore falsely confirming beliefs about your own teaching. - Students might become self-conscious and less willing to participate. - Teacher might make extra effort - Lack of collaboration with other teachers means the teacher may miss important aspects of the lesson. - The retrospective nature means the teacher might forget important aspects of the lesson.
Record a Lesson
Can be done using either video or audio, the teacher can watch or listen to the lesson to analyse aspects of the lesson such as talk time, how much time students get to talk, whether you give equal opportunities to all students etc.
Records what happened during a lesson. It is normally completed shortly after a lesson has been taught and records as many important details as the teacher can remember, for example, what parts of the lesson were successful, difficulties learners experienced, language items students needed to complete activities, whether the lesson plan had to be deviated from at any point. A report is then written answering questions such as: - What aspects of the lesson worked well? - What aspects of the lesson did not work particularly well? Why? - What aspects of the lesson should be done differently next time? An ongoing written account of observations, reflections, and other thoughts about teaching, usually in the form of a notebook, or electronic mode (blog), which serves as a source of discussion, reflection or evaluation.
Online seminars that have been recorded and are available for play back online. They usually focus on a specific area of ELT or EFL.
- Although retrospectively personal, other teachers can comment providing another viewpoint. - Can write where ever and whenever you want - Can concentrate on the topics you feel are most important - Can be downloaded to mobile devices - Is very stress free - Can get teaching information from professional teacher educators.
- Can be extremely time consuming - Can take a long time to build up readers and to start getting comments - Having your practices under public scrutiny can be nerve wracking - You can’t control the topics that will be covered. - They can often focus on very different teaching contexts to yours.
6) Professional Development Example Action Plan
Do I have a specific goal in mind?
What are the steps or strategies I will take? I’m going to record a lesson and watch it back.
To improve my interaction with the students as I feel I currently focus too much on the higher or lower level students. Intermediate students might not be getting as much help.
What problems am I likely to encounter? Students tend to act silly in front of cameras. Could affect the lesson.
How can I overcome the problems? Ask the students to act normally. Reassure them I am the only person that will watch the tape.
To think more objectively about what I am trying to achieve in my lesson, and whether the activities are really achieving what I want them to.
I’m going to write a detailed lesson plan. Then after the lesson I will read back through the plan, focusing on my objectives, and think about whether the students met them. I will publish the report on my blog.
Time. I currently have a lot of work to do, it might be difficult to find the time to write the report.
I have a day of lessons cancelled on Wednesday, so if do the report on the Tuesday lessons I should have time. Alternatively I have period 6&7 free every Friday so I could write the report on Friday’s lessons.
7) Professional Development Action Plan Template
Do I have a specific goal in mind?
What are the steps or strategies I will take?
What problems am I likely to encounter?
How can I overcome the problems?
8) What reflective questions can we ask about our teaching?
About the Lesson E.g. what did I set out to teach?
About the Students E.g. Did I interact with all the students? Were there opportunities to interact more?
About Myself E.g. what were my strengths as a teacher? Reflective Questions
About the Lesson: What did you set out to teach? Did you accomplish these goals? How effective were your materials? What kind of teacher student interaction occurred? What problems occurred? How did you deal with them? Will you deal with them the same next time? How will you teach the lesson differently next time? Did you discover anything new about your teaching About the Students: Did you interact with all the students? If not, how could you have interacted with more? Did students actively contribute? Were students challenged? What did the students learn from the lesson? What did/didn't they enjoy? About Myself: What is the source of my ideas? Am I developing as a teacher? How? What are my strengths? What are my limitations? How can I improve my student experience?
9) Awesome Blogs to Follow
On reflective practice -> http://tokenteach.wordpress.com/ Challenging ‘standard’ teaching practices -> http://eltrantsreviewsreflections.wordpress.com/ An A-Z of ELT from by Scott Thornbury -> http://scottthornbury.wordpress.com/ Practical Ideas -> http://eltrantsreviewsreflections.wordpress.com/ Discussion Based Lessons -> http://debatediscussion.blogspot.kr/ Teaching Advice -> http://eltsquared.co.uk/ Materials -> http://www.englishraven.com/ Lesson plans, reflections and questioning ELT focusing on Korea (my site) -> http://www.alienteachers.com/ For inspiration, a high school teacher in Japan -> http://theotherthingsmatter.blogspot.kr/ Hints & Tips -> http://elt-resourceful.com/
Example Blog -> 20 ways to improve as a teacher next year August 29, 2012 — 9 Comments
by Leonardini from sxc.hu The academic year has started for some of us (and isn’t long away for the rest of us!) and after some well deserved rest for all us teachers it’s time to start thinking abouthow we can make the best of next year. As such, I thought it would be great to come up with a list of ways that you can improve as a teacher next year. 1. Set a list of goals for the next year. Setting some goals can really help you focus and give you a checklist to see how you do at the end of the year. It doesn’t have to be a long list but put it somewhere you’ll see it regularly. 2. Set a reflective blogging schedule and stick to it! Regular blogging is hard to keep up but having a set schedule can be a great way to focus your efforts. Start off with a low schedule and then you can always do more. oh and one more great tip for a routine. You are more likely to stick to a routine if you have a prompt that you always do before hand. For example, if you go for a run as soon as you get back from work you’re more likely to keep it up than if you just do it at some point in the evening. 3. Teach a lesson out of your comfort zone Try doing a lesson that you wouldn’t normally. Perhaps this could be a level/nationality/type of class that you don’t like (kids groups for an adult teacher, advance classes for the teacher who only teaches beginners etc. 4. Observe a teacher
Watching another teacher is a great way to learn new tricks and ideas from other teachers. Sometimes watching them in action can make them stick more if you read about them. What’s more, there might be an aspect of their teaching which they take as second nature and wouldn’t normally mention, but by observing you can check it out yourself. 5. Be observed The flip side of the point above, although people are usually lesson keen to be observed than to observe. However, being observed has it’s advantages too. When someone watches someone else they person being observed usually puts more effort into their lesson. Reflecting on the differences can point out some things that you have forgotten. Having to talk through why you did (or didn’t do) something is also very useful to reinforce knowledge and can expose you to the way someone else thinks and works. 6. Go to a conference Conferences can be great.
Sometimes you hear a big name speaker talk about something game changing. Sometimes you find new activities that you can’t wait to try out in class. Sometimes you research for a talk and learn more as you do. Sometimes it just great to enjoy the break and let your hair down with other teachers.
In any case conferences can provide some great features. 7. Hangout with other teacher Hanging out with other teachers can be great on a few level. You can share exciting things about work and become rejuvenated during the long hard stretches of teacher. You can share disheartening experiences too, vent and then move on finally getting over an issue (or go round and round in circles getting more and more irate!) You can ask for advice about a problem you’re having. Or perhaps you can just talk about something other than teaching. 8. Ask your students for feedback Sometimes getting your students feedback will provide you with more insight than any observation or reading ever could. Students can try to protect your feelings and try to hide when a bad lesson was…well bad! However, giving them a chance to say what works and what doesn’t can really help see things from your student’s perspective. It also allows you the opportunity to explain why you do certain things in class and help students to understand the benefits of certain activities (and reinforce why you as a teacher do something). (be warned you might not get the answer you’re looking for.) 9. Join twitter I could go into great depth on why Twitter is great but instead I’ll hand over to Sally Millin’s webinarwhich includes a handy guide to sign up. 10. Attend #ELTchat on Wednesday at 12:00 GMT and 21:00 GMT #ELTchat is a great way to share, listen and learn from teachers all around the world in a whole host of different contexts. It can be very overwhelming at first, as the tweets fly and different people talk about different issues but you get used to it after a while. Each week the two chat topics are voted for and then discussed for an hour.
11. Write up an #ELTchat summary Writing up a summary for #ELTchat is a great way to go over a subject again, look through all the links and share the best comments people made. (oh and it’s also a great way to get people to visit your blog) 12. Learn a foreign language As an English Language Teacher learning another language is great to help see through your students eyes and empathise with their journey. There are some dangers of “over-personalisation” but that can happen even without learning another language. What’s more, by comparing your language with another language you can find out about different learner difficulties and see your language from another perspective. 13. Join Itdi.pro Itdi.pro has recently launched and has some great features. There is a great forum and some courses and lessons that you can buy. The blog has long been a source of inspiration for many teachers and their numbers include many well-known teachers and regular Joes. 14. Do a teaching course Doing a training course can be a great way to focus on one (or multiple) area(s) of your teaching. This could be something like an International House certificate, the DELTA, or even a Ma in TEFL. There are lots of different options and with more and more moving online the option to do them whilst still teaching is becoming more present. Of course, some will be good to put on your C.V. and more for self fulfilment. 15. Read a book There are loads of great teacher development books out there on such a wide range of topics. Such as the How to teach series or the Delta development series or even the good old Cambridge development series. I’m sure that one of these series has a book you haven’t read and could value. (of course for the more tech savvy who love ebooks there are the new offerings of the round to look forward to. 16. Read a journal. There are lots of journals around, some of which are free to read online. Some have articles that other teachers have written ranging on a wide range of topics. Take for example the last IH Journal which can be found online here and has articles on Politeness with NNS interactions, Surviving your first year as a teacher, Management (delegation), Teacher training and even reviews of books. There are also academic journals that have results of research that can be very interesting. 17. Write for a journal Writing for a journal can be a really great way to focus your mind on a topic, do some research and then distill your thoughts for an academic purpose. This would certainly be a different experience to writing your average blog post. 18. Do some action research If you can’t find a course or book on an area of teaching you want to improve upon then Why not start some research into it? It’s the perfect chance for you to learn in an area you need to learn in and then use some of the other methods above to continue to learn. (This British council article has some good advice on active research) 19. Teach an Unusual lesson/Try a new form of teaching
Have you tried teaching a lesson without speaking like Kevin Stein? What about a [nearly] paperless lesson? Have you taught an uplugged lesson? or at the other extreme a lesson straight from the coursebook! Why not try an approach you would never normally do, reflect and see what lessons you might learn from it. 20. Do a Pecha Kucha video. You may have seen my Minute Monday video series, which has been on a short hiatus recently. Well I found it really useful and thought I would open it up to everyone but with a twist. Watch this Monday’s video to find out more. Bonus 21: Subscribe to other teachers blogs. There are some great blogs out there and subscribing is by far the best way to keep up to date with them. There are different ways to do this, Email and RSS are the most common. Oh and by the way if you follow a blog try to comment on them every once in a while. I guarantee it will put a smile on their face and teach them something new (second part not guaranteed…come to mention it neither is the first part. however it will put a smile on my face if you do.) Over to you! How are you going to develop as a teacher this year?
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