Sure, you can get away with stagnating and failing to grow as an educator, but wouldn’t it be better to invest a bit of time each week trying to learn things that will make your job easier and improve the quality of education you provide your students?
Of course it would be.
- Take a class: Just by being a student you can get a clearer perspective of what it’s like to learn something new. You can see what the teacher does (the good, the bad, and the interesting) and draw from that.
- Team teach: Ask a co-teacher to teach a class with you. This affords you an opportunity to learn from each other.
- Record your class: Make a video recording of your class and then get some popcorn, sit back, and watch. You don’t need to show anyone else. You don’t need to broadcast it on YouTube (unless it is really awesome, really bad, or really funny – then please do share it). All you need to do is reflect and think about how you can improve, think about what you did well, and think about the ‘value add’ you provide your students.
- YouTube is your friend: Need ideas? Go to YouTube. Simple! (e.g. JoshEsl on YouTube)
- Professional organizations are also your friend: When was the last time you checked out http://www.tesol.org/ or http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/? These organizations run great websites to help you in your chosen career. Take the time to see what they have to offer.
- Get outside the box: Professional organizations and websites etc. related to teaching your chosen subject matter are great resources, but don’t forget the benefits of looking elsewhere for new ideas, information, and inspiration. My favorites include http://www.criticalthinking.org/ and https://www.coursera.org/
I know these ideas are not overly novel, nor are they overly original, but they are necessary – especially if you wish to be an effective, dynamic, and innovative educator.
Thank you for reading.
Keep English Real!