As a teacher trainer, I am an avid believer that great teachers never stop growing. In today’s world, the ability to grow has never been easier. Articles, blogs, online materials, lesson plans and podcasts have enabled teachers to share a wealth of knowledge, experience and reflections, and they can be all be accessed through the keyboards of our computers. I encourage all TEFL teachers I train to read, trial new ideas and to reflect, to ensure continuous growth. However, how can growth be ensured for those of us who deliver the exact same course content on a monthly basis, year after year?
As a DOS at a TEFL training centre I naturally learn every month. Over the last five years I have learnt a lot about the way in which learning styles will often dictate how the course is completed. I have learnt how to simplify grammar (mainly on behalf of us Brits!) and how to tailor the feedback model used depending on the individual sat in front of me. I have learnt how to instil confidence into the most self-doubting of characters and have also learnt when to sit back and allow the trainee to see just what they are capable of alone. There is no question of a doubt that on a monthly basis my training skills continue to develop. However, a huge part of me believes that I have stopped growing in the field of teaching. With the exception of the creation and delivery of model classes that I deliver during the first week of our four week TEFL program, I no longer have either the time or opportunity to teach ESL. How can I possibly inspire or motivate the trainees under my supervision to grow, reflect and research ideas if I myself feel so far removed from that field?
As an avid listener to podcasts and a reader of blogs, much thought has led me to believe that having my own space to research ideas and new trends and reflect on my findings may well encourage me to continue to grow. Practicing what I preach is immensely important to me and this blog represents that.
I hope to share my decade of experience with you all in the form of activities, warmers and reactions to podcasts or published articles. I also have the privilege of working alongside other trainers who have avid interests in areas such as the flipped classroom, NLP, accelerated learning, technology in the classroom and bilingual education. These day to day topics of conversation may well find themselves at the centre of some future blog posts!
As of January 2016, a final new role sees me as Mum to my gorgeous son. With an English speaking Mum living in Madrid, this little boy has naturally become an incredibly interesting social experiment! This blog will lastly serve as a space to reflect on the bilingual process and the acquisition of language.
Welcome to allthingstefl.com. I hope you enjoy!