I’m tired today. Actually a lot of teachers I know are tired. Whether we’re teaching long days at a language school, or large classes at a public school, or teaching at multiple schools to try and pay the bills, teaching can be a tiring job. Burning the work candle at both ends makes it a challenge to stay healthy, and feeling less than valued by employers makes it hard to stay motivated. I was very interested in reading the teacher posts on the iTDi blog this week because they deal with this very topic–how to stay healthy and motivated. As always, I got a lot of great, practical tips, and food for thought. (more…)
First, an explanation about a couple of changes that I’ve made in the past week. You may have noticed that the last couple of posts had a copyright statement at the bottom of the post, and if you subscribe to Teaching Village in a reader or by email, you certainly will have noticed that you now receive a snippet rather than a post. Plagiarism has always been a bit of a problem, but it was manageable. However, Sue Lyon-Jones’ post about copyright and plagiarism was reprinted (without permission) more than was manageable. Luckily, Sue is waaaay more knowledgeable about this stuff than I am, and she helped me make changes here that will keep everyone’s posts safer. If you’d like to read more about snippets vs. full posts, Sue has written another wonderful post about that topic over on Marisa Constantidides’ TEFL Matters. Now, if my posts were the only ones being copied, I don’t know that I would have made the change to snippets. I like getting full posts myself, and as a coursebook author I’m used to living with copyright infringement. However, I’m also responsible for being a good steward for the Villagers who share their writing here–78 guest authors representing 33 countries, and counting. I appreciate your understanding about these changes. (more…)
Telling teachers to collaborate is a bit like preaching to the choir. Collaboration is the norm for teachers working together in social networks. Every time a guest author shares a post on Teaching Village and then interacts with readers in comments, we are collaborating in our own learning. However, bringing collaboration into our classes is often a different story. How do we include collaboration in classes where we have a syllabus to follow, or in a school environment that doesn’t encourage different ways of teaching? (more…)
From time to time, I recommend blog posts that I think readers might enjoy or learn from. The International Teacher Development Institute (iTDi) has started a blog that puts a “think tank” twist on the sharing. Every two weeks they ask six teachers to write on the same topic. The first round of posts dealt with error correction, the second round of posts dealt with with homework, the third round dealt with getting students to use English outside of class, and this week’s posts are all about strategies for dealing with large classes. The writers all represent different teaching contexts in different parts of the world, which makes the answers quite interesting. (more…)
I’m here to tell you about how a simple acronym – EVO – changed my life and was a true turning point in my professional development. When I joined the Electronic Village Online for the first time to take the online session Becoming a Webhead (BaW), I had the feeling it was special in the sense of learning something new, understanding more about this online world, and connecting to like-minded educators for a period of time. Never could I imagine that the Electronic Village Online would be way more than my initial expectation. The Electronic Village Online was a new beginning of renovated passion for my profession as an educator, of lifelong learning and the joy of being always connected. It was not about a definite time, it was about constant feeding and improvement in who I was as an educator and person. (more…)
If you read Stories from the Front Lines of EFL, and thought, “I’d really like to be part of this project, but I’m not sure anyone would be interested in my story” then this post is for you.
Answering just a few important questions can give you the confidence to share your thoughts and ideas about teaching. It may take a bit of time, some reading and some effort, but anyone can do it. You can benefit yourself and all of us by taking this step in your own development as a teacher. Everyone has some great successes from the classroom to share, and all of us really do want to learn from you. (more…)
Having been in the TEFL field for a number of years now, I’ve witnessed the ELT pendulum swing a number of times (back and forth and sideways) when talking about methods and approaches. Throughout all these years, I have seen teachers simply ‘throw away’ all they knew and believed about a certain method or approach because a new, trendier one had just made the market. I am talking specifically about the time in Brazil when the Communicative Approach swept away the Audio-Lingual Method and its (then considered) controlled, grammar-based use of the language in a way which didn’t foster real communication. It was believed that students needed to be given every chance they could get to communicate (even to the detriment of grammar). (more…)
I’ve always believed in the power of people to be able to come together to create something much bigger than any one of them individually. Here is a story about a bunch of teachers (myself and Barbara included) who are coming together to create something new called The International Teacher Development Institute (iTDi). (more…)
We’re better when we work together.
This isn’t just the tag line for Teaching Village, it’s what I believe. I’m a big fan of teaching degrees and licenses–I have a handful of my own, and value what I gained in the pursuit of them. However, I also believe that great wisdom comes from teacher experience in the classroom, and that we are all better ELT practitioners when we learn from each other. (more…)