I always looked forward to being asked to supervise trainee teachers during my teaching career. This was because it forced me to look at my teaching. With the constant pressure of the job, I, like many others in the profession, sometimes went back to the old chalk and talk types lessons far too often. The arrival of the trainee teacher reminded me of all the different pedagogue/teaching strategies I could use to stimulate my students' learning.
So I would look at ways in which I could show the trainee a variety of teaching strategies that increased interest in my students. Their arrival also meant I would endeavour to teach the "perfect" lessons to inspire them and my students.
In doing this I was trying to create an image of how a teacher works in a professional way. As well I would endeavour to give the trainee a wide experience of school life, not just in the classroom but in the staff room and in the playground.
I always provided more opportunities to experience teaching than was ...
Across the nation it is becoming more and more difficult to recruit classroom teachers. It is not that we are lacking in young folks with special ideology for making a difference in the lives of children and adolescents, it is just that the job is exceeding tough with ever-increasing expectations plus the salary is generally quite low when compared with other professional opportunities with equal education. In addition, no matter how hard a teacher works and applies him/herself, kids are the variables - some get it; some don't; sadly, some won't. But having taught students, future teachers, and new hires for over 45 years, I can tell you that it is fun, exciting, and rewarding job, coupled with bits or worry and frustration. No other profession keeps you young through the insight of kids or on top of understanding and thinking of young minds. It is fascinating, awesome, and gratifying.
Because it is hard to find teachers in most locales, alternatives have been implemented. This ...
As a teacher I am well aware that many students do not hear what is said but what they want or expect to hear, and many times they hear nothing at all. This is particularly true when it comes to graded assignments. Students have expectations about what assignments will be given and how they will be graded; they continue to hold these expectations regardless of what is actually assigned.
To improve your results, you need to be clear about what is expected. This clarity is needed for several aspects of the assignment. If it is missing, your chances of doing well are severely limited, if not entirely gone.
Getting the Assignment
The first place clarity is needed is when the assignment is given. You need to understand three different aspects of the assignment: content, format, and timing. Content clarity is when you make sure that you understand what the assignment is about. The instructor expects you to ask questions, either when the assignment is given or afterwards, to make sure you ...
The present teacher education and training environment in England is characterised by schools and university partnerships and school-based only frameworks. There are however an increasing body of 'independent' teacher education providers. Out of this 'new' thinking has emerged labels and entities such as School Direct, Teach First, Troops to Teachers and School-Centred Initial Teacher Training.
This occurrence suggests that increasingly, research in teacher education and training is being carried out in a variety of schools' contexts. This also provides researchers with a larger 'ground' in which to work and a diverse array of potential respondents and participants.
While there is always a 'downside' some may argue that the positives (such as the potential for 'rich data' and increased understanding of teacher education and training issue based on a wider pool of participants) out-weight the potential negatives--some are highlighted later in this article. Additionally, the highlighted ...
I have been considering the decision of Ofsted to stop grading individual lessons during inspections. The reason is understandable - they did not want to give the impression that the impact of teaching, learning and assessment can be condensed into a snapshot of one lesson. This has triggered many providers to evaluate their procedures for judging the quality of their provision with some implementing non graded observations. But is this 'throwing the baby out with the bath water'?
Many words have been written on the effectiveness as well as the detrimental effects on staff of carrying out graded observations. But what must not be forgotten is that, when the approach and focus is right, observations themselves are an integral part of a staff member's continuous professional development.
How to make sure observations really do contribute to improving teaching, learning and assessment? You must ensure the following apply:
1. All staff know the purpose of observing/being observed - a tool ...
When instructional coaches are initially entrusted with the responsibility of supporting the needs of teachers through a teacher-centered, student-centered, or combination of both models, they often feel like a fish out of water. Whether they transition from the role of a classroom teacher to a coach or whether they are hired from outside of the school district, they often find themselves wondering where to start on this adventure we call coaching. Instructional coaches are generally equipped with a specialized knowledge regarding a content area or several content areas, however, their knowledge is not the pre-determining factor as to how successful they will be, but instead their ability to build relationships is the key.
Theodore Roosevelt was once quoted as having said: "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care". The most effective coaches are the ones who not only demonstrate care relative to their position or about their specialized knowledge, but ...
Ten Tips for Cross Cultural Communication
As our world becomes smaller through innovative technology and international business, effective cross-cultural communicating skills are the foundation to building strong relationships. Review these ten simple tips to keep in mind before your next business trip abroad.
Understand the Culture
Before planning any business trip to another country, it is always a good idea to research and develop some awareness on the target culture. Many cultures have specific etiquette and customs when dealing with communicating. For example, when doing business in China, you do not want to appear insensitive by asking how many children someone has. Although this may be usual in America, Chinese government has strict restrictions on family size and could find this question disrespectful.
When in doubt, opt for friendly formality.
Some cultures you encounter will range in formality vastly. It is important to be aware of different greetings and introductions ...
Training v Development
Teacher Training is not the same as Teacher development.
Devised by academic management
Pre-determined training course structure
Addresses ‘global’ teaching issues*
Input from “experts”
Unthinking acceptance of knowledge
Teaching seen from ‘outside in’
Stresses professional skill
Initiated by “self”
Development through reflective process
Addresses ‘local’ teaching issues*
Input from “participants”
Personal construction of knowledge
Teaching seen from ‘inside out
Stresses personal development
* Note Global issues refer to teaching in general while ‘local’ issues refer to a teacher’s individual situation.
Teacher training is a good means of introducing new ideas and techniques but Teacher Development should really start with the teacher reflecting on what they do in class.
Development comprises two distinct features – awareness and direction; that is, awareness of where you are or what you ...
The A.C.T. Strategy
Part 1 of 3
Prison. Juvenile detention centers. The mean streets of the city. All of these things and more are possibilities for kids these days. I know, because I've been there myself. One simple, stupid mistake made when I was a teenager led to four hard years in a correctional facility, and during that time I spent nearly every day feeling like I had completely destroyed my chances of having a life. It's a harsh, empty feeling and one that nobody should have to go through.
I turned my life around, however. It wasn't easy - it never is - but I was finally released from prison after what felt like an eternity. The first months after getting out were rough. Jail doesn't exactly prepare a young person for a role as a model citizen, after all. But today I've moved into a management position at a highly successful company and spend much of my free time as a youth mentor and professional speaker, trying to help at-risk kids avoid the same mistakes I made and start ...
Language teaching is a unique field which has seen a tremendous amount of change in recent years. Emerging technologies have fundamentally altered the language teacher's role and opened up instructional opportunities undreamed of just 15 years ago. Government policies have mandated bilingual education programs, fostered the development of a Common European Framework, and acted to protect endangered languages. Theoreticians have moved to a post-method era in recognition that language teaching and learning is a dynamic system with the teacher as autonomous agent in the classroom, responsible for making calculated decisions based on experience, professional training, and the immediate needs of his or her learners.
While our field's rapid evolution is exciting to watch, it also signals the importance of ongoing professional development. For teachers with limited resources (monetary, time, or access), the challenge comes in the form of weighing options. There are five paradigms of ...