A free professional blog to support English teachers
All teachers care about their students. All teachers understand the importance of keeping their skills up-to-date and always learning. The problem is that teachers devote so much time to their students that they run out of time for themselves.
This blog offers our top 5 ways to continue with your own professional development quickly, consistently and for free. Because we want to support you in being the best teacher you can be. For the students.
Being a better teacher isn’t only about being well educated or an expert in your field. A good teacher needs to be organised, well prepared for lessons, have clear lesson objectives and be able to relate the learning to the students. All of these things are completely free. If a teacher does these things consistently the students respond well. They will respect the teacher as a professional and be likely to give you their attention.
The teacher who turns up late, is unprepared, lazy and teaches from the textbook without engaging with the students will never be able to connect them in a meaningful way.
‘Live as if you were to die tomorrow, learn as if you were to live forever’. Mahatma Gandhi
I don’t mean give up your job, return to university and take on a lot of debt. No, no. There are lots of ways to study and learn without even leaving your home.
For example, take free online courses from The Open University. They offer free, useful courses on a wide range of topics or tune in to our webinars and training sessions hosted by The English Classroom, which aim to share expertise from English teachers around the world so you can be a better teacher yourself.
We also discovered a great service, Podcasts for Teachers with over 40 podcasts for teachers where you’ll learn about education news, how to teach and free resources. Sign up today and listen on your commute to school!
There are inspiring things happening in classrooms everywhere, all the time.
Take time in your coffee break to talk to your colleagues about problems you have or new solutions they have tried and tested. It doesn’t even have to be a teacher in the same subject as you. Share knowledge rather than working overtime to replicate it. Ask a teacher you admire if you can sit in and watch some of their classes to see how they approach certain topics.
Or join up to a Teachers social network like Academia.edu to have the same coffee cup conversations with teachers all around the world. Your own colleagues can be your source of knowledge.
My fourth point links well with the previous one. Ask for help when you need it. We all need it occasionally, believe me. Sometimes you get a class that you don’t click with and the same lesson you have taught hundreds of times just doesn't go to plan. This is normal. Ask for advice, tips or even a coaching session. Sometimes all we need is a chat and reassurance that we are doing a good job.
More than getting the help you need, I bet your colleagues will appreciate the chat too!
This is my last but certainly not the least important point on the list. Look after yourself.
The best teachers are happy, relaxed, full of energy, ready to take on new challenges and inspire their students. You have the responsibility to ensure that the students get the best version of yourself as possible.
Don’t feel guilty about going to bed early, having an evening off from work to play with the kids or even enjoying that piece of cake in the staff room. Whatever makes you feel better. It's both for you and for the students!
Written by Jennifer Gardner
Owner of The English Classroom