Becoming a Teacher: Expectations Vs Reality: Where does PD take place?

Being a teacher for almost 30 years I have a clear idea of how demanding, time consuming and rewarding this profession is and how tough it can get sometimes. If you’ve been teaching for 2, 3 years, you probably have this idea already.

Yes, I gave up my Psychologist career to become a teacher. Being in the market for a long time I’ve attended lots of seminars and webminars, conferences, delivered lots of presentations , published articles , wrote materials and became a teacher trainer after doing lots of TD and post graduate courses, taking language certificates and teachers’ diplomas.  And feel I still have so much to learn. I’m just on the way.

Choosing to become a teacher was the first step, but developing as a professional and keeping on believing that I am on the ‘right track’  has been a daily challenge we all have to face.  It has to do with making choices and focusing on what really matters.

Regarding professional development, I’ve noticed that lots of teachers do not realize   the magic trip they’ll have to do in order to get real and consistent professional development.  Teacher training courses such as CELTA or even DELTA are of great help and consistence, but stopping studying and developing would be a huge mistake.

I believe Professional development is an ongoing and endless process and we teachers will never stop being learners.

Having said that, I have some suggestions* for those who are starting and/or are on the way:

*(Inspired by JJ Wilson’s ideas at the 14th Braz-TESOL International conference)

  1. Plan your career – set goals and deadlines
  2. Read deeply
  3. Learn from great educators ( Paulo Freire, Piaget, Vygotsky )
  4. Do action research
  5. Write your own materials and articles
  6. Collaborate , share
  7. Build up a PLN ( Professional learning network ) and make the most of it
  8. Give workshops for colleagues and presentations in conferences (yes , you can! )
  9. Go to conferences, do courses and apply what you’ve learned from them.
  10. Mentor – It’s a great way to develop professionally because it forces you to devise your practice
  11. Observe and be observed
  12. Examine critical moments in your teaching
  13. Be brave and be flexible!

Yes, I am a teacher and I teach. It’s not a bed of roses, but it’s worth indeed!

Roseli Serra

Roseli is an enthusiastic educator in Brazil. Graduated in English and Portuguese, she works as an ELT consultant, teacher trainer, materials writer, Cambridge examiner and e-moderator. She's a member of the IATEFL LT (Learning Technologies) subcommittee and works, teaches and trains professionals in the area of TD and LT. She’s also a psychologist, a mentor and a coach certified by SLAC (Sociedade Latino Americana de Coaching). She has a post-graduate degree in Applied Linguistics and is now doing her MA studies in Science of Languages at UNICAP (Universidade Católica de Pernambuco). She truly believes in life-long learning and teacher development.

1 Comment
  • Bilal Hussain
    Posted at 00:56h, 13 maio Responder

    THanks very much for sharing wonderful ideas regarding professional development. They are really helpful and motivating not only for the novice teachers but also for the experieced ones. Keep sharing your worthy ideas and experiences to help us grow academically and professionally.

    Thanks once again for your inspirational ideas!

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