01 jun 2014 Teacher Development & Teachers’ Associations
I always say that one of the things I like the most about teaching is that I’m always learning. And I’m quite sure I’m not the only one… We teachers learn a lot not only from our students and from fellow teachers but also from what we read, from conferences we attend, and so on. And this all has got to do with teacher development.
Bell and Gilbert (apud Evans, 2002) state that “teacher development can be viewed as teachers learning, rather than as others getting teachers to change. In learning, the teachers were developing their beliefs and ideas, developing their classroom practice, and attending to their feelings associated with changing”. Thus, teacher development may take a number of different forms such as…
- keeping journals
- reflecting on classroom events, on your lesson plans, etc.
- talking to fellow teachers
- setting personal priorities and goals
- attending other teachers’ classes and having other teachers attend your classes (you can read more about classroom observation in this post by Maria Beatriz Magalhães Silva Meneguetti)
- recording our own classes (you can read more about it in this post by Elaine Hodgson)
- attending staff meetings
- reading books, journals, magazines, newsletters, etc.
- doing action research
- being part of a SIG or joining a teachers’ group (you can read more about it in this article by Paul Davis)
- attending conferences, seminars, workshops, courses, etc.
- taking language courses
- getting a degree, a certificate, a diploma, an MA, a PhD…
- writing articles
- designing materials
- presenting workshops, papers, etc.
- having a critical friend (you can learn more about what a critical friend does here)
- networking and social networking (you can read about Twitter for professional development in this post by Carla Arena)
- becoming a member of a teachers’ association…
I do believe that teachers’ associations can help us a lot in our search for development. They provide teachers (members and non-members) with a great number of development opportunities. I myself have benefitted a lot from being a member of different teachers’ associations and from being part of APIRS. Moreover, you can be more than just a member – you can become part of a teachers’ association board of directors and help other teachers while developing yourself.
Here you have some information on some international and national teachers’ associations:
- IATEFL: Even if you’re not a member, you can apply for some scholarships to attend their annual conference. Have a look at https://www.iatefl.org/scholarships/current-list-of-scholarships for more information. Application for scholarships is now open and the closing date is July 24th, 2014.
- Tesol: They also offer some scholarships and grants for their annual convention. However, you must be an active member to apply for them. You can have a look at them at https://www.tesol.org/about-tesol/tesol-awards-grants.
- Braz-Tesol: Members can be part of their SIGs and they hold biannual conferences. You can have a look at this year’s conference information at https://braz-tesol.org.br/InternationalConference/.
- BELTA (The Belgian English Language Teachers Association): They offer teachers free webinar on Sundays.
- Associação de professores de inglês do Rio Grande do Sul – APIRS: we hold an annual conference, a summer course and one-day events in different cities around Rio Grande do Sul. You can get to know all about our 2014 convention at https://apirsconvention.wordpress.com/.
- There are many other teachers’ associations in Brazil such as Associação brasileira dos professores universitários de inglês – ABRAPUI, Associação dos professores de língua inglesa do estado do Rio de Janeiro – APLIERJ, Associação dos professores de língua inglesa do Estado de São Paulo – APLIESP, Associação dos professores de língua inglesa do estado do Paraná – APLIEPAR, Associação de Professores de Língua Inglesa do Estado do Tocantins – APLITINS, among others.
- Also, you can find out about other teachers’ associations at https://iteslj.org/links/TESL/Associations/.
- Brown, H. Douglas. 2007. Teaching by Principles: An Interactive Approach to Language Pedagogy: 3rd edition. White Plains: Pearson Education, Inc.
- Davis, Paul. What is Teacher Development? Available on the Internet at <https://www.hltmag.co.uk/feb99/mart4.htm#top> Last accessed on June 01st, 2010.
- Evans, Linda. What is teacher development? Oxford Review of Education, Vol. 28, No. 1, 2002. Available on the Internet < https://www.education.leeds.ac.uk/assets/files/staff/papers/What-is-teacher-Development.pdf> Last accessed on June 01st, 2014.
- Harmer, Jeremy. The Practice of English Language Teaching. Fourth Edition. Essex: Pearson Education Limited, 2007.
- Ur, Penny. 1996. A Course in Language Teaching: Practice and Theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.