How to survive professional death!
Posted by brahim
I was feeling death for a few years during my teaching career before I decided to re-survive.My professional ideas were fading away before I had the chance to “water” them and make them green again.Many teachers do truely experience professional death while they are attending their classes,thinking that they are really doing their job.Some of those teachers actually die,while others fight,survive and grow.The chalk and the blackboard are only a small part of a teacher’s job.In fact,no teacher can do his/her mission of educating and teaching if he/she eliminated other important aspects of his/her profession.
With social networking sites reaching into some of the remotest parts of the globe,no excuses are accepted from teachers who are letting themselves to professionally perish and fade away.Today,so many social networking sites have made it possible for teachers to keep track of the most recent ideas,techniques and innovations in the area of EFL teaching.
Personally,twitter,facebook and wordpress blogs have kept me surviving the professional death of teachers.There are so many other services and sites that help teachers grow and fight the monotony of chalk and boards especially in countries where technology is not yet available within the classroom walls.
On twitter,there are plenty of useful educational hashtags that EFL teachers should follow.Logging into these twitter hashtags will give teachers the opportunity to keep track of wonderful ideas,chats and resources.
Personally,I usually follow #edchat.It’s a weekly twitter chat where language teachers can post in and comment on other teachers’ ideas.Plenty of resources and articles on teaching are usualy shared with this #edchat hashtag.
Another very resourceful hashtag is #edchatie.Like #edchat,teachers can find very interesting ideas by following this hashtag.If you are interested in using technology in your classes,there is #edtech which is used by some technology enthusiasts.Use this hashtag to get the best of what is shared about using technology in education.There are so many other hashtags.Don’t hesitate to try them and explore the materials they share.If you are interested in knowing more about these twitter hashtags,go to this page http://www.cybraryman.com/edhashtags.html.
I have to recognize that failing to mention #ELTchat on the part of an EFL teacher is quite a big mistake.I feel sorry for not mentioning this chat (group) which has inspired my teaching in many ways.But,I suppose that making reference to the people below is enough to direct any one ,through their tweets,to this well-established hashtag.(https://twitter.com/ELTchat )
On twitter, also,there are plenty of great and very resourceful educationalists to follow.@StevenHerder, the RoundELT@wetheround, ann foreman @ann_f,International Teacher Development Institute@iTDipro, chuck sandy @chucksandy,Mashable SocialMedia @mashsocialmedia,Miss Noor ㋡ @missnoor28,Jeremy Harmer @Harmerj,Scott Thornbury @thornburyscott,Barbara Sakamoto @barbsaka,Tom Whitby @tomwhitby and Shelly S Terrell @ShellTerrell are some of those great people that will keep you alive,and help you grow.The order in which these educationalists are put here is not related to any priority.That’s simply the order in which I have them in my lists.They are all great teachers,trainers and principals.There are hundreds of other interesting people to follow.By simply following some of those in this list,others will be suggested to you by twitter.Some of these people are great educational theorists;some of them are founders of the previously mentioned educational hashtags.Others have very resourecful and insightful blogs and websites.
Before I discovered that twitter is one of the places that will certainly keep an EFL teacher alive and young in his/her teaching career,I had been living with so many great people on Facebook.As in Twitter,there are a lot of great and inspiring educationalists to follow there.On facebook,tens of great articles on methodology,educational psychology and language materials are shared almost every minute if you follow some of those great people.Use facebook to your advantage and search for the profiles of those people whom you think will help you survive the professional death that will inevitably come to any alien and isolated teacher.On facebook,there are hundreds of pages and groups that are interested in sharing ELT materials.Use your search bar to have access to some of those pages and groups.Examples of those interesting pages include: http://www.facebook.com/TeachingEnglish.BritishCouncil,http://www.facebook.com/iTDi.Pro,http://www.facebook.com/groups/falibo/,http://www.facebook.com/FluencyMC ,http://www.facebook.com/groups/matemorocco/.
These are only a few examples of some of those great pages or groups that you might want to follow on facebook.In those pages/groups ,don’t hesitate to send friendship requests to some of the great people who post there.Some of them will accept your friendship invitation;others will certainly decline it!But,at least this will give you the opportunity to follow some of what these educationalists share.
Do not forget to connect you facebook,google+ and twitter account so that you get full use of what your friends share on all these social sites.
It’s not enough to consume what other people have produced or shraed to survive the professional death.It’s a necessity for every teacher to day to have a space where he shares his/her own thoughts with other professionals.There are tens of services that provide you with the opportunity to create a free blog or site.Personally,I have been using wordpress.com for a couple of years.Other people are familiar with using blogger.Whatever service you choose to use,sharing your thoughts and reflecting on your professional life will keep you grow and alive.It may seem that creating a blog is a little bit tricky in the first place;yet,there is nothing professional with creating wordpress or blogger blogs.I have started my wordpress blog with no knowledge of HTML or any other sites construction staff.Don’t be hopless ! You may fail at the first ,second and maybe third times.But,be sure that creating a blog like this one where I am sharing my thoughts on education or like this where I share some language materials is as easy as creating a facebook page.
It might take some time for you before you post your first article. But,remember that as soon as you start writing,it will be part of your life to reflect on and share about anything that is happening in your professioanl life.Remember also that by sharing you help other people to think of and react to your thoughts and ideas;hence,helping both yourself and others to grow.
Before you start writing anything,it would be preferable if you read the materials posted in some of the well-known educational sites.Using google search will give you a large number of educational sites and blogs that will certainly inspire your writing.Almost all of those people I (@abouaimran) follow on Twitter and Facebook have personal blogs where they share their own thoughts and reflections.On twitter,you will certainly have access to some of those great sites and blogs.
These are some of the things that have saved my professional life.Social networking sites will keep you alive and help you grow.In third world countries where no official professional training is available for teachers,socialising with professionals from other parts of the globe will certainly boost your ELT knowledge.International Teacher Develoment Institute (http://itdi.pro/) provides teachers with free ELT webinars.Don’t miss the opportunity,a free webinar is coming! Log in there and register for this free webinar.Simplek12 also have free some webinars for teachers to attend (http://www.simplek12.com/teacher-professional-development) .There are plenty of other places where you professioanl life will grow.
Do not forget to serf this great website for learning how to integrate technology into your teaching experience.Russel Stannard is a well-known educatioanlist who is famous for his teacher training videos on the use of technology in the classroom.Here’s his site http://www.teachertrainingvideos.com/.Another mus see blog is that of the technology integration enthusiast Nik Peachey where you will find some of the newest idaes and applications of using technology in the teaching.This is Nik’s blog: http://nikpeachey.blogspot.com/
This is enough as a good start for every language teacher to survive and grow.Sharing what you think is part of your job.Seeking continous professional development is part of the job as well.With technology reaching some of the remotest places on the planet,development and growth has become of no cost.