How effective are tools like line management and formal observation for professional development?

Before I started my MA in Linguistics, I had already been teaching for a few years. The British Council in Sri Lanka and Paris had been instrumental in my career development, as by the time I reached my graduate classes at Columbia, I had completed by CELTA and TYLEC, over 700 hours teaching all levels and ages, as well as IELTS examiner status. Without sounding like an advertisement, the BC, to me, was the best place I have ever worked in terms of my career development.

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Blog topics for January and February 2017

To start 2017, we have four new blog topics around the broad theme of Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Our new topics include a focus on action research, mentoring, looking back at challenges from the last 12 months and teaching in difficult circumstances.

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Mentoring: being teachable and reinventing yourself

When I think of mentoring , two words pop in my mind: teachable and reinvent. I connect mentoring to these words thanks to two dear colleagues of mine. One of them ,taught me that in order to change your life and take risks, you need to be teachable. My other friend told me that she needed to reinvent herself to accept the challenge of teaching teens.

Average: 4 (1 vote)

Putting Teacher Action Research Into Action

Personally, I just view it as a teacher systematically putting a simplified version of the Scientific Method to use in his/her classroom:
  1. Formulate a hypothesis
  2. Experiment
  3. Analyze the data collected from the experiment.
  4. Form a Conclusion

Of course, teachers - and everybody else - apply this method constantly, ranging from how we shoot basketballs to how we bake a cake. Teacher Action Research, however, puts it into action in a little more formalized way.

Average: 5 (1 vote)

Invest in yourself


I have been in your shoes 3 years ago. I would go to the teaching centre give classes all day and return home at night so drained to reflect on anything or prepare for the next day. Before I even knew it ,6 years of my life have passed and spent on teaching with no real awareness or a sense of development.

If you work in Egypt, then you either work for the public/private sectors and either way the school/centre you work for rarely invest on its staff development. Hence, you should learn to develop yourself .

Average: 3.5 (2 votes)

Be kind to yourself!

One of the greatest challenges I have faced over the previous 12 months was finding a balance between teaching, studies, personal projects, and time for me. At times, it has felt like there haven’t been enough hours in day, days in week, weeks in a month, and months in the year. During my confirmation interview for my doctoral thesis, I was given the advice – be kind to yourself – unfortunately, I wasn’t able to heed this advice, and in the end it impacted on my health.

Average: 4.5 (4 votes)

Mentoring and coaching are essential to improve as a teacher

When I first came to Spain to teach English, I knew I was just an average teacher, but thanks to advice, help and support from senior teachers and teacher trainers, I’m convinced my teaching abilities have improved.

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