The message of his presentation was the same – it’s CPD and reflective approach that matter in the teacher development process.
R.Bhanot paid the attention of the audience to the fact that following initial training, some teachers may have few possibilities for further professional development. Moreover, many courses aimed at English language teachers require considerable financial investment as well as time and effort; not to mention the ‘blessings’ of the employer. So, how can teachers know that their professional practice is changing for the better over a given period of time without incurring heavy costs and having to attend (or seeking permission to attend) formal courses?
He also pointed out that sometimes CPD is considered to be an extra burden sometimes. The things that prevent people from CPD are risk and fear, but Rakesh offered a Mantra: risk is your friend and fear is your enemy.
R.Bhanot shared the essentials of his DITOW (Do It The Other Way) Method – his new way of teaching. The audience was involved in brainstorming on being asked the question: Why do you want to be a teacher? What for? Who will benefit from your becoming a better teacher? Rakesh motivated the audience with his rhetorical exercises that could change our professional life, he claimed! And he is right as reflection is a great tool for professional development on any stage.
Many professions use the idea of Reflective Practice (Schoen: 1983) as a tool for enhancing their skills. Rakesh provided an example of British higher education institutions that use such tools as Action Learning, Critical Incident Analysis, Peer Observation, Reflective Diary, Reading and Writing blogs, Video-recording, Student Feedback as part of their in-house postgraduate certificate programmes for new lecturers/teachers. Having run such a course for 10 years, Rakesh feels that manyof the activities used on this course can also be employed in CPD programmes for English language teachers.
In this workshop Rakesh examined a variety of strategies that can be adapted to enhance professional practice in ELT. He advised to start writing and recording your development (diary or portfolio), mind your vision/mission of/for teaching and learning, see clearly the aim of teaching, follow your teaching philosophy.
The audience was involved in drawing a doodle (doodle-visual presentation) of what learning/teaching ‘looks like’ and getting feedback from someone sitting near. All this constituted a PROTO-PORTFILIO of the audience’s reflective practice (in / on / for reflection). According to Rakesh, Learning is a change in Attitude, Skill and Knowledge (ASK) – CPD will require addressing all 3 of them.
By the end of the workshop the audience agreed that R.Bhanot could form a positive attitude to CPD and encourage outlining a plan for professional development.
Motto for staff development: ‘The best way to educate people is to start with what they already know’. Authors mentioned during the presentation: Vygotsky, Bloom, Maslow, McGregor, Kolb.
You can contact Rakesh at email@example.com to get a copy of PEDAGOGIC JUICE poster.
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