Professional development of teachers is a lifelong process which begins with the initial preparation that teachers receive and continues until retirement. The job of a teacher takes much time: lesson planning, interaction with students and their parents and a lot of paper work. On the one hand, it seems to be impossible for a teacher to devote time to self education. On the other hand, constant professional development is already included in our everyday responsibilities. And I am going to prove it.
Every day, while planning a lesson, I surf the Internet and look through many resources. When I find something new and unusual, I try to use it in my classes. If my students enjoy this activity, it is included in my bank of useful materials. So the list of methods and activities is getting longer, my lessons – more interesting and my students – more motivated. Isn’t it a professional growth?
They say that a job of a language teacher is especially difficult because we have to know our subject and to be informed about events in different fields. Together with my students, we discuss such topics as travelling, sport, health, modern science and technology. We often deal with social and psychological issues. Before entering a classroom, I should get ready to use facts and to answer my students’ questions. That is why I consult many encyclopedias and dictionaries. It broadens my outlook.
Every person has a hobby. Personally, I choose reading from a variety of pastime activities. Reading English literature is a pleasure for me. Books written by Oscar Wilde, Charlotte Bronte, Jane Austen help me to escape from everyday problems and to enrich my English vocabulary at the same time.
Attending professional development webinars is a good way to refresh your knowledge. All I need to participate is a computer and Internet connection. Webinars are available on just about every topic and they are hosted by many educational institutions. Most of the webinars are interactive. While listening to an expert who is sharing interesting ideas with his or her colleagues, I am able to ask questions, give feedback and participate in audience polls. After that I have an opportunity to practice and integrate new skills and information on a schedule that works for me and allows me to remember the things I have learnt about.
In conclusion I would like to emphasize that teachers can teach themselves. We are self-motivated and self-directed learners. We always find an opportunity for professional development and personal growth.