It goes without saying that teachers need to develop their professional skills all the time. It can be time-consuming and sometimes it’s very difficult to find a gap in your tough schedule for participating in ELT events every day. Not all teachers can afford lessons with native speakers to improve their language level.
Let me tell you about little tricks that I do to stay in good professional shape.
You can assess the effectiveness of conducted lessons but it’s not so easy to do on a daily basis. I shortened my daily self-analysis to two points:
What went well?
What went wrong?
I choose one lesson preferably which I really liked or which I really disliked. I assess my teaching techniques, my behaviour towards my students, their attitude to me and the material. In other words, methodology and psychological aspects as well. Analysis helps me to concentrate not only on weak points and problems but also on solutions and improvements. In addition to it, I try to reproduce successful actions at my other lessons.
Sometimes my own observations help me even more than authors of the teaching books who don’t know my students.
We are all aware that a lesson moves away from the plan very often. I need to analyse which points I didn’t take into consideration when I was preparing for this particular lesson. Recently, I failed to ask correct questions to check the meaning of the phrase: “to book a table” because I was sure that this collocation is familiar. So in my teaching diary I wrote three concept checking questions which I can use in future with other elementary students.
Tendencies in ELT
I want to be on the same wavelength with other experienced teachers. So everyday I have a plan to learn one piece of news about ELT or read an article about one new method or a method which I haven’t heard of before. That doesn’t have to be something really practical and useful. It’s more for general development and for shaping my skills as a methodologist.
I collect all practical ideas in my diary and try to implement them in my lessons. Because if I don’t, all those tips will remain on paper.
TV shows or books
Improving our language is as important as methodology. A good teacher should be an expert in his field of knowledge. I feel so embarrassed if I fail to explain the difference between two words at the higher levels or don’t know the meaning of informal idiom.
To upgrade my English I mix business and pleasure. I read one chapter or the book or watch one episode of a TV show every day. I write down all interesting collocations and unusual phrases that I try to use in my speech later. Sometimes I turn on the subtitles to concentrate more on vocabulary and make the process of collecting phrases faster.
Reading or watching is an enjoyble activity for me so I find time without any difficulties.
I prefer to buy paper books, as for videos I use:
https://ororo.tv/en (not free but with subtitles)
https://123movies.cafe/series/page/2/ (free but you have to watch an advertisement)
Could you share in comments what activities you do for your professional development?