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Monday, December 10, 2012

How can a busy teacher keep up with educational advances ?

Let's define the target audience for this post: busy teachers.
Many classes to prepare, papers with deadlines to correct, tests, meetings to go, among other things and also... a passion for teaching.
Can you relate ?
Yeah, most teachers such as myself have this drive for education and delivering a class that is truly meaningful to the students lives.
And it's not that we don't have fun or love our job, but the demands of a daily routine are tough. My point being: so many things to cope with and little time left.
So , how to keep updated with the latest educational news ?
A great way to go is to subscribe to major publisher's in order to receive their post and news. From my experience so far I recommend:
 Oxford University Press http://oupeltglobalblog.com/,
Cambridge University Press http://peo.cambridge.org/, there's also a great educational website, EmergingEdTech http://www.emergingedtech.com/about/.
Also, the major authors in English Language Teaching usually keep in touch with their audience via sites or blogs where they can share their findings and receive feedback from fellow teachers all over the globe.
And that's precisely where we come in : You and I, the everyday English language teachers , who work with a variety of levels and age-ranges on a daily basis. We have precious experience and collect valuable data on the effectiveness or need of improvement of any activity, approach or coursebook, to mention a few!
We have on our side the intense contact with our students ,and the fact we can measure their progress as an individual and within a group throughout the levels they course along a semester or a year.
So in order to be part of something bigger, to share our burdens but also precious findings, insights, experience... it's vital to belong to a group of professionals who seek similar goals.
The internet has made distances shorter , and enabled the contact between people who, otherwise, would most probably never have the chance to meet.
Food for thought :
Have you ever subscribed to a blog or website on English language teaching ?
Have you liked a Facebook account of a publisher or education-related site?
Have you ever taken part of a webinar ? (I shall go deeper into this topic in a future post)

These are some possibilities which can be easily incorporated to your busy routine and , who knows,can provide you with a great opportunity of learning and exchanging ideas!
I dare you spice up your teacher development routine, do something new!
We are not an island, the internet is our bridge to the world! Even if you live in a far away country , city, neighbourhood... It doesn't matter any longer.
Let's keep on walking, learning, progressing, moving forward !
You could also share your views and experience on the comments below, it's all about getting started .
Maybe this is the first step :-)
And all long walks start with a first step, right ?

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