January 25

Ways to develop – JJ Wilson

Having a bit of a sort-out today and came across my notes from JJ Wilson‘s opening plenary at ACEIA back in November.  It was a wonderful start to the day – a refreshing look at how we can develop with some engaging tasks to invigorate.

So, here were the ideas from the talk:

  • Read deeply
  • Action research
  • Write your own materials
  • Write and publish an article
  • Collaborate with peers (team teaching, getting involved in SIGs)
  • Teach something new (get out of your comfort zone)
  • Give a workshop for colleagues
  • Keep a teaching journal
  • Mentor – it forces you to go back to the basics
  • Use PLNs
  • Go to conferences or do online courses
  • Learn another language
  • Look at developments on other fields
  • Learn from great educators
  • Examine critical moments in your own teaching

He asked us to complete the following sentences, with my answers at the time in brackets:

  • Teaching is like…(a box of chocolate, including the coffee cream)
  • The best way for a teacher to develop is…(being open to all the possibilities available and find out what works for you)
  • If I could change one thing…(more time!)

He suggested we look at where we are as teachers at different points:

disaster ————— triumph

stability ——————— flux

mastery ————— apprenticeship

confidence ————— nervousness

passion ———- boredom

Finally, we were asked for a seven-word piece of advice for new teachers, which we then wrote on balloons and batted around the room.  Mine was:

Ask questions.  Ask for help.  And smile.

As I said, it was a beautiful way to start the day as opening plenaries on a Saturday morning need to offer the participants with something fresh and energising.  I also loved his motto for facing a crisis: “What would Jeremy Harmer do?”


Posted January 25, 2016 by Teresa Bestwick in category Professional Development

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