I have started to build up my professional development skills using Mooc-list.com. When you are teaching, you are taught to make every lesson relevant to every learner – which is a great idea. So why is this not also followed for teacher professional development? Instead of tailored, specific learning for teachers, most schools choose to train all their teachers for a few days a year. It is like me placing every child in the school in a hall and teaching them the same stuff, whether it is relevant to them or not?
I have found a wonderful replacement, online learning. This set of lessons comes in a wide range of different languages and is hosted by some of the leading universities around the world. They let you meet other people from around the world and actively discuss your ideas and your learning.
How does this help the teacher? When the teacher is actively involved in their learning, they make a real effort to achieve success. When they are self-motivated, they are much more likely to actively search for additional training and knowledge. They are more likely to complete the work. They are more likely to incorporate their learning into their daily lives. By training the staff, the teachers are then ready for career development and improving their own job prospects.
How does this help the school? If the school actively promotes self-learning and professional development, it helps the school in a number of different ways. The simplest is that it overtly promotes lifelong learning, an essential model for the students to follow. It also means for a very low cost, or even free, the staff in the school are gaining additional training and qualifications, making their teacher’s learning and effectiveness a lot better. Finally, it makes sure the teachers’ knowledge is always on the cutting edge of their areas of knowledge.
How does this help the students? A teacher who is learning and training, is a teacher who is most likely to teach in the most creative, effective way. Students need to know their teachers still remember what being assessed is like. They need to know their own teachers have the time management skills and dedication to becoming better teachers. These skills are then modelled by the students and the parents.
Where else can I find some great online training courses?
I would highly recommend anyone to look at this site – https://alison.com/ – which covers a free school curriculum, with professional development course, and different language courses. I found a few especially interesting pages for teachers – https://alison.com/learn/teacher-resources which has lots of free online courses for students and https://alison.com/subjects/11/English-Language-Skills – which has lots of different useful courses. I know I will certainly now be returning often to these courses to help teach them to my own classes!
Every teacher should set a goal of completing at least one online course per year – it keeps their CVs fresh and current. When it comes to furthering their careers, these additional online courses will make a substantial difference to their chances of finding another position. These course are also a simple indicator to employers that the teacher is serious about professional development and lifelong learning.