Are you a teacher? These Q&A are for you!

I have been brought up in a culture where there was a powerful association between a teacher and knowledge in general. Later, I became a teacher myself and began questioning how to share my knowledge and help the learners improve their English skills.

I worked as a university lecturer for 10 years and I had other short term or summer jobs as a teacher, teacher trainer, or language instructor. I have experienced many interviews, either as a candidate or as a HR panel. I have also been working as FELT School project coordinator for another 10 years and recently, I asked myself “If you were going to hire a new teacher, what would you ask in the interview?” I made my Interview Question List. Then, I wondered how I would answer these questions myself.

I’d like to share with students, future English language teachers,  and interested colleagues three of these questions and my answers.

  1. What are your most valuable abilities?
  • the ability to reach expected outcomes,
  • the ability to personalize learning,
  • the ability to use online tools in English language teaching that best meet learner’s needs,
  • the ability to teach the learners how to learn (metacognitive skills),
  • the ability to create a strategy that motivates learners to study English (and inspires them to ask for more individual workJ)

 

  1. How do you manage your own professional growth?

I am committed to grow professionally and I have developed an annual plan for continuous learning. During the last three years I worked as a project coordinator, teacher trainer and resource developer and we had a budget of around 5000 Euros for professional development. The funds were available via the kind financial support of the Foundation Liechtenstein Development Service.

Our organisation is a member of  IATEFL – International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language – and I attend online webinars and annual conferences. We are members of three special interest groups: Material Writing, Teacher Training and Education, and English for Specific Purposes.

I also developed and participated in summer schools and exchange visits at partners schools from Greece and Italy.

I keep working with teachers from EU via educational platforms and joint projects, I participate in professional communities online and I take online courses.

I implement the acquired knowledge and skills during our English courses and involve the learners in the feedback process in order to critically consider the efficiency of my teaching style and collaborative projects. I improve our communication and collaboration strategy with the parents and value their feedback.

 

  1. Give an example of how you encouraged your students to self-assess their work and publish it for a wider audience?

I use different tools to raise student’s awareness of how to self-assess their work as it helps them develop active listening, critical thinking and a sense of autonomy. I encourage the primary learners to make live presentations for their parents, I taught the 5th and 6th form pupils how to work collaboratively via educational platforms and encouraged them to join our High Tech High Content English course.

I involved the students from the vocational schools in the process of making video recordings for the course English for Gastronomy and published the video resources on YouTube, on the educational platform we use and some of them on the blog of the Gastronomy Club. Some students have also participated in interviews and the videos are also available as part of the e-portfolio on the blog.

My next step is to encourage the learners taking our course in Guided Reading to take the role of bloggers and publish their essays or share their thoughts via our Guided Reading Blog or create and shares stories via Instagram.