Summer again, which means we are on a break from the reflective group meetings. This also means sharing how our year has been, and what meeting topics we had. It was the third school year of reflecting together in our group in Dnipro!
Our pre-meeting questions often became a meeting plan, so I will share them below.
Professional Development, Summer and New Year
- What were your professional development highlights this summer? In September?
- Why were they important to you?
- What were you working on in 2017/18 academic year?
- What would you like to change/improve/think about in the coming school year?
- Why do you think these aspects are important to you?
Teaching to Love the Language – is it the Best Motivation?
- What is something you love to do / feel passionate about? Who and how helped you to discover and fall in love with this thing?
- Who and how motivated you to study and to teach English?
- What does it mean to you – to love the language?
- Do you believe that loving the language will motivate the students to progress in it? Why?
- How can we help our students to love the English language?
My 2018: travel and work, home and classes, books and movies, family and friends, thoughts and insights
- The highlight(s) of the year
- The questions of the year
- The discovery of the year
- ELT and non-ELT moments of learning
Time Management (in all spheres)
- What existing TM systems/books/apps do you know/use?
- Do they work for you?
- How can they be adapted?
- Which mistakes are more likely to lead to misunderstanding – grammatical or lexical ones?
- Which do you think is more important – advancing vocabulary or teaching grammar?
Do you always stick to the course book in terms of what you teach? How do you choose what extra vocabulary to teach?
- Will you teach phrases containing more ‘advanced’ grammar to beginners or try to simplify them? Why? Why not?
- Is L1 a valuable contribution to your teaching or do you tend to exclude it from the teaching/learning process?
- What activities do you use to help students remember, practice and use new vocabulary?
- What are your favorite collocation/lexical chunk resources?
Challenging Frameworks or What Makes a Good Lesson
- Do you follow a certain framework/algorithm when planning your lessons?
- What are your criteria of a good lesson?
- Have your beliefs about lesson structure and those criteria changed over your teaching career?
A Bigger Picture?
It was final meeting of the school year, so we stepped back to talk about the professional development goals set in September, what was achieved, dropped or modified, etc.; what was learned, and how (PD events attended, presented at, organized, etc.); what books/resources were helpful/insightful, and why.
Some bigger questions, for which it was hard to find the time:
- What might be your ELT mission?
- How is Reflective Practice helping (if at all) to achieve it?
Our ‘Bonus idea’ was a Book Exchange Party: teachers who wanted to participate brought a book that was special (that year, or in general), in order to exchange them for the summer break. I am now re-reading Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach.
Finally, we analyzed the topics suggested by members as ‘interesting’ in the survey, and decided who may be a facilitator for the coming meetings in the new school year 2019/20. I have never felt more prepared and inspired before!
Thank you for reading, and have a great summer! 🙂