One of my (secret?) goals for posting my answers here is to perhaps get us re-unite and re-start the group, in a new format and with a new(er) purpose.
When I shared the post with the group members, we decided to resume our meetings.
The idea (and the meeting plan) was to have a ‘sharing session’ and have each member answer the following three questions.
- How can/do you build personal resilience to stress and challenges?
- What, if anything, has changed in your teaching since 24 Feb? (How) do you bring up the topic of War in your lessons with students?
- What PD projects and initiatives have you been involved in lately?
We met on Zoom at the end of June, we did not use the Padlet board I had created, and we mostly focused on the first question for the whole meeting. We talked about building personal resilience to stress and challenges, and bringing that (when possible) to the students. We have been reflecting on the war time so far, noticing our ‘milestones’ of changes (for many of us, for the first time since the war began).
Not to disclose any members’ privacy, I would only say that one of us got back to Dnipro, and the others are either in the West of Ukraine (myself including), or abroad.
At our post-meeting chat, we shared our takeaways from the session. Mine was ‘The ‘Milestones’ idea: I have not noticed how much there is to reflect on. Already’. Among the memorable others the black dot story was mentioned, and the feeling that ‘our students are our extended family’ (as the group members kept teaching through the months of transition and chaos, and kept doing it when they settled in the new places). One member said: ‘We are really happy/lucky to be teachers helping ourselves and others in moments like that’.
Our next meeting is at the end of this month, and we will be talking about Dr. Krashen’s lecture/talk on Language Acquisition which he gave earlier this month through ‘Together for Ukraine project kindly organized and facilitated by Alastair Grant. We are planning to discuss what surprised/inspired/confused us in the ideas shared. My (again secret?) goal is to perhaps focus on how we can promote and practice the use of the Ukrainian language. [Note to self: make an effort and complete the post on L1/L2/L3 that has been in the drafts for years.]
What’s next? I don’t know for sure. There are so many topics I would love to have focused conversations about in the professional context. Sharing some examples below, in case it may interest other CoP Leaders, or Reflective Group Facilitators in Ukraine or abroad. I would love to attend them, and might be able to facilitate some of them. This list keeps growing, so I will just leave it here.
Future Meeting Topics
- 2022: the changing needs of our students’ (customers’, participants’).
- 2022 and a different role of ELT, locally and globally.
- The role and mission of a Ukrainian teacher of English in 2022.
- A different kind of teacher training (to address the three topics above)
- The best/worst professional experience ever (2 meetings, not one!)
- A professional experience/event that has never happened (yet?) but we’d like it to happen (and why).
- The professional experience we quit or cancelled.
- The professional experience we wanted to quit but did not.
- A non-ELT experience that taught us about ELT/learning.
- Re-Doing: books we reread, courses re-take, movies re-watch (etc.) and why.
And… in the future posts, we will get back to the Milestones idea. Stay tuned, and thank you for reading!