The #1 ….. (teacher training course)

Number One** Not your ordinary, endless list – just what’s number 1.

Teaching on the job

volunteer-teaching-englishSo maybe you don’t think on the job training counts? Maybe that without training teachers will just be the blind, leading the blind? Well, there is a lot of evidence out there that points out that training may even hinder teacher development! Yes, it is true. For me, in English Language Teaching, (and for the most part, teaching in general) your time on the job counts BIG time.

I say this as a teacher trainer, one who really knows of the benefits of teacher training. I say this because all things being equal – I’d take a teacher with a year of teaching under their belt over a teacher with a year long teaching course under their belt.

In our business, it is character, will, disposition, effort, creativity and the ability to “think as the student” that count most. Not the paper and the pretense.

Oh yeah, you have so many selling so little. This course will make you teach like your hair is on fire! This course will make you effortlessly glide through your semester. This course will call up nirvana and you’ll be praised by principals and parents. Poppycock! For the most part in ELT, snake oil salesman and quackery.

With the advent of web 2.0 and wide access to the internet – teachers can learn, share, talk, build ideas, grow through discussion online. It is and can be your BA/MA/Phd in ELT. There is no other more apt example than EFL Classroom 2.0. Search and find all kinds of information on any teaching component. Watch teachers teaching in their classrooms. Read articles and watch videos while completing free teacher training modules.

But you say – what about practical experience? Well, let me say again to wit, “that’s why the #1 teacher training course is “the deep end” and actually teaching”. And god bless that. We DO need support and training but in the same vein, not at the expense of acknowledging that necessity is the mother of invention. The credo of the working ELTer.

* If this post interested you – you might like, “In praise of the Backpacking teacher

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Teacher trainer, technology specialist, educational thinker...creator of EFL Classroom 2.0, a social networking site for thousands of EFL / ESL teachers and students around the world.

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