Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Professional Development for Now and the Future: A Guide for Educators; a Workshop by Vicky Loras - Report

First of all I have to say that it is always such a joy to have Vicky Loras with us in Thessaloniki.
Ms Loras talked about why teachers should continue their professional development and how to do it.
Why should a teacher get involved in this?
The answers are many.
First of all, it is about personal learning. We, teachers, learn new things to improve ourselves both personally and professionally.
We can learn new methods, we keep ourselves motivated, we can further our career and there is a chance that we can find better working positions.
How can we develop professionally?
  • Conferences, workshops, swapshops
There are plenty of local and international events.
You can listen to great talks, you can get ideas, you can suggest ideas, you can talk with other educators

(Swapshops are sessions where teachers each bring their own ideas and present them for about seven minutes, they all present and swap ideas)
  • Discussion groups

You can get together with colleagues, or friend-teachers who work at other schools, choose a topic, discuss, find new ways to implement what you have learned, find solutions to problems. You can even take notes and write a newsletter, which all the participants can keep.
  • Mentoring

You can mentor a new colleague, or a colleague with a problem or a fellow educator in need of new ideas, or you can be mentored.
  • Observe and be observed

This can be really intimidating, when it comes from the school management. Peer observation, on the other hand, is less frightening.
  • Journals

There are so many journals out there.  You can read about new ideas, think critically, share your ideas.
  • Isolation

A teacher can be isolated, maybe there are no supportive colleagues or the distances are great or the schedules are different, maybe you are a freelancer and have nobody to talk to, or maybe you are unemployed or underemployed.
There is always someone for you ONLINE

“It’s not about plugging into devices, it’s about being plugged to each other”

So… there is Twitter, Facebook, blogs and so much more for you to build your own PLN (Personal Learning Network)

By Theodora Papapanagiotou

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