Perhaps you’ve just started working as a teacher in Turkey, or maybe you’ve been teaching for years. Whatever your previous qualifications, do you feel like you need further input in order to be a more effective teacher?
If you are hungry for new ideas, perhaps a promotion or (let’s face it), a higher salary or a position at another institution. I’ve gathered ideas here for professional development. Some of the suggestions involve significant amounts of money, stress and effort (Delta, anyone?), while others can be done for free from your sofa while wearing your pyjamas. Hopefully there’s something here for everyone. After all, when you attend your next interview and are asked about professional development, wouldn’t it be nice to have a credible answer?
(Although this list is aimed at teachers in Turkey, most of it is suitable for English teachers anywhere).
Take a course
There’s a huge range of courses and qualifications for English Language teachers. Perhaps you already have one, or maybe you’re an ELT graduate.
These are the Cambridge ELT qualifications and they can all be taken in Turkey.
Many other certification programmes exist – but as I personally have TKT, CELTA, and two thirds of a Delta (well, fingers crossed), those are the ones I’d recommend as they’re known worldwide and are properly standardised.
* I’ve written a post about Preparing for Delta Module One and will write one about Module Two soon.
Face to Face Courses:
Keep an eye on this website as ITI often has one off weekend courses on subjects such as Drama in teaching, or utilising technology.
*This link shows the courses that were available last summer.
*lots of courses but this is currently being changed.
Turkey is part of Erasmus+ funding, which could help pay for teacher development. Individuals cannot apply, it must be done through your institution. Deadlines for 2017 are coming up. For more information: https://www.erasmusplus.org.uk/funding-deadlines
Ask your institution! Many schools and universities support professional development and may have funding available if you ask.
Webinars are a great way for teachers to take part in professional development for free, from the comfort of their own homes.
Join an association
INGED is the Turkish association for English Language Teachers. Annual membership is 20tl. They organise various training events, mainly in Ankara, and this year are organising a conference in Istanbul in October. INGED
IATEFL is the international association for English Language Teachers. There are various types of membership available, and joining allows you to join a Special Interest Group (SIG), attend the annual conference at a cheaper price, and network with colleagues from around the world. IATEFL
Attend or present at conferences
Turkey has a very active ELT conference scene. Most conferences take place in the Spring time. Attending can be a fun way to get new ideas for your teaching and development and meet other teachers.
Most conferences are keen to get teachers involved in different ways, which might be giving a workshop, or a poster presentation. There are so many conferences that I can’t list them all, and many are yet to be announced, so keep your eyes open. Prices vary from free, to 40tl (Cevre) to hundreds of lira. If there are any you know about that I haven’t listed, please comment and I will add them.
- Cevre College, Istanbul, Saturday 25th February
The Art of Teaching
- Bogazici University, Istanbul, Friday 14th & Saturday 15th April
Towards Higher Education: Bridging the Gap between Secondary and Higher Education
- Palm Wings Hotel, Ephesus, Tuesday 16th – Thursday 18th May
The International Conference on Teaching Languages to Young Learners
- Istanbul Technical University, Monday 22nd – Tuesday 23rd May
Affective Factors in Language Learning
- Istanbul Aydin University, 20th – 22nd October
The 18th INGED International ELT Conference
Blogs & Facebook
This is a useful tool for teachers who would like to understand what stage they are at in terms of their professional development and could serve as a good starting point.
Cambridge English Teacher Development Tracker
Keeping a reflection diary is a simple and effective way to work on your own professional development. After lessons, or at the end of the day or week, make a note of things that went well, things that didn’t work, and things that could be improved. This will enable you to make small tweaks in your teaching and hopefully become more effective.
Set up a teacher’s group
This could be an informal chat over coffee and biscuits, or a more formally organised group that gets together in a classroom or meeting room every week/fortnight/month (whatever suits you). Each teacher brings an idea with them to share with others – could be an activity that worked well, a classroom management strategy or a short film to be used in lessons.
Give a workshop to your colleagues
If you want to get experience as a trainer, the best place to start is with your friendly colleagues. Put together a short workshop (practical ideas are generally better recieved than purely theoretical “lectures”) and invite your coworkers to come and watch. You can also ask for constructive feedback in order to improve future trainings.
I hope these suggestions are useful. Please do comment if you have any feedback or other ideas.