Final Reflection of year.
Numbers in text indicate reference to The Professional Standards, Education and Training Foundation. Appendix 1
ESOL and Placement.
On this sunny day as the sun beams down, and I am nearing the end of the course – after a gruelling 10 months – It is a sigh of relief coming to the end, but also tinged with some sadness, having met great people, staff and peers. The course has been a huge challenge to say the least and at times very draining. The year started off with a two-week introduction of what was to be expected, the process and an opportunity to get to know everyone and the college. During my placement I was able to secure employment one of the great highlights of my course was to work directly in my subject specialism ESOL, and teaching refugees for the first time. Although I had some experience behind me, the ESOL aspect within my career was lacking. Although, EFL and TEFL are similar, the challenges and upheavals of teaching ESOL learners was very different. Issues such as dealing with traumatised individuals, students with lack of motivation, culture clashes, attendance, single mothers, and integration. These issues have by far been hard to deal with, and some I have not experienced in dealing with before (1. 2 and 5). With the help of my mentor (well experienced in ESOL), colleagues, tutors and an excellent manager, as well as through observations, feedback and guidance (5 and 6) I have truly come out the other end has a well-rounded, more experienced ESOL teacher and Language Practitioner. This has also shown me the power of working together, as they say, ‘better together’ and without their support I could not have made it through. I started my placement with much confidence, believing that the skills attained from my previous jobs and qualifications would suffice. However, I have learnt that whatever experience one holds, there will always be room for development. Teachers cannot predict what outcomes, both negative and positive, they will face, and it is not until one experiences different dilemmas and challenges, is one able to put into course a plan of action and deal with it. During my teaching I have also learnt about government organisations in relation to ESOL provision and funding, and how some organisations are strongly dependent on the government and stakeholders for such services. The ESOL provision at work, provides a crucial service to the community, in addition to literacy and dealing with vulnerable people, locked in alcohol and drug issues. (19, 20)
Lesson observations and feedback reignited the importance of collaborating with others, especially more experienced teachers. It also made me think more about teaching, how and why I do certain things, such as asking questions for feedback, assessing students, developing communicative skills. Sometimes taking our own perspective on our teaching is not enough, others’ eyes and ears, assist in the development of teaching and quality and developing professional practice. ( 4, 10, 12 and 6). I will without doubt keep hold of all my reflections, feedbacks, and lesson plans. I will revisit them in a few months to see how I have improved, and take account of aspects raised in my training.
Academia (2,3,4,7,8,9 and 12)
Writing assignments was always going to be a substantial part of the course. Of course to be able to explain language learning, theories from Maslow to Chomsky, is an important aspect of teacher training and development. Especially in language learning, where there continues to be great interest in research surrounding second language acquisition. The assignments’ aims, questions and outcomes have enabled me to critically analyse, dissect and put forward my own experiences/expectations academically. I am very proud of the results I have reached, (distinctions and merits) in the assignments, and my strengths in being able to write, express opinions and argue concepts was well received, hence excellent results. I have had the opportunity to read vital books and texts in relation to teaching and language learning. One book which I found very interesting was Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Hattie on Visible Learning and Chomsky’s language theories. The assignments have enabled me to challenge my own beliefs and practices through engaging with other’s views whether it be a theory or research project. One such project I found quite surprising and at times shocking, was the research paper on views people have on refugees in The Yorkshire and Humber, and the obstacles they face in learning language and seeking to integrate. Learning theories was an exceptional module, where behaviorism and cognitive theories explained some of the qualms I had about why some language students acquire language well and others not. I was then able to through researching and reading upon such theories relate it to my teaching, and embed it in my own practice. Ideas such as Vygotsky’s, scaffolding and The Zone of Proximal development explained why some of my students were not able to complete ‘extra challenging tasks’. I have attained a very well understanding of education, language and learning through my assignments, and will continue to keep abreast of knowledge in my subject area/specialism.
CPD and final summary (4,5,7,14,15,18,19 and 20)
On completion of the course, the journey does not end here, rather it is the beginning. Having completed the required essentials (in order to be QTLS) and fulfilled the standards expected I can now implement the past year’s skills learned and develop further in my teaching. The importance of keeping up to date with new rules, teaching methods, technology and professionalism in a teaching career – CPD can and does help. I recently attended a CPD session with Cambridge English in London, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Aspects of SLA and learning were fomented, as well as new techniques and technology, which could be used to enhance learning. Sessions also included assessment methods online both summative and formative, and Cambridge is also developing paperless exams, which can be done online.
I am very grateful to all who have been very supportive during my course. Friends, family, colleagues, mentor, tutors, lecturers and of course caffeine . I will continue to use my blog to update on the progress of my career and teaching.
As a professional teacher or trainer you should demonstrate
commitment to the following in your professional practice.
Professional values and attributes
Develop your own judgement of what works and does not work in your teaching and training
1 Reflect on what works best in your teaching and learning to meet the diverse needs
2 Evaluate and challenge your practice, values and beliefs
3 Inspire, motivate and raise aspirations of learners through your enthusiasm and knowledge
4 Be creative and innovative in selecting and adapting strategies to help learners to learn
5 Value and promote social and cultural diversity, equality of opportunity and inclusion
6 Build positive and collaborative relationships with colleagues and learners
Professional knowledge and understanding
Develop deep and critically informed knowledge and understanding in theory and practice
7 Maintain and update knowledge of your subject and/or vocational area
8 Maintain and update your knowledge of educational research to develop evidence-based practice
9 Apply theoretical understanding of effective practice in teaching, learning and assessment
drawing on research and other evidence
10 Evaluate your practice with others and assess its impact on learning
11 Manage and promote positive learner behaviour
12 Understand the teaching and professional role and your responsibilities
Develop your expertise and skills to ensure the best outcomes for learners
13 Motivate and inspire learners to promote achievement and develop their skills to enable
14 Plan and deliver effective learning programmes for diverse groups or individuals in a safe
and inclusive environment
15 Promote the benefits of technology and support learners in its use
16 Address the mathematics and English needs of learners and work creatively to overcome
individual barriers to learning
17 Enable learners to share responsibility for their own learning and assessment, setting goals
that stretch and challenge
18 Apply appropriate and fair methods of assessment and provide constructive and timely
feedback to support progression and achievement
19 Maintain and update your teaching and training expertise and vocational skills through
collaboration with employers
20 Contribute to organisational development and quality improvement through collaboration