NeltaChoutari October 2011: Developing Teachers’ Professionalism: An Ongoing Process
Dear Readers, this issue focuses on professional development of English teachers in settings like ours. It includes a great set of experience-based reflections by our fellow teachers.
In “Beginning Teaching in an EFL Class: a Novice Teacher’s Experience,” Ed Saul deliberates that becoming a teacher, especially a teacher of English, is a task which enriches one’s own mind while additionally bringing about the opportunity to constantly enrich the minds of others. As long as you keep your determination, feel ready to face the challenges given to you, and remember to have fun with the subject, you’ll be guaranteed success in this, your chosen career. Smile, put your best foot forward, and be prepared to be professional.
In his article “Teacher Development, its Nature and Classroom Observation as a Tool,” Thakur P. Bhusal discusses how as teachers we learn from our own experience of teaching and through personal engagement with ELT scholarship as well as through formal training, conference, networking, using ELT publications to guide our teaching, experimenting new curricula, taking on new roles in professional development initiatives, adapting our teaching strategies when curricula change, collaboration in teaching like team teaching, collaborative projects, peer observation, supervision and so on. Mr. Bhusal’s essay discusses in greater detail classroom observation as a strategy of teacher development.
Taru Budha’s article “Teacher Development through Reflective Practice” explains how teacher development is a process of becoming better teachers, while also seeking to facilitate the growth of fellow teachers, understanding teaching as well as themselves as teachers or individual persons. Development means a continuous and dynamic process that involves making sense of and interpreting one’s experiences as a teacher.
In his essay “Reflection on Monthly Talk on Professionalism and a Professional Organization,” Praveen Kumar Yadav shares a reflection on professionalization of teachers based on his participation of a monthly talk series in Kathmandu, presented by Ganga R. Gautam, immediate past president of NELTA, upon his return from the US where he completed his one year Humphrey scholarship at Boston University. Yadav asks, “Do you know who a professional is? What are the characteristics of professions?”
In his entry “Self-Directed Professional Development: Success Mantra or a Myth?,” Tika R. Bhatta discusses the values and importance of self directed professional development. He delineates that self-directed learning acts as a scaffolding device for a professional to augment his or her knowledge base and competency. His article deliberates on how adoption of certain strategies assists teachers to gain professional development thereby making teachers self-directed. The strategies discussed in this article are applicable to teachers teaching any subjects at any level, but they are most relevant to teachers of English as a foreign language. The essay presents a few strategies for self-directed professional development of teachers.
Please read the articles and leave your suggestions and comments. This will encourage the writers as well as give us the opportunity to share ideas.
On behalf of NELTA Choutari team