Posted in Reflections & Career Development, Research, This and that

So…What Exactly Should PD Look Like?

I couldn’t agree more with dear Tony! CPD sessions are important for all teachers because we should know ourselves much better to help our students. Teacher training is like life long learning-it never stops! Also, school administrations should give more importance to this issue instead of ignoring its importance and its staff. If we do more research, more in-class research, more sessions to share what we have with each other, we can grow together.

Our students change every year. I mean their interests, needs and learning preferences change. As teachers, we should understand these changes and provide new and effective ways to collaborate with our learners in our learning environment to reach “outcome” together. In order to do that, we need to improve, revise or redesign how we teach in accordance with our aims and learners. Saying that is really easy but it is not like that in reality.

I always think that our working environment is a great tool to achieve this. We have many colleagues who are already teaching and they have experience as much as we do! So, why don’t we start sharing with each other in our institutions? This is free! Our institutions do not have to pay for any sessions.

CPD is not so far away… Everything starts with a “core” and we all have this in our working environment. We just need to open our eyes and initiate this process 🙂

Let’s grow our collaborative environment all together! 🙂

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There I am…under my favourite olive tree, looking out at the point where the Aegean almost meets the Mediterranean…on the Turkish Riviera.

Sounds like heaven, yes?

So what the hell am I doing on my MacBook Air?

I’ll tell you – looking at the marketing bumf for the training courses that support a book entitled ‘A Handbook for Personalized Competency-Based Education (PCBE)’ from Robert Marzano and his gang at Marzano Research. Yes, as the sun goes down, the soft Aegean twilight floods the mountains and bay around Akbuk (near Didim)…here’s me reading about the type of Professional Development (PD) needed to ‘inspire’ teachers to breathe life into PCBE.

BTW – Did you know that the word inspire is derived from the Latin ‘inspirare’ which literally means to breathe life into another? Stephen Covey learned me that a few years back…

I am such a sad, sad…

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Posted in Reflections & Career Development, This and that

Dreams come true…

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I had always wanted to be a part of METU (Middle East Technical University) during my high school years. However, because of our country’s education system, I didn’t have a chance to choose it for my graduate education but it was in my mind all the time. Then, after university and almost 6 years in teaching, I was invited for a kind of pre-service event there! The day of days came and I was there; on the stage! It has been a wonderful experience for me. I can’t say everything was perfect because I know there were some points to be improved related to my presentation skills in such academic occasions.

Then, after some time, I was invited to teach a course in METU! Teaching English to Young Learners! Nowadays, I am looking forward to meeting my new students, indeed my prospective colleagues 🙂 I know we are going share a lot of things there and we will develop different points of views together. I hope to learn a lot from them 🙂

This is way better than my dreams… This is a milestone in my career ^_^

 

smiley-clipart-smiley_star_08.png With special thanks to my dear family and my fiancé for supporting and motivating me to achieve my goals.

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Posted in Conference & Seminar Notes, Reflections & Career Development, This and that, Useful activities

SLTEP Pre-Service Event at METU

On October 17, I shared my experiences with my prospective colleagues. It was really nice to be there with them and see the gleam in their eyes!

You can find my presentation here: Riding a Flying Carpet in Teaching_ 

Reflection:

I spoke too much and I tried to share a lot in such a limited time. Thus, it was a bit boring, I guess. I should learn to manage time during those presentations 🙂 However, at the end of the presentation, a few people from my audience came and talked to me which made me so content.

A brand new experience 🙂

 

Posted in Conference & Seminar Notes, Reflections & Career Development, Research, This and that

IATEFL ReSIG Annual International Conference

Last month, Gediz University held a very beneficial conference for researchers to share what they had been doing in their own environment. Thanks to dear Dr. Kenan Dikilitaş, I was motivated to conduct research and present it there as a poster presentation.

It was my first research presentation ever so I was really nervous during the preparation process. My dear colleague Kenan Hocam encouraged me to try this new field in my career and he helped me so much before-during and after my research 🙂 First, we had a group on Facebook with two other colleagues and Kenan Hocam was a guide there. He helped me find an area to survey. Then, after choosing that area, I chose suitable tasks and planned my study carefully. As the next step, I applied those tasks in my classroom and thanks to my precious students, I received lots of constructive feedback. Finally, I was ready to share what I learned during the process 🙂

It wasn’t easy for me! I know I had many mistakes but nothing is easy… You will never know if you don’t have the courage to try 🙂 Also, once I saw the results, I decided to use classroom research as a part of my professional development. Hope to find or create a chance to spend more time on these studies 🙂

You can find more about my study here: My study

The conference program: Program

You can find more about this conference here: About conference

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Posted in Conference & Seminar Notes, Reflections & Career Development, This and that

Çukurova University ELT Conference

Hello everyone!

I haven’t been able to write for some time but now I  am here to share a conference announcement with you! An international ELT Conference will be organized by Çukurova University on 21-22 May, 2015 in Adana. There are many topics which are included in the event so if you are interested, you can have a look at the link below:

http://www.elteacherscu.com/

I want to underline that it is going to be worth attending that event. As you may remember, it’s the university where I got my bachelor’s degree so I know what can happen there 🙂

I also want to share a beautiful campus photo which I took a few years ago 🙂

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Posted in For fun, Reflections & Career Development, This and that, Useful activities

Movie Club

I was teaching something about education in my class last week. There was a question in the book: Do you know any movies on education? When I asked this to my students, I realized that they are really into watching something. I stuck a blank sheet on the wall and asked them to write their movie suggestions there to share with their friends. Then I suddenly asked myself: Why don’t we watch these movies at school after classes? I shared this idea with my students immediately and said that we could stay at school one afternoon and watch one of the movies both from the list and included in top 250 movies in IMDb list. They loved the idea and agreed! 🙂

We started our “Movie Club” with that step. We held our first movie session last Thursday with “Snatch” by Guy Ritchie. We used English subtitles while watching. This Thursday, I mean yesterday, we watched “A Beautiful Mind” and they loved it! By the way, I share the movie I choose on Monday or Tuesday and they decide if they want to watch it or not. It’s not obligatory 🙂

I think these kinds of activities are helpful ways to improve their general knowledge, language skills and our communication with each other. My students are from the preparatory classes of English Language Teaching and English Language and Literature departments so they can understand English subtitles- at least they do their best to understand 🙂 They are also aware of the fact that they need more general knowledge so they are willing to join our movie days. I can suggest this if you have a chance. It works 😉

As for the third week, I am planning to choose either “The Shawhank Redemption” or “Pulp Fiction”. I haven’t decided yet. The best movie of all times or a Tarantino movie? A difficult decision is waiting for me! movie_club

Posted in Conference & Seminar Notes, Reflections & Career Development, Research

Mini research on the effects of T-PLUS

As I mentioned before, I attended an event by T-PLUS held at İstanbul Şehir University. I was inspired to conduct a mini research related to participants reasons and inspirational results during it. Here are the results 🙂

The survey was sent to fifteen people who joined the 5th T-PLUS Event held at İstanbul Şehir University on November 7-8. There were twelve people who completed the survey.

There were five questions included in the survey. These are:

  1. Which T-PLUS meetings did you attend?
    İzmir University of Economics December 21st, 2012
    İzmir Yaşar University, May 4th 2013
    Ankara TED University, Nov 15th . 2013
    Girne American University, Cyprus, May 2014
    Şehir University, İstanbul, November 2014
  2. Why do you attend T-PLUS? You can write more than one reason.
  3. Do you think the last T-PLUS meeting has inspired you to do something professionally?
  4. If your answer is “yes” for the previous question (Q3), can you share the areas you want to apply something new?
  5. If your answer is “no” for question 3, can you share the reason(s)?

Note: The first question doesn’t require only one answer. The participants were expected to choose all the answers suitable for them.

The answers for the first question can be seen below:

As we can see by looking at the answers, the participants were mostly new colleagues. Only one of them attended the first event of T-PLUS and only two attended the second. That’s why; we can conclude that the collected data mostly refers to new members of the organization.

As for the second question, the answers are:

  1. First, my institution told me so. Then I made a quick research and I really wanted to join it.
  2. To meet colleagues, to improve myself professionally
  3. In our school we don’t have a PD Unit. Since we want to initiate one, I see T-Plus events as a great source of ideas for this specific reason. As for my personal reason, I want to improve myself in every way, both personally and professionally.
  4. To improve professional skills.
  5. To help improve teacher training in Turkey. To share expertise and experiences. To collaborate with teacher trainers who do not have access to many developmental activities.
  6. To exchange ideas and suggestions about Professional development in ELT 2. To be aware of what’s going on in other universities concerning TT 3. To build up a network of TTs all over Turkey
  7. *I believe in the spirit of communication, negotiation and collaboration. *We have had teacher training practices for 6 years after I attended SLTEP2009. *To share the best practices and learn from each other.
  8. to share experiences get feedback/help or my duty collaboration (see what the other universities practices)
  9. To learn about the latest trends in professional teacher development and keep up to date with them. For sharing new information with our colleagues in our institution.
  10. In order to meet new people and benefit from their experiences in the field.
  11. To check out for recent developments in PD. To establish new networks
  12. In order to improve my PD skills and exchange ideas with the friends

When we look at the answers in detail, apart from the first answer, all the reasons are related to participants’ personal and professional development reasons; in other words, intrinsic reasons. In fact, the first participant’s answer can also be included intrinsic since after searching the event, s/he was also willing to participate in it. As it is clear in the answers, most people participate in T-PLUS events since they want to improve their professional skills and benefit from the experiences of other colleagues. Establishing networks and meeting new people follow these reasons. We can conclude that participants join the events willingly and by being aware of their expectations. Moreover, we can also say that collaboration gets a big share, too.

The answer for the third question was the same for all participants, which is “yes”. Then, we can start analyzing the fourth question since it is related to the inspiration in the previous question.

  1. I want to apply “self assessment via peer observation”. Also I will share the idea of forming a reading club to meet every Wednesday. Another thing is I realised that in my institution, mentoring for new teachers is not enough.
  2. It’s inspired me to increase technology usage in the classroom and to integrate more components to my teaching
  3. 1. Buddying for new teachers. 2. ”I have got talents” workshops. 3. Some technological tools or websites from Nezaket Hoca’s presentation.
  4. No answer available.
  5. I feel that I can do more to provide online resources and training for teachers or teacher trainers in Turkey.
  6. -Involving our teachers in Teacher Research activities in collaboration with those in other universities -Dealing with teacher resistance in the light of the suggestions made in some sessions -Introducing some technological tools that can be used by our teachers in their classes.
  7. Team teaching seems appealing in that both teachers feel equally responsible for the delivery of the lesson and the observation.
  8. peer observation in a self evaluation format (Aslı-Utku’s presentation) Action/Teacher research in collaboration with Kenan Hoca (Gediz University)
  9. Working in a team with my colleagues to set up a PDU in our institution. Giving presentations on the subjects summarising our experiences in T-PLUS
  10. We are a developing university and we’d like to learn what our colleagues do in their institutions. It was lovely to meet new people from different universities and share our problems. We want to build a Professional Development Unit in our department.
  11. some ideas from the workshops: Personal development, using padlet
  12. We will apply group reflection. A couple of teachers will be moderated by an experienced teacher and feedback on various issues will be provided.

 

If I want to summarize the biggest pie, it can be technology use. There are five answers related to it.  Participants are encouraged to use technology either in their own teaching or sharing what they learned with their colleagues via workshops. The second thing can be collaboration in their own institutions to set up new opportunities and regulations like peer observation, team teaching group reflection, reading club, and helping teachers share what they have in their pockets (“I have got talents” workshops.) These are all related to improving the teaching and sharing standards in each institution. Another inspirational topic is obviously research. Thanks to the session by Kenan Dikilitaş, some people are motivated to conduct teacher research in their institutions. We can look forward to the results of their work 🙂

Furthermore, if I compare the results by using the participation as a criterion, I can’t see much difference among people’s reasons to attend the event and inspirational reasons.

To sum up, I want to thank everyone who completed the survey 🙂

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Posted in Reflections & Career Development, This and that, Useful activities

Appreciation at work?

One of the most important motivational problems is appreciation at work. In fact, we want to be appreciated not only in our private lives but also in work environment.

We can achieve the first one by sharing our feelings with the people around us by letting them know we would like to get credit for our positive attitudes and actions. It is not so difficult as it may seem at the beginning. You can ask the people around you whether they are content with your behaviours and get the feedback immediately. If you think that this is too direct to do, you may show your appreciation to them. Then, they can follow your way and give you feedback 🙂

When the case is work environment, it is much more difficult to be appreciated. To be honest, I believe that people appreciate each other in the work environment but they are afraid of sharing this.  There can be  many underlying reasons of that, yet I think the most important one is the fear of making the other person flattered. We are jealous of each other as human beings so this is natural. However, we shouldn’t forget that everybody needs to know they are precious for a reason. Everybody needs feedback and guidance related to the way they do their jobs. Although everybody needs this, teachers are more dependent on this. We, as teachers, need to see appreciation; otherwise, we can find ourselves fighting against burnout syndrome. If you want to be appreciated as a teacher but don’t know how to do, please check the link below 🙂 There are some tips for us!

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/teachers-finding-appreciation-work-elena-aguilar

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Posted in Conference & Seminar Notes, Reflections & Career Development

Reflection: T-PLUS

Last weekend, I was in İstanbul to attend a T-PLUS event. T-PLUS is the acronym of TRAINERS’ PROFESSIONAL LEARNING AND UNLIMITED SHARING. It aims to help trainers connect and share experiences/ideas with each other twice a year. This event was the 5th one since the organization was founded. It was held in İstanbul Şehir University on 7-8 November, 2014.

The theme of the event was collaboration so the sessions were planned accordingly. There were many colleagues from various institutions. We discussed how to collaborate with each other and set some goals until the next meeting. We suggested that we could collaborate with the people in our districts more easily so we should stay in contact with each other. For example, I live in Ankara so I talked to the colleagues who work at Hacettepe, ODTÜ, Başkent, and Atılım Universities for collaboration. We have many ideas to work on! 🙂 I will probably start by a new experience called team teaching. I heard it during one of the sessions so I feel really curious about it. I talked to a colleague who carried it out in her institution in the past. Since she  has experience of it, I am going to have some meetings with her and learn the principles of the process not to make any mistakes.

There was also a session about research. I have always been afraid of research since I think it’s a challenging process. However, Kenan Dikilitaş, dear presenter, motivated me to conduct a research in my institution and I started thinking about a problem to be discussed. I have also sent a brief questionnaire to some colleagues. They were either the ones attending a T-PLUS meeting for the first time or the ones who have been attending the meetings for a long time. Now, I am waiting for them to complete the survey 🙂 When I analyze the data, I am going to share the results here.

Another session which drew my attention was by Emrah Akkurt. He is an instructor and educational technologist at the same time. He shared how we could share our knowledge online like using hangouts, webtv, etc. I learned many useful things during his session and I envied him! 🙂

Two weeks ago, when I was at Sabancı University, I had learned that DELTA was now available in Ankara- it was only available in İstanbul until now. At the T-PLUS event, I met dear Simon Phipps who is the coordinator of ATI (Anatolia Training Institute) and I am planning to meet him some time to get more information about DELTA since I want to attend it as soon as  possible!

All in all, even though it was tiring to attend all the sessions, I feel more energetic than before and I feel like doing lots of new things now! Let’s get it started guys!! 😉

Here is the link for T-PLUS:

http://www.tplusturkey.org/

Here is the link to reach the session documents:

http://www.tplusturkey.org/?page_id=170

Here are some photos from the event 🙂

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