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4. http://festival.1september.ru/ .1 (08.11.2012 )
The 21st Century Learners are assumed to be collaborative, adaptive, information, media and technology
savvy, communicators, immediate and instant, require instant gratiﬁ cation, creators and adaptor and thus the
society expects the teacher to be creative, constructive and technologically trained to adapt these means in the
classroom teaching situations. Teachers cleave to a very elevated and esteemed position as parents trust them.
They also believe that the qualities like tolerance, acceptance, a wider view, global awareness, reﬂ ection and equal
justice rests within the teachers to shape their child in all possible ways to face this competitive world of today.
Being a teacher means taking on a complex role, a role that is in constant ﬂ ux that needs constant redeﬁ nition
according to the learner or the child. Teaching requires knowledge, skill, commitment and caring. Preparing to
teach requires effort and time. It was William Butler Yates who said: “Teaching is not ﬁ lling a pail, but lighting a
ﬁ re.” And it is the teacher’s role to strike the sparks.
According to educational philosophy, a teacher basically has to three roles the ﬁ rst is the role in the class room,
having to do with classroom management, the second is the role towards the students, it has to do with the personal
interaction between the teacher and the learner, and the third is the role towards him- or herself, the commitment
of the teacher to continued personal development, to be the best he or she can be.
To be an effective teacher requires a com bination of professional knowledge and spe cialized skills as well
as your own personal experiences and qualities. And adding to the knowledge base and acquiring new skills are
among the main reasons teachers participate in professional development activities [1,Bailey, Curtis, and Nunan
2001]. For both a novice teacher and a veteran learning about new ideas and techniques in English language
teaching can be motivating and encouraging.
Many English language teaching experts believe that ongoing professional develop ment is essential, especially
in today’s world of constantly changing technology. Teachers of English who have been trained to use new
techniques and resources are more inclined to try them with their students [2,Chisman and Crandall 2007].
Teachers all around the world face similar challenges due to the very nature of school environments. They
teach their classes inde pendently from their colleagues, which makes them feel isolated. Professional development
activities can bring together teachers who have similar experiences and interests. Just having the opportunity to
share experiences and ideas with colleagues can help a teacher gain a sense of community and belonging.
One of the main reasons to pursue profes sional development is to be empowered—to have the opportunity and
the conﬁ dence to act upon your ideas as well as to inﬂ uence the way you perform in your profession. Empow-
erment is the process through which teachers become capable of engaging in, sharing con trol of, and inﬂ uencing
events and institutions that affect their lives. As teachers, we have the capacity to empower ourselves if we keep
in mind the following precepts:
• Be positive.
• Believe in what you are doing and in yourself.
• Be proactive, not reactive.
• Be assertive, not aggressive.
Critical Thinking course that was organized by the AOA “Nazarbayev Intellectual schools” and provided by
the specialists from Cambridge made me think about my further professional development through improving
my critical thinking skills, involving the teachers of our school in to a critical thinking community, helping our
students to obtain and develop the CT skills. Critical thinking is foundational to the effective teaching and learning
of any subject. Critical thinking, deeply understood, provides a rich set of concepts that enable us to think our
way through any subject or discipline, through any problem or issue.[3,p.1 ] [Richard Paul] details a substantive,
deep concept of critical thinking as one that has a signiﬁ cant array of implications for teaching and learning. The
concept as Paul presents it implies that:
Content is a product of thinking and can be learned only through thinking
All subjects exist only as modes of thinking
There are essential structures in all reasoning within all subjects (that enable us to understand those
There are intellectual standards that must be used to assess reasoning within all subjects
There are traits of mind that must be fostered if one is to become a disciplined thinker, able to reason well
within multiple, and even conﬂ icting, viewpoints
The only way to learn a subject is to construct the ideas in the subject in one’s thinking using one’s
With this substantive concept and its implications clearly in mind, we realize that robust critical thinking
should be the guiding force for all of our educational efforts. Critical thinking, rightly understood, is not one of
many possible “angles” for professional development. Rather it should be the guiding force behind any and all
Teacher development opportunities can take many forms. Some are individual or informal while other
occasions are collective or structured. The most obvious professional development activity for an English teacher
is reading journal articles about teaching Eng lish; reading journals (and maybe even writing an article for one)
keeps you informed about new trends and research developments. How ever, I will focus on activities that are
active and interactive and that often involve reﬂ ective teaching.
A myriad of deﬁ nitions exists for reﬂ ective teaching; some describe individual practices while others explain
what a group of like-minded teachers could do. Many research ers believe that teachers can learn a great deal
about the reasons behind their teach ing philosophies and practices by examining their experiences and asking
and answering questions about them [4, Richards and Far rell 2005; Bailey, Curtis, and Nunan 2001; Zeichner
and Liston 1996]. No approach to reﬂ ective teaching is superior to another; in fact, language teachers can learn
strategies from other academic disciplines.
I see reﬂ ec tive practice as a fundamental part of con tinuing professional development; it provides with
opportunities to analyze and ask questions about objectives as well as to examine how I plan and what I teach. A
teacher engaged in reﬂ ective teaching practices is someone who
• is able to identify, analyze, and attempt to solve problems that occur in the classroom;
• is conscious of and questions his or her beliefs about language teaching;
• is cognizant of the institutional and cultural contexts in which he or she teaches;
• is responsible for his or her own profes sional development.
On an individual level, reﬂ ection can help a teacher develop a greater awareness of his or her own teaching as
well as a better under standing of student learning. [5, p.1](Farrell 1998) states that reﬂ ective teaching helps free
teach ers from impulsive behavior or, on the other extreme, from monotony in their teaching; it also allows teachers
to develop their own educational perspectives.
Teachers can also beneﬁ t from sharing their reﬂ ective teaching experiences with their colleagues; some
methods of sharing are infor mal while others tend to follow a speciﬁ c framework. One way to take control of one’s
own learning is through cooperation with other teachers. Collegial cooperation can help teachers become more
assertive and decisive about their personal learning; it can also boost their conﬁ dence and empower them to ﬁ nd
solutions to challenges they face in their teaching. [5, p.2]
When teachers collaborate in reﬂ ective teaching practices, it is important to keep in mind that the most
beneﬁ cial and effective approaches are the ones that give all the par ticipants, you and your partner(s), the chance
to assess your teaching in a nonjudgmental and supportive manner. Probably the most difﬁ cult aspect of collegial
collaboration is making a commitment to the method you decide to put into practice. Finding time in a busy
teaching schedule is challenging, but such an experience can lead to added self-conﬁ dence and new inspiration in
how you approach language teaching.
I made up my mind to try out on my own ﬁ rst and then perhaps use with colleagues and the Eng lish language
teaching community such a technique as:
Individual technique: Keep a teaching journal
Writing down observations and thoughts about your teaching is one way to gain insight about the how’s and
why’s behind your teach ing style as well as a means to document what goes on in your classroom. By keeping a
journal, teachers can examine the details that indicate why a particular lesson was successful or why one was not.
How likely are you to accurately remember the subtleties of what happened during a lesson a month, or even a
week, later? The process of describing events, asking questions, and formulating hypotheses can reveal aspects of
language teaching that further a teacher’s own professional develop ment [6,p.1] (Bailey, Curtis, and Nunan 2001)
There are many ways to keep a teaching journal. Some teachers consider the process of writing a journal to be
informal and per sonal, a kind of private, professional diary. You might write about classroom activities, student-
teacher interactions, and your feelings about a particular lesson—how successful it was, what factors affected the
lesson’s success (or lack thereof), what you might do the next time you teach that lesson, how students’ reac tion to
the lesson might inﬂ uence how you proceed in the next class, and so on.
It is important to identify a particular goal, or goals, to write about in your teaching jour nal. Getting in the habit
of writing about your teaching may take time. In the beginning, it may be difﬁ cult to write freely (without edit ing
yourself), but give yourself time to get used to keeping a teaching journal. With a little bit of patience, as well as
the determina tion to write in your journal on a regular basis, you will begin to see patterns not only in your journal
entries but also in your teaching. Writ ing down questions and ideas to think about later can help you direct your
focus on the goal you wish to achieve.
Another technique for self-development as a part of professional development I willingly do is observation.
This year we are working on peer observation in a small groups of teachers. Teacher observation is one more model
of professional learning that “is key to supporting a new vision for professional development,” [7,p.2. ]. (explained
Stephanie Hirsh, deputy executive director of the National Staff Development Council (NSDC) The new vision,
according to Hirsh, involves teacher teams that meet daily to study standards, plan joint lessons, examine student
work, and solve common problems. Team members then apply that learning in the classroom, watching each other
teach and providing regular feedback.
Teacher observation should be part of a pool of professional development opportunities, Sparks told
Education World. One way in which peer observation can be very effective is when teachers acquire new skills
or ideas at conferences and then model those new approaches for their colleagues. That is best done through
observation, said Sparks, who advocates learning in the school, rather than through “pull-out” training, such as
workshops. Professional development should be job-embedded, he emphasized. That is one of the greatest beneﬁ ts
of teachers observing other teachers. Critical Elements of Teacher Observation as Professional Development
Ensuring school leaders advocate and support teacher observation as a valid form of professional
Building a community of trust among faculty
Establishing a school-wide commitment to the approach
Separating observation from the teacher evaluation process
Declaring the purpose for teacher observation and a commitment to its outcomes
Inviting teachers to ﬁ rst participate in the process as volunteers
Allowing time for teachers to observe other teachers
Organizing scheduled meetings, coaching sessions, and follow-up conversations
Creating teams that share students
Selecting speciﬁ c strategies and skills on which to focus during an observation session
Instituting a way to measure the impact of observation
I learn very much from observation, it is beneﬁ cial for my professional development . Observation brings
actual practice to the forefront. A variety of approaches to teacher observation support professional growth and
student achievement. The following are several of those methods:
Lesson Study -- In this three-pronged approach designed by Japanese educators, teachers collaboratively
develop a lesson, observe it being taught to students, and then discuss and reﬁ ne it.
and share teaching practices, observe each other’s classrooms, provide mutual support, and, in the end, enhance
teaching to enrich student learning.
Cognitive Coaching -- Teachers are taught speciﬁ c skills that involve asking questions so that the teacher
observed is given the opportunity to process learning associated with teaching the lesson.
professional growth linked to student learning. Each CFG is composed of eight to 12 teachers and administrators,
under the guidance of at least one coach, who meet regularly to develop collaborative skills, reﬂ ect on their
teaching practices, and look at student work. [8,p.1] (See an Education World article, Critical Friends Groups:
Catalysts for School Change).
Learning Walk -- The Learning Walk, created by the Institute for Learning at the University of Pittsburgh, is
a process that invites participants to visit several classrooms to look at student work and classroom artifacts and
to talk with students and teachers. Participants then review what they have learned in the classroom by making
factual statements and posing questions about the observations. The end result is that teachers become more
reﬂ ective about their teaching practices. Professional development is always linked to The Learning Walks.
The professional development that a teacher values depends on what he or she needs at any given time. So
a teacher struggling with classroom management can improve his or her skills by observing a peer in a safe and
inclusive learning environment. Being observed by the same peer leads to suggestions about how to handle
behavior problems, as well as opportunities to share successful teaching approaches with the observer. Most
important to effective teacher observation is that it be student-focused. The emphasis needs to be on how things
can be done differently in the classroom to ensure that students succeed academically.
Through practical teaching and learning strategies, teachers abandon the didactic approach, abandon rote
memorization, and begin to teach subjects as ways to think more effectively about the world, as ways of asking
important questions and getting important answers. They approach content through leading ideas that tie other
ideas together and make learning more simple and logical. They model the thinking they want students to learn,
engage the students in the thinking they model, and hold students responsible for the thinking they do.
Ongoing professional development is essential as it enables us be effective teachers in the modern world.
And every teacher is free to choose the way for self-development, to use different techniques and methods. I have
decided upon those mentioned above.