Thursday, 24 July 2014

Cambridge English Teacher Scholarship Application

Mug shot of the (rather hopeful) winner
Recently Jim brought to my attention about the Cambridge English Teaching Framework and the Cambridge English Teacher Scholarship, which I can apply for by submitting an outline of where I believe I lie on the framework as well as how I intend to progress in each category. This doubles as a chance to reflect on my progress and future development plans as well as an possibility of winning a free trip to the 49th Annual International IATEFL Conference and Exhibition in Manchester next year. Fingers crossed I can win with my entry! (I may be in trouble with Jim if I don't!) Do you think I have a chance? Feedback and thoughts are, as always, more than welcome. 

As an English teacher who is still in the early stages of my career, I know that there are many aspects of my teaching that can be developed and built upon. In order to achieve this, it’s important to have realistic and challenging goals with a plan to bring these goals to fruition. Teaching ability is not necessarily quantifiable, but using the Cambridge English Teaching Framework as a reference allows you come to terms with your own skill level whilst providing a positive platform for further development.
 Having had a chance to read through the framework and do some well needed reflection, I find myself positioned somewhere between the “foundation” and “developing” categories. I am still at a stage where I am aware of and understand various techniques, methodologies, assessment principles etc when it comes to teaching, but I am not necessarily able to translate these concepts into my lessons effectively nor consistently.
Moreover, I currently have a tendency to concentrate more of my efforts on expanding my repertoire of teaching activities and resources rather than focusing on my weaknesses or adjustments that are required in my approach to teaching. Furthermore, as I gain in teaching experience, and in turn confidence, I appreciate more than ever that I cannot neglect the importance of my own professional development.
Taking a step back from my day to day position as an important member of staff at a small language school, I have realised that with the bigger picture in mind, I really do need to benchmark my progress and motivate myself beyond “developing”. Now, you may be wondering: “How do you intend to progress through the framework whilst achieving your career goals?” Good question!
I have found that a fantastic way of advancing personal development and finding new innovative ideas is by sharing experiences with other teachers. I am rather fortunate in having an enthusiastic and experienced long term English teacher as my mentor, as well as being fortunate enough to have been encouraged to attend a number of EFL seminars, workshops and training courses (such as the IIEEC Teacher Training Program) already. Through continued interactions with as diverse assortment of educators and instructors as possible, I believe that my open-minded and enthusiastic approach, along with my work situation, will grant me to put learning into practice quickly.
In addition, I intend to re-visit and critique past lesson plans in order to identify my strengths and weaknesses so I may adjust my teaching style accordingly. Deliberating over these points will enable me to enhance my development in the “teaching, learning and assessment” category, by identifying the most effective teaching methods and key concepts to apply within the classroom, and at the same time expanding myself in the “professional development and values” category by analyzing my flaws.

All in all I hope that I can start to achieve my full teaching potential through a combination of factors with the Cambridge English Teaching Framework acting as a solid reference point and as a bridge to my future development.

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