Theme: Power of Networking for Leadership and Teachers’ Professional Development
Every teacher embarks on a maiden voyage into teaching with little or no experience. However, the challenges to keep abreast of the modern development in pedagogical approaches; bring in innovation into teaching and learning contexts to prepare creative, critical independent learners for global citizenship urge teachers to think about developing themselves during their teaching careers. To that end, they look into opportunities for their professional development on their own or through institution of their affiliation i.e., schools/colleges or any teachers’ professional association(s). Now there are a number of professional associations across the globe to help teachers for enhancing knowledge and professional development through sharing and networking within the community of like-minded professionals.
Generally, teacher’s role is believed to be restricted within classroom teaching and learning context. However, with the changing contexts, teachers now have challenges and opportunities to redefine their traditional roles of being a mere teacher to researcher, administrator, trainer, teacher educator, and a leader in the field. With the aggressive development of technology and its integration into teaching and learning contexts, it has increasingly broadened the horizons for teachers to learn and share among professional communities through networking and collaboration.
It’s only lately that the 21st NELTA International Conference is over with invigorating zeal and enthusiasm among teachers across the country and from abroad. The mega ELT event organized every year provided an incredible platform for teachers from across the country for their professional development. We have, thus, concentrated the current issue on professional networking among teaching professionals in the light of teachers’ professional development.
The first entry entitled ‘Leadership Development for Multilingual/Multicultural English-speaking Teachers’ by Dr. Yilin Sun, the past president of TESOL International debunks the myths about leadership in teacher association like TESOL International. Dr. Sun shares her personal anecdote from joining TESOL as a member to becoming a president of the world’s largest teachers’ professional organization.
Dr. Bedrettin Yazan in his entry ‘Networking through interest sections in TESOL: NNEST-IS’ underlines the benefits of networking at TESOL International in general and NNEST-IS in particular for one’s professional development. In his entry, he relates his professional journey about his participation in NNEST-IS that has significantly contributed in shaping his professional identity as a teacher, teacher educator, and educational researcher. Dr. Laxman Gnawali in his entry ‘Teacher Associations and Personality Development’ discusses the five dimensions regarding the significance of being associated with teacher associations for personality and professional development. This article vividly reflects his own experience of joining NELTA that has helped shape his professional identity, personality, professional, and leadership development over the years.
The fourth entry by Keshav Prasad Bhattarai on “Professional Experience and Development through TEA is a reflective account of his exhilarating experience of a six-week intensive teacher training under the Teaching Excellence Award (TEA) program at the Bowling Green State University in Ohio, USA. In his last entry, ‘How not to screw up on social media?’ Umesh Shrestha, interestingly presents a prank of an English teacher on Facebook. He argues such a prank on the social media might be disastrous for “teachers living under intense public scrutiny”. He then points out five significant ways an English language teacher can use social media, especially Facebook for meaningful interactions with students and among professionals, networking opportunities, professional development and so forth.
Here is a list of the contents incorporated in this March issue of the NELTA Forum and are hyperlinked for ease!
- Leadership Development for Multilingual/Multicultural English-speaking Teachers by Dr. Yilin Sun
- Networking through interest sections in TESOL: NNEST-IS by Dr. Bedrettin Yazan
- Teacher Associations and Personality Development by Dr. Laxman Gnawali
- Professional Experience and Development through TEA by Keshav Prasad Bhattarai
- How not to screw up on social media? by Umesh Shrestha
- Professional Practices Series- “Understanding Learners’ Preferences” by Katherine Bilsborough
PS: Please refer to the Professional Practices Series tab to go through the interesting and informative article on “Understanding Learners’ Preferences” by Katherine Bilsborough.
We would like to extend our appreciation to all the valued contributors for their articles. Moreover, we would request you all to read, comment, and share your thoughts and reflection, thereby engaging in healthy discussion and debate in ELT scholarship.
Laxmi Prasad Ojha