Chrissi Florides gives a glimpse into her annual activities as director of studies with Globe English Centre.
Teacher training is an integral part of what we do at the Globe English Centre. With courses in CLIL, Primary, Secondary and adult education, we cater for all teachers and trainee teachers, offering creative and imaginative courses to inspire and promote personal reflection. We also offer bespoke courses for specific groups such as early years and vocational teachers, but in order to be inspiring, we have to be inspired ourselves, so this is just a little taster of what I (and my colleagues) have done in the last 6 months and what we plan to do in the next 6.
As one of the organisers I booked all the speakers and of course was there myself alongside 10 of my teachers. Sessions I attended included key technologies, the multi-sensory classroom, using images and the teacher as storyteller. As a result of this I have booked several of the speakers for one day workshops to allow myself and my colleagues to learn about the topics in more depth. I have also signed up for a free online course on Dyslexia and Foreign Language Teaching. This will help me help my teachers and more importantly my students. As a small school that prides itself on its personalised service, being able to understand and help each and every student is imperative!
Training other teachers is not only a passion but also a vital way of constantly developing my skills. Plus I get to meet other teachers and share ideas! Whenever I do a workshop I learn as much as I teach.
As we move to a greater reliance on technology, and more online materials, not to mention the pressures on teachers to test and test again and get results, I think it’s vital to bring a little imagination into the classroom. Teenagers especially (and I have a 15 year old at home!) spend so long on their phones or ipads or computers, they sometimes forget how to think or how to play even! Teachers too need something different, something new to motivate them. My ideas use few or no materials, such as pictures and words, to engage students and to get their creative juices flowing! And more importantly they work! All the ideas I present in my workshops are always ideas that I have successfully used myself. The same applies to all the training sessions that we offer at the Globe. Ideas are practical, easy to use and they work!
In February I have organised a training session on online teaching. I may not be much of a techie myself but there’s no denying the greater role that online teaching will play in the future. I am also organising a brainstorming session with other Devon DOSs where we will discuss how we can best continue our own professional development as well as that of our staff.
We continue to organise monthly in house workshops for our staff ( at the moment I’m working on a session on teaching Advanced / proficiency level students – always a challenge even for the most experienced of us!) as well as an exciting programme of visiting speakers. Any overseas teachers attending our teacher training courses can also attend these extra sessions, free of charge! I also hope to start offering training on teaching Cambridge exam classes, in particular ideas for improving speaking and writing skills.
So all in all it has been and will continue to be a busy year, but with new sessions on our teacher refresher courses, such as multi sensory learning, critical thinking, roleplay and drama and creative writing, to name but a few, it should be an exciting one!
Chrissi Florides is Director of Studies with Globe English Centre (www.GlobeEnglish.co.uk). The school was founded in Exeter in 1978 by the present Director, Catherine Borgen, and has established a solid reputation for professional service and quality teaching.