Reflections on Self-Studies Session 1, May 31, 2019
Self-Studies in Language Instruction and Pedagogy
The first of this series of sessions was extremely interesting. We started by introducing ourselves and sharing what had drawn us to the session, what we felt good about in our work and what areas we were interested in exploring in the upcoming sessions. The points we touched upon were:
What brought you here?
What do you feel good about in your work?
What are you interested in exploring?
The diversity of responses from the attendees not only helped us to realize the different interests we may have, it also brought forward areas that could be valuable to us in order to develop ourselves as EAL Professionals.
During the second part of the session, we broke into smaller groups where we looked deeper into important questions such as how we see the purpose of education, our roles as educators, what it means to be a ‘Reflective Teacher’, how we understand intercultural communication and our own approach to diversity in our classrooms.
The questions were:
1.What do we see as the purpose of education (language education)?
2.What do we see as our roles as educators?
3.What does it mean to be a reflective teacher for you?
4.What does intercultural communication mean to you as an instructor/administrator?
5.Do you have an approach to diversity in your classroom/workplace? How do you respond to diversity?
The discussion could have gone on forever! However, to summarize, it focused on how our impact as instructors goes beyond the horizon of the classroom in that we enable students to become comfortable in Canada: emotionally, culturally and in their practical lives.
There is an inevitable two-way traffic between the teacher and the students in the classrooms and this serves as a healthy path to grow friendship and trust. The more we accept the diversity of Newcomers, the more we can contribute to their success settling in Canada.
Being a ‘Reflective Teacher’ involves feedback from students to teachers, teachers to teachers and within each teacher, themselves. We constantly go back to what we did that made learning easy or tough for them, what we can do to improve the past and how students’ involvement will play a role in it.
It was authentically a ‘Self Study’ and ‘Reflection’ opportunity for us as Instructors, Curriculum Developers and Administrators.
We concluded the session with some precious quotes from acclaimed eminent writers. One of my favourites was:
I thank SIETAR , BC TEAL and Vancouver Community College Diversity and Inclusion Working Group for arranging this first session of Self-Studies in Language Instruction and Pedagogy series.