Hello. Here are my reflections on the assignment questions.
What are your greatest strengths as a teacher?
I have a passion for lifelong learning, and that is something that I see as my strength. Continuous learning and professional development deliver invaluable insight, and it does not matter whether I am learning about a specific topic, communication styles, or experimenting with new teaching methods… I never feel satisfied with how much I know. Openness to experiencing new things and exploring new ideas will hopefully stand me in good stead.
In addition, I am very flexible and able to adapt, and adaptability is essential in this ever-changing world. We need to continuously evaluate what’s working for us and our students — and even more importantly, what isn’t, which inevitably creates a dynamic and engaging learning environment.
What are your untapped skills?
I haven't discovered them yet, but there must be at least one somewhere within me waiting to be fully realized. Once I discover and harness it/ them, I am sure it/ they will contribute significantly to my individual and organizational success.
What is your greatest challenge right now?
(It’s not really a challenge, more the harsh reality☺)
Roll on September (that was sarcasm☺) Another school year in a state school is fast approaching and that means using course books and dealing with administrators who leave me not much freedom to do things my way. I am a big opponent of course books. For a teacher, it is the easiest thing to come into class and finish a textbook lesson. It doesn’t take much planning, nor do you need to use your creativity or knowledge. It also gives everyone a false sense of accomplishment after the students have completed all the exercises in the textbook. Not to mention the English that you see in textbooks; it’s questionable if anyone speaks like that (recently I have heard the term ‘museum English’ which I do like, and which refers to English that is usually perceived to be real English, but it's fake, ‘synthetic’, and which is found in textbooks).
Speaking of a real challenge, I would like to work for myself, although I lack courage and entrepreneurial skills. Self-employment comes with a long list of pros and cons, and although leaving secure employment now seems daunting, I am aware that this fear should not be a reason not to make the leap.
In which 2 areas would you like to focus on as a teacher?
I would like to further improve my teaching skills, especially ones relating to lexical and task-based approaches in language teaching. To do so, I plan to attend workshops, conferences, and training related to teaching them. It will also help me stay up to date on the latest changes in the education field.
Which resources, skills, and routines might help me deal with my challenges and areas of growth?
First of all, I regard my career as a continuing learning process, and that is a good starting point for growth. There is plenty of room for improvement since there is always some skill to sharpen or some didactic issue to solve. But, the path to self-improvement is not a fixed one; it is different for every one of us. Therefore, this personal journey has to be preceded by deep reflection and careful planning before setting our own professional growth goals. What I am trying to say is that I am fully aware that change and evolution require self-awareness, and that is a skill that might help me deal with my challenges. I can see myself clearly and objectively through reflection and self-analysis. This way, I see what is happening around me, learn from the situation, and can make the necessary adjustments.
On top of that, I have an organized personality, which enables me to manage my time and tasks effectively. Habits and behaviors in my life and work are ordered and planned; I rarely procrastinate. Having established a routine, I have created a sense of structure and discipline in my life, which gives me a sense of control. I am of the view that this skill allows me to increase my productivity and reduce stress.
Which resources, skills, and routines do I already have that I can take advantage of or revive?
I believe that students can sense my passion for the profession and that they are aware of my constant need to read more and know more. They can feel that I want the best for them, and try my best in each lesson, as well as change approaches to meet their needs, which motivates them to also try hard, or at least to stay disciplined.