June-July 2007 ESSARP conducted a Coordinators’ Forum which provided trainers with a virtual space to debate issues related to Distance Education. COORDINATORS’ FORUM
The Forum established academic cooperation within the team of ESSARP Coordinators.
Coordinators had the possibility to debate issues related to Distance Education.
The Forum triggered off proposals for ESSARP 2008 Teacher Training Programme
It made it evident that the first step of the programme design should be the Identification of Teacher Training Needs.
ESSARP invited Member and Affiliate Schools to participate in six Teachers’ Forums that would help to identify Teacher Training Needs.
The Forums would be the first step towards the design of the 2008 Teacher Training Programme .
Permanent education is an essential aspect of the teaching career. Even though nobody doubts about the need for continuing education, a busy schedule usually prevents teachers from attending face-to-face training courses.
Aware of such reality, ESSARP aims at offering equal opportunities and at breaking the time and space barriers. Therefore, we intend to extend our Distance Education Programme for 2008. Teachers will thus have the possibility to update their knowledge making the most of the New Information Communication Technologies (NICTs).
As part of the planning process of the new proposals, we intend to identify teachers’ needs - both in terms of content and modality - so that the courses are specifically designed to satisfy them. We, therefore, take pleasure in inviting your school to join ESSARP Teachers’ Forums , which will not only open a communication channel within your institution but will also give each participant an invaluable opportunity to discuss their views with teachers from other educational environments.
Implementing the proposal
ESSARP will open a total of six Forums, two per level (Kindergarten – Primary and Secondary School (one for the Spanish Section and the other one for the English Section).
The aim of each Forum will be to identify the real training needs of the teachers of each level in order to offer an Education Programme - including Virtual, Face-to-Face or Blended Courses - that will suit them best and assist them with their daily teaching practice.
Each of the Forums will allow for the participation of a maximum of three teachers per level from the Spanish section and a maximum of three from the English section. In the case of the Secondary School Forum, we suggest the participation of one teacher per department (Art, Humanities and Science & Technology)
The teachers who decide to participate will be in charge of voicing their own needs as well as those of their colleagues and will have the opportunity to discuss their views with teachers from other schools.
It is advisable that the participants should be familiarized with the use of the Internet and have easy access to it. Likewise, they should communicate with their colleagues fluently and should be sensitive to their needs.
It is ESSARP’s wish that all the teaching staff of the member schools should have the opportunity to express their training needs. Therefore, we request that the schools that are interested in participating in this experience fill in the Enrolment Form with the list of teachers who are willing to represent each institution. Their participation will not imply more than one access to the Forum per day at their convenient time, in order to read the posts and contribute their own.
Each Forum will be conducted by a coordinator who has been especially trained to facilitate virtual communication.
Each Forum will be conducted either in English or in Spanish to suit the needs of all the teaching staff at your school.
Each Forum will last for two weeks .
The Primary and Secondary School Forums will be open between October 1 and October 15.
The Kinder Forum will be open from October 16 to October 30.
In November, all schools will receive a report about the development of the Forum and the teachers’ needs which have been identified.
Letter to the School Head
ESSARP takes pleasure in inviting your school to join our forthcoming Teachers Forums, a virtual space where educators from our Member and Affiliate Schools will have the possibility to engage in a mutually enriching exchange with their colleagues.
Needless to say, the New Information Communication Technologies are gaining more and more importance in the field of education. It is therefore one of our main aims to design a wider range of Distance Courses, which will enable us to use the resources of the NICTs to your school’s best advantage. One of the first stages in our project consists in identifying your teachers’ training needs in order to provide them with an education programme that will satisfy them both in terms of content and modality.
Next October, we will be opening six different Teachers’ Forums. Attached, you will find two invitations to join them - one in English and the other one in Spanish. The invitations provide details about the aim and implementation of the Forums as well as an Enrolment Form. We would appreciate it if you forwarded these files to the coordinators of each section.
We trust our initiative will open an invaluable communication channel, which we hope will contribute to strengthening your School Mission.
Forum Schedule (Primary School Sample)
October 1 -7
Opening of the Forum. Welcome message to the participants. Forums Objectives. The participants will introduce themselves to the virtual community.
October 8 -16
In-depth debate on educational issues.Real Training Needs in terms of content and modality. Survey to be shared with the school staff.
Closing the Forum. Conclusions.
The schools will receive a report on the development of the Forum.
SCHOOLS PARTICIPATING IN THE TEACHERS’ FORUMS Primary School - Secondary School - Kindergarten
Colegio San Antonio
Colegio Santa Teresita
Escuela Austral de Enseñanza Bilingüe
Jesús en el Puerto de los Olivos
Michael Ham Memorial College
New Westland School - General Villegas
Nuestra Señora de la Unidad
St. Alban’s College
St. Catherine’s Moorlands
St. George’s College North
The Greenhouse (St. Xavier’s)
Welcome to the Teachers’ Forum
On behalf of ESSARP, I am pleased to welcome you to our Teachers’ Forum. We intended to provide you with an invaluable opportunity to share a virtual environment with your colleagues while you let us know what aspects of your own teaching practice you would like to explore further.
As you all know, ESSARP has always been committed to offering Members and Affiliate Schools a wide variety of training courses either in the face-to-face or virtual modality. The Association is aware of how difficult it is for teachers to attend courses or to find the time to continue their education. On the other hand, we are also conscious of how important it is for educators to study on a permanent basis in order to improve their practice and keep pace with the New Information Communication Technologies (NICTs)
It is therefore our aim to offer a Training Programme based on the real needs that you will express here. This Forum will be open for two weeks during which you are invited to voice your own interests as well as those of the teachers you represent. By the end of the second week, we will have collected relevant information that will help us design courses to satisfy your needs.
Attached to this message, you will find a file that will help you navigate this platform.
To begin with, I suggest that you join our online community by posting a message to introduce yourselves. Please, tell us who you are, where you work, what your position is, what subject/s you teach and why you have joined this Forum. It is important that we all feel free to express our views, which will be highly valued at all times.
Our Teachers’ Forum is now formally open. Please, make yourselves at home.
ESSARP Teachers’ Forum Coordinator
La mayoría de los votos por la categoría “poco interesado” provino de Nivel Inicial.
Teacher Training Needs Identified in the Forums Primary and Secondary School ( in alphabetical order ) A - C
Analyzing poetry (7 th / 8 th )
Applied multiple intelligences
Applying correction criteria to written productions
Applying new methodology
AS Art (There´s only one teacher of Art at school)
Assessment (Assessing different levels in a same group)
Average evaluation of students considering their different skills.
Bibliotecología. Promoción de la lectura
CIE Training Courses
CIPP Tests techniques
Common error correction
Contemporary trends on teaching methods
Teacher Training Needs C - G
Creative and innovative IGCSE activities in the classroom
Cross Curricular Activities (Literature and History for example)
Dealing with different abilities and capacities in class
Debates/forums in the classroom Debate strategies
Development of Comprehension skills
DRAMA as a teaching resource
Environmental Management contents
Environmental Management IGCSE: content topics
French (IGCSE and AS Levels)
French (IGCSE and AS Levels) There´s only one teacher of French at school.
Games in the Classroom
Games in the classroom ( to teach grammar and vocabulary)
General Paper AS Level
Grammar & Lexis (how to teach them to EPB1 kids)
Teacher Training Needs - H
Handling problematic situations
History courses for Middle School. Source Analysis.
How to deal with conflicts between kids and with teachers
How to deal with misbehaviour in class in a “creative” way
How to deal with mixed ability groups
How to deal with parents’ meetings
How to deal with students’ lack of interest
How to develop comprehension skills
How to develop writing skills
How to exploit the different skills for effective language learning
How to handle ADD students
How to help children think in English
How to make a systematic evaluation of how much students have acquired after an integration class
How to make Language classes more interesting
How to teach grammar in a non-traditional way
How to teach reading effectively
How to use computers as a tool in the learning process. The importance of computing nowadays
How to work with movies in class
How to work with puppets effectively
How to write/adapt a play from a reader, considering different features.
Teacher Training Needs I - L
IGCSE History: Content topics + source analysis
IG English as a Second Language and IG Spanish as First Language
Iniciación a la escritura en el 1er.año primaria (en inglés)
Institutional and curricular steps to go from Second to First Language
Integration of programmes of study – Spanish, English Literature and English Language
International Primary Maths Programme
Is there any possibility of bringing Miriam Trehearne again? We would be willing to be the host school.
Language as a cross curricular tool in content subjects
Learning difficulties , struggling readers and writers
Learning difficulties in children and how to handle them
Learning how to learn
Learning through games and songs (when teaching young children)
Literature courses for Middle School. Literature for young learners
Literature for children
Literature IGCSE/AS level (set texts)
Training Needs M - P
Make the most of an integration activity class
Marking Schemes/Correction Workshops
Methodology on IGCSE.
Misbehaviour in the classroom
Multiple intelligences: how to work with each of them
Music for the little ones
Music in the classroom
Narrative background, theory and activities
New approaches to EFL/Effective Teaching
New games to practice language.
New learning activities
New teaching strategies and instruction using technology in the classroom
Organizing and timing of a class when students are asked to bring information about a certain subject
Physics AS Level
Planning for the IGCSE class.
Poetry background, theory and activities.
Poetry for IGCSE
Training Needs P -S
Polishing/updating our English
Preparing younger students on the way to IGCSE exams.
Project work and how to integrate the different areas (how to connect them to the different topics being taught)
Prose background, theory and activities
Reading and writing process/instruction in bilingual children,
Reading comprehension ,writing literature Dealing with different abilities and capacities in class
Reading comprehension activities for the higher primary forms
Remedial teaching of sounds in English
Science: Working in the Lab
Special subjects in primary: physics-chemistry-history-Maths
Spelling mistakes: Are they really very important? (3 rd Form)
Stories as a springboard to teach grammar
Stories for young learners (by Peña Lima) no vacancies this year
Training Needs S -T
Stragegies to encourage students to become successful readers
Strategies for IGCSE Writing
Teacher’s role nowadays – Reflection on “Am I doing
Teaching Chemistry and Physics in 6th
Teaching English as a Second Language without immersion
Teoría Literaria (Four teachers mentioned having attended one some time ago. They were fascinated!)
Training Needs T- W
Testing for understanding, how to use tests as a teaching tool
The importance of communication between the staff
The writing process
Thematic Units. Vocabulary enlargement through literature.
Thinking Skills AS Level
Update on children’s books, new literature winners in USA and UK
Use of dictionaries
Use of phonics
Using English as a First Language in the classroom
Using ICT in the English lesson
Using your coordinator as a resource
Web page design
Working as a Team with the whole school
Working with my Spanish Literature Counterparts in Lengua y Literatura.
Writing different Genres
Training Needs - Kindergarten
A curricular Design in English
An agreement between the Spanish and the English teaching methodology
Books for pupils to be used in every day classes
How children learn the second language in bilingual schools
How to help bilingual professionals (other than teachers, let´s say psychologists, etc.) teach English in kindergarten
How to help kindergarten teachers teach English
Importance of Oral Language in early childhood
Materials for teachers
Methodological tips/resources on how to teach English at Kindergarten level
Montessori method – training -
New evaluation techniques & tips
New teaching methodologies
Resources available to teach English in Kindergarten
Setting limits effectively.
Storytelling and dramatization for children
Teacher training college for Kindergarten teachers (with official degree)
Teaching through stories
Tips for teaching/ learning English in an attractive way at Kindergarten level
Teachers’ Opinions about the Forums
“ I am anxious to share new ideas and experience in order to improve our daily activities !I hope we can all profit from sharing comments on our practice !!”
“ Thanks to all the rest for sharing their experiences, wishes, difficulties, resources, time,
“ I was highly enriched by all the contributions everyone made. On the other hand, I would like to thank the people at Essarp for their constant effort and support to teachers in their intention to become better practitioners.”
“ Thank you for this opportunity, I hope I can be of any help as I possitively know it will be of great help for me.”
“ I strongly think it`d be a good idea to have intensive courses in February amd then a blended one throughout the year.”
PRIMARY SCHOOL FORUM
“ I believe teacher development is most important and on line training becomes a wonderful option specially when living far from Buenos Aires.”
“ It’s a great idea to share our viewpoints.”
“ I believe it’s a very enriching opportunity to learn and to share views and ideas with other teachers.”
“ I decided to participate in this forum as I have never participated in one before and I believe it will be very enriching for my every day teaching by sharing with other teachers their daily experiences.”
"Our school is some 100 km from BA which makes it very difficult to attend face-to-face courses, so virtual rooms are ideal! blended courses would be very suitable!As Cecilia Garrett said we have joined the CIPP this year, so this forum can help us contact other CIPP teachers and help others who would like to know about it or share teaching practices!
“ I´ve never participated in virtual courses or forums, but I think that this is a great opportunity to share daily experiences with other teachers.”
“ I enjoy courses or workshops dealing with many different issues, like the ones that teach you new ways to work on the skills or new methods to use in the classroom. I like face-to-face courses much more than online courses because they seem clearer and more profitable to me. It"s a pleasure to be part of this team”
“ As I´m am FULLY convinced I still have SO MUCH to learn, here I am, giving a try to this yet new challenge! It´s a REAL PLEASURE to start sharing this new experience with you all.”
“ I really enjoyed sharing these days with all the participants. It has been an active forum and it would be great to meet again. Imagine a forum with things to debate or to share with the same teachers ... it would be wonderful!”
“ It was my first participation in a forum and I have really enjoyed it. I´m looking forward to particiapting in another one soon.”
“ I`ll be looking forward to next year`s offer.”
SECONDARY SCHOOL FORUM
“ I truly believe in teacher development. It is an essential aspect of our profession. I also believe in change and in the positive aspects it poses. It is extremely important to cope with the changes that take place everyday and a very useful way to do so is by attending meetings, courses, giving your opinion. That`s why I wanted to be part of this forum.”
“ Living far from BA,though not as far as Eugenia,makes it sometimes difficult to attend all the courses one would love to attend. I am all for on line training since it gives us the chance to up date our knowledge and exchange views with other teachers !”
“ I am delighted to be part of this forum as I am sure we will all share valuable experiences and opinions.”
“ I believe it is so very enriching to share our experiences, considering our realities are different! And it is amazing that the same spirit of professionalism is behind us.”
“ I enjoy studying and reading about new developments and ideas, but I sometimes find it difficult to attend courses. I’m sure we’ll profit from each other’s contributions as we teach similar things but in different contexts.”
“ The biggest drawback we find when courses are delivered at ESSARP is precisely, having to travel and, to make matters worse, having to drive into TOWN!!!!!”
“ I believe that permanent education is a key factor to teacher development. I am very interested in learning about the latest trends as well as improving my practices. This is the first time I am taking part of a forum and I am eager to learn from all of you.”
“ This forum could also turn into a future Internet group/ blog to share experiences, etc etc, don"t you think?”
“ I don"t know if it happens to you but I feel I can"t go to bed without having checked on the forum .It feels like we were all having an ongoing conversation which I can"t miss!!As if there were somebody out there "listening"to me "talking" to me at any time.It"s wonderful!!”
“ It has been a real pleasure to be part of this forum. It is amazing to see how many of us share the same interests, needs, intentions and willingness to work and improve our practice day after day.”
“ Thank you for having created a space in which we could express our views, opinions and queries.”
“ It has been an invaluable experience to be part of this forum.”
“ Thank you for having given us this great and extremely useful opportunity.”
“ I have really enjoyed being part of this forum. It has been a most enriching experience to be able to share with teachers all over the country.”
Most relevant findings
46 teachers participated in the Forums representing 20 schools.
All teachers participated actively in the 3 Forums. They debated issues related to Permanent Education such as course quality, modality, frequency and content. They showed some concern about their lack of time to attend face-to-face courses downtown. Most of them were highly interested in Distance Education and in the ESSARP Goes to School Programme.
As regards the surveys, there was a quick response to them, which showed a high level of commitment and great enthusiasm about participating in the design of the 2008 Teacher Training Programme.
The surveys rendered the following results:
The quality of a course is mainly determined by Content, Methodology and Resources and Effective Teaching.
Timetable preferences : 41% of respondents prefer Morning Courses , 30% of them prefer Evening Courses and 21% of respondents would like to attend courses in the Afternoon .
Regarding Number of Sessions and Course Frequency , most teachers would like to attend courses which take a maximum of 4 sessions with a frequency of 4 times a year .
54% of the teachers are highly interested in Distance Education , 38% of respondents are s omewhat interested and 8% of them are scarcely interested in Distance Courses.
32% of respondents are highly interested in Blended Courses whereas 61% of them are somewhat interested and 7% of the teachers say they are scarcely interested in this kind of courses.
77% of respondents show great interest in the ESSARP Goes to School Programme .
40% of respondents are highly interested in participating in Teachers’ Forums , 36% of them are somewhat interested and 24% of them do not show much interest. The most enthusiastic teachers seem to be the ones who share either an international programme of education such as the CIPP or international examinations such as IGCSE.
We identified 174 Teacher Training Needs in the Primary and Secondary School Forums and 21 needs in the Kindergarten Forum. In many of the cases, the contents of various needs can be grouped in one course.
We have noticed some concern about values, discipline, learning difficulties and interpersonal relationships within the school.
Teachers show their gratitude to ESSARP for having given them the possibility to express their needs and to exchange views with their colleagues. They all seem to have enjoyed the experience.
THE FORUMS OPENED UP A COMMUNICATION CHANNEL AMONG TEACHERS OF DIFFERENT INSTITUTIONS.
THEY CONFIRMED THE TEACHERS’ NEED FOR PERMAMENT EDUCATION AND THE NEED FOR A TAILOR-MADE EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMME
THEY STRENGTHENED BONDS BETWEEN THE HEADS AND THE STAFF OF EACH SCHOOL.
THEY ALLOWED ESSARP TO IDENTIFY TEACHER TRAINING NEEDS.
THEY PROVIDED PARTICIPANTS WITH A VIRTUAL SPACE TO EXCHANGE VIEWS AND RESOURCES WITH TEACHERS WHO SHARE THE SAME INTERESTS
THEY MADE IT POSSIBLE FOR SOME OF THE TEACHERS TO HAVE THEIR FIRST CONTACT WITH AN EDUCATIONAL PLATFORM.
THEY SHORTENED DISTANCES AND OFFERED TIME FLEXIBILITY.
THEY CONTRIBUTED TO THE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF BOTH COORDINATORS AND TEACHERS ALIKE.
Lic. Gabriela Madera Lic. Elizabeth White Primary and Secondary School Forums Kindergarten Forum Coordinator Coordinator November 2007