Teacher’s development according to different authors
Juan Rosales Torres
Universidad Católica de la Santísima Concepción (UCSC)
This Reaction Paper was prepared for Didactics of English, taught by Roxanna Correa.
Penny Ur: The English teacher as professional
In this paper Ur states the differences between professionals, technicians, lays,
amateurs and academics.
First, according to the author, a professional does not only have skills and
knowledge, but also experience on what he does. In addition, Ur (?) mentions that
unlike a lay, professionals belong to communities in which they can complement
information and discuss about relevant issues regarding their area of expertise.
Secondly, Ur argues that the difference between professionals and amateurs is
that professionals have training, preparation, commitment, competent, continuous
Moreover, the training of teachers is more theoretical and is related to their
formation as educators, whereas their development has to do with experience and the
acquisition of practical knowledge.
In the third place, Ur indicates that a professional is constantly learning and
expanding his knowledge, which allows him to be prepared for teaching. The author
also declares that teachers are commitment to improve so that their labor takes place as
effectively as possible.
Furthermore, Ur argues that professionals are different from technicians
because of innovation and autonomy. Professional language teachers are skillful, know
the language, are capable of explaining it, but mostly, they can manage a classroom,
interact with students, use resources appropriately.
Moreover, according to Ur, a professional is more active and practical than an
academic because he promotes enhancement not simply investigating, but also through
To conclude, the author declares that professional teachers are: autonomous;
committed to the teaching labor; aware that learners are the most important; part of a
community that have the share the same interests; receiving new information and being
To start, I have to say that this paper presented good arguments that were also
well supported. It was positive for me to read this paper in a way because I could know
what an author says about professionalism. However, the following paragraphs express
my disagreement with certain points that Ur mentioned in his paper.
First of all, I disagree on what the author said about professionals and
technicians. He said that technicians do not have skills and that professionals have
skills, knowledge and they are innovative. In my opinion, I agree on that professionals
may have more knowledge than technicians, but for me, the only difference between
these two is that the professional has to spend more time studying because that is a
requirement of the degree. For me, a technician can also be innovative and acquire
knowledge in an informal way because he can investigate by himself. Moreover, the
author states that professional teachers know how to manage a classroom and have good
relationships with the learners. I also disagree on this because there is no need to be a
professional to get along with someone. For me it is just about social skills that can be
applied not only inside a classroom, but everywhere. Having positive interactions with
people is a gift that cannot be taught, but can be learnt through significant practice.
In conclusion, to be honest, this paper was kind of confusing to me compared with the
other papers. Sometimes I could not really understand the differences between the
definitions provided by the author. I believe this happened because my previous thought
and knowledge before the reading were quite different from what appeared in the
document. In fact, even though the definitions of this paper are expressed are aimed to
inform the readers and maybe change their minds, I have to declare that my perspective
and appreciation about a professional remains the same. However, I cannot deny that
the document contributes to the teachers’ formation in the sense that explains that
teachers are the real agents of change since they are the ones that do not only research,
but also act on the environment.
David Hayes/Cascade Training and Teachers’ professional development
First, Hayes (2000) speaks about innovations in educational systems. He states
that in order to implement an innovation in a school several factors have to be
considered, such as the characteristics of teachers.
The author also provides ways of managing innovation. He declares that, even
though all the agents of this process are important, teachers are the principal agents of
change in this process. Thus, their performance inside the classroom and their
motivation must be analyzed to find out what to do. Furthermore, it is necessary to be
aware of the micro and macro context of the teaching process.
Finally, Hayes explains the cascade strategy, which is about experienced
teachers helping more novice teachers to develop themselves. In addition, he declares its
advantages and all the criteria that should be taken into account when implementing it;
it must promote reflection, reinterpretation, collaboration, and unity among all agents.
The following evaluation provides my appreciation about Hayes’ document. It
is focused mainly on two points from the text in which I express my agreement on the
one hand and disagreement on the other. At the end of this evaluation, the main
conclusions will be stated.
First of all, as for the managing innovation point, I have to say that I agree with
the author about analyzing the social micro and macro contexts of the teaching-learning
process. However, I must say that I was expecting Hayes mentioned how important the
learners’ families are. If I had been him, I would have mentioned that teachers should
know that families are the first educators because they teach values and appropriate
behavior to their children. In my opinion, if learners do not pay attention at their own
homes, they will not do it at school either. I am saying this because Hayes should have
mentioned that communication between teachers and the learners’ parents is essential.
Both need to be aware about what is going on with their children. For me, as teacher to
be, part of my development will include to learn my students, their likes, characteristics,
and particularly their personal situation because it will help to understand their attitude.
In short words, I think that if teachers consider this, their motivation will increase, their
improvement will continue, and innovations will be well implemented.
As for the cascade method, I think it is definitely a viable way of implementing
an innovation. I agree with the author because I am sure that everything can improve if
there is the desire of achieving it. I am saying this because Hayes states that this method
is based on significant experience full of reflection and open to positive changes. Also,
there must be cooperation between the agents that participate. As a result, these aspects
can certainly promote motivation to teachers and their collaborators, and, subsequently,
obtain improvement through innovation. In my opinion, the cascade method could be a
good way of contributing to the teachers’ professional development.
In conclusion, this paper presented good arguments that were also clearly stated, and it
was not difficult for me to understand it. The cascade method seems to be worthy to try.
Furthermore, even though I believe the author forgot to mention an important aspect of
the social macro context, I have to say that I liked that Hayes had considered teachers as
the most important when implementing an innovation. As in-service teacher, I believe is
important to give them the credit they deserve because they are the principal agents in
Douglas Brown: Continuing your Teacher Education
First of all, this chapter has the purpose of informing the reader and provides
reflections from the author. Brown (2001) starts indicating that teachers are always
learning in order to improve their teaching. Also, according to Brown, teachers have to
be realistic, acquire knowledge, flexible, confident, and critical to perform
Furthermore, he explains that Peak Performers are autonomous and are aware
of their weaknesses and strengths. This allows them to establish realistic short and long
term goals. They prioritize what to do first to optimize their professional and personal
time. They are innovators who always face new challenges, look for enhancement, and
learn from their mistakes. They can avoid stress by managing certain factors and having
powerful relationships with beloved ones.
Secondly, Brown suggests different types of observations in the classroom, in
which he says that teachers have to do this in a simple but progressive way, always
monitoring and assessing themselves carefully.
Moreover, the author speaks about research, and he states that most of the
teachers believe this is difficult and demanding. However, he says, they are always
Furthermore, he provides pointers for teachers to investigate effectively;
questions about the research have to be clear and specific; the elements of these
questions must be established; teachers must know how they will answer these
questions; results must be well interpreted in order to obtain conclusions that will
In conclusion, Brown declares that teachers are agents for positive change that
are motivated by their passion about teaching. They have to be respectful and tolerant
with their students in critical moments, and also, they need to provide formative
feedback and constructive critic in order to contribute to their own development.
To start, this paper was not difficult to understand for me. The arguments of the
author were strong and his suggestions were very simple but helpful.
First of all, I would like to refer to introduction of this chapter in which Brown
(2001) declares that teachers need to be patient if they want to become true masters at
teaching. Even though this seems obvious, it is important to have it in mind because
there are novice teachers that are afraid of starting their labor. They want to do it as
good as possible but they believe that pressure will not let them. As a result, this might
provoke that they adopt an ambitious perspective sometimes. Therefore, in my opinion,
following Brown’s suggestion is quite recommendable because it expresses that the
process of development and improvement of teachers should be effective and organized,
taking into account that there are priorities to attend, and is necessary to be realistic and
conscious about the objectives.
Secondly, in the part of Peak Performers, Brown mentions rules that could help
teachers in their development. Regarding this, I would like to give my opinion about the
first one. One of the characteristics of peak performers is that they are not commanded
in relation to their goals as teachers. This should be true, however, according to what I
think; the situation in the schools is quite different because superiors or principals may
demand more than what can be given. For instance, one of my friends has been a
teacher for almost six year, and she has told me that this occurs very often, particularly
in private schools. As a consequence, she cannot feel comfortable doing her job and her
desire of improving vanishes slowly. In short words, I completely agree on what Brown
states, but I also believe that teachers have to be willing to expect people that will not
let them work as they want.
Finally, regarding the four rules of Brown, I would like to comment about what I
believe he forgot to mention. To be very honest, when I was reading this part, I was
expecting the author mentioned self-commitment and social skills in addition to the rest
of the rules. In my opinion, self-commitment comes from motivation, and it is essential
for teachers to overcome obstacles. Moreover, if I had been the author, I would have
said how important is to have positive relationships with your superiors, particularly
related to the part when Brown talks about stress management as a result of excessive
work. I would have expressed that teachers must not forget that their superiors are also
human beings that might have had similar experiences in the past. If so, it will be much
easier for them to understand a situation of stress. Therefore, communication and
sincerity between teachers and their employees should be a Peak Performer rule that I
would have mentioned in the chapter.
Elizabeth Taylor: Research in your classroom
To begin, this paper aims to inform and suggest. First of all, Taylor (2002)
states that a teacher always considers different aspects of his classroom as object of
analysis. Furthermore, this could be at a practical or theoretical level. Both aim to
improve the teaching-learning process.
In addition, Taylor declares that discussions between colleagues could be quite
beneficial to make progress in the development of teachers. She also mentions that the
teachers’ learning style might determine the following actions to be done.
Secondly, the author argues that some teachers prefer or are obliged to meet
with colleagues and discuss about how to improve their lessons, whereas other teachers
improve their classes by investigating what other authors have said about teaching and
classroom research. Regarding this last point, once teachers have started their
investigations, someone may have already made progress in the same kind of research.
In this case, Taylor suggests that these steps could be followed in order to corroborate
or obtain new results.
In the third place, the author mentions a teacher that conducted a research in
her class in order to illustrate how a research is done. Taylor states a series of steps that
the teacher followed during the investigation, in which the focus of research was
determined, a way in which the data will be saved is created so that it can be collected,
analyzed, and then used to obtain results and conclusions or findings. To conclude,
Taylor explained that teachers can show their findings to others through either informal
talks with times for discussion, or articles and sent to journals.
Before starting, I want to express that this paper provides good ideas and
arguments about teachers’ development. However, I have to say that it was not a great
contribution for me because I was already familiar with the points the author mentioned.
In this evaluation, I will present my opinion about some points that were stated in the
First, there is a point in Taylor’s document when she mentions the case of an
adult ESL teacher. There, the author stated that during research, it is important that
teachers: know exactly what is going to be the focus of their investigation; answer
themselves what can improve their lessons; identify their weaknesses; and determine
what needs to be treated. I agree on this point because in my opinion teachers should
focus their investigations on specific aspects in order to make the most of the time and
work effectively. I believe that teaching improvement is a continuous never ending
process in which some teachers may progress faster than others. Therefore, I think that
when teachers want to investigate their classes, they do not have to be too ambitious.
They need to use the available time wisely, and need to be realistic about their goals.
They have to know themselves, and the effort they put in the process should be
according to their own characteristics. That is why I agree on the author’s argument.
Secondly, following the idea of teachers’ development, the author mentions
that to be better, teachers must assist to talks, discussions, and other instances in which
they receive information about how to investigate and how to improve their lessons. I
agree on this, however, Taylor did not express that the inconvenient is that most of the
teachers do not have time for these moments. In my opinion, schools must promote this
and arrange the teacher’s schedule. This is an investment in which the progress of
teachers and students will be reflected in the future.
In conclusion, I have to say that I did not discover new things when I read this paper.
My perspective and understanding about teaching remained the same after I finished the
paper. In my opinion, the author should have been more realistic when expressing the
teaching situation taking into account the diversity that is part of it. However, I do think
that that this paper provides good support to its arguments, and in my opinion, the
author expressed herself in a clear and precise way.
Joanne Pettis: Developing Our Professional Competence: Some Reflections
First of all, it is necessary to mention that this is a reflective paper. Pettis
(2002) starts arguing that good teachers have to possess principles, knowledge, and
skills in order to be competent. Also, she manifests that these are independent from one
another but need to be complemented in order to obtain positive results when teaching.
Secondly, she explains that there are different perspectives about the relation
between teachers’ preparation and practical performance. According to her, teachers
should definitely be prepared with linguistic knowledge before teaching in order to
provide appropriate explanations to their students. Moreover, she declares how
important is for teachers to be constantly analyzing themselves about the principles that
determine their decisions.
In the third place, Pettis, there are novice and experienced teachers; therefore,
their opinions, interests and concerns might be different from each other. Furthermore,
she states that she attempts to improve constantly by examining her own characteristics
as a teacher which permits her to make better decisions regarding her technique or
Finally, she expresses that constant progress for teachers is compulsory. To
achieve this, they need to be committed in a personal way to the teaching labor having
in mind that learners and teaching are extremely relevant. In addition, it is necessary to
emphasize that self-improvement, self-analysis, self-commitment, and constant
discussion with colleagues, are characteristics that, according to the author, should be
part of every teacher.
First of all, I want to say that this paper provides positive and strong content
that can be quite enricher for teachers. What I liked the most about it was that it
emphasizes how important commitment is. It may sound kind of obvious, but it is
always necessary to remember that because there are a lot of teachers that, according to
me, still do know its true meaning. Nevertheless, I will also speak about a point that I
To start, I have to say that I agree on that teachers must integrate principles,
knowledge, skills to their teaching. In addition, Pettis said that there are some people
that express that it is not necessary for teachers to have linguistic knowledge because
they teach the language and not linguistic aspects. In my personal opinion, someone can
explain but not teach a language without linguistic knowledge. The reason why is
because this is limited to communicative and prone to be done in informal contexts.
Therefore, I completely agree with the author about teachers having academic and
linguistic knowledge before teaching a language. Moreover, I believe a teacher must be
prepared to answer any kind of question related to the language. Thus, I think what
Pettis expresses is completely true; the mixture of these three elements will give
teachers enough preparation so they can provide complete and detailed explanations to
their students whenever is required.
Secondly, I would like to write about the novice and experienced teachers.
Pettis declares that novice teachers tend to focus on what to teach whereas experienced
teachers focus on how to teach. I disagree on this point because I believe that teachers
are always concerned not only about the content that is going to be reviewed in the
lessons, but also about the way in which they will explain such content to the learners.
In my particular case, even though I am a novice teacher, I always try to make a good
relation between the topic of the lesson and the corresponding activities for it, so that
students can have a better learning. Therefore, being an unexperienced teacher does not
imply that you will not consider certain methods or techniques when teaching.
To conclude, this paper possesses quite persuasive arguments and the author
expresses clearly. Although there was a point that I disagreed with, I perceived the
paper positively. I want to emphasize that for me, the most important contribution of the
author, is her personal testimony because it motivates teachers to understand what the
teaching labor really is.
Brown, H. D. (2001). Teaching by principles: An interactive approach to language
pedagogy (2nd ed.). Pearson Education.
Hayes, D. (2000). Cascade training and teachers' professional development.ELT
journal, 54(2), 135-145.
Pettis, J. (2002).Developing our professional competence: Some reflections.Methodology
in language teaching: An anthology of current practice, 393-396.
Richards, J. C., &Renandya, W. A. (Eds.). (2002). Methodology in language teaching:
An anthology of current practice. Cambridge University Press.
Taylor, E. (2002). Research in your own Classroom.Methodology in language teaching:
An anthology of current practice, 397-403.
Ur, P. (2002). The teacher as Professional.Methodology in language teaching: An
anthology of current practice, 388-392.