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ESL Teachers' Associations

October 06, 2005


I have been thinking about the various opportunities for teachers to learn from each other.

Good morning all,

Teachers' associations play a vital role in professional development, allowing teachers to keep in touch with current developments and to network with other teachers no matter where they are located or what type of organization they work in. In fact external associations can have some clear advantages over employing institutions as actors in professional development. The employing school has a very personal relationship to the teacher, but it is a relationship that can be complicated and hedged in by hierarchy, financial and time constraints and by different perspectives of what kinds of professional development are needed. By being part of a national or international teachers' association, the teacher can be free of these issues and can relate to a wider world of professional expertise.

Some of the basic services offered by associations are regular journals, newsletters, meetings, conferences and special interest groups. Some undertake research and surveys. All support teachers in the quest for improved performance and development of potential. And beyond helping in the development of professional expertise, professional associations allow teachers to feel part of a wider community and can give them opportunities to share their own experiences with others. If the school supports teachers in their relationships with professional associations by giving them time and funding to attend meetings and conferences and subscribing to journals, then the institution also benefits from the knowledge the teachers acquire. We could say, then, that teachers' associations are partners in professional development and that schools are stakeholders in this process.

Back soon.

Patricia.

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Teaching associations. New to academic conferences? Have you still never presented at a conference before but realize that potential employers will see your involvement with the academic community as a big, big plus when considering . . . [Read More]

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