How can professional development open up new possibilities?

While at a workshop at AISSA I was asked to do a presentation at the Numeracy and Literacy Expo . This was totally unexpected and extremely complimentary.  I was very excited to be offered this opportunity to share my innovations with flipping in the ESL classroom and to challenge myself with a public presentation.

However, as I had only attended the two-day workshop on the Language and Literacy Levels in March and I was still doing the course on functional grammar I had a lot of study to do. To add to the stress my presentation would describe a Flipped unit that my class was yet to start.

What had I committed myself to do? How stressful? But now that the Expo is over I can see how, by putting myself in this demanding situation, forced me to manage my time so I could learn and tell others about the Levels and how I flipped functional grammar. My learning had a purpose; I had to do the presentation.

How powerful was it to have this challenge? My study and application of innovating teaching brought new understanding but more exciting was the relationships that developed with my ESL class.  I really needed them. By telling them about my upcoming Expo presentation they supported me by allowing me to take photos of them involved in learning activities, and video their feedback on the flipped videos.

Student Voice

Student Voices Flipping

Through this I have learnt how project based learning and having a challenge can bring about unforeseen knowledge and relationships and this is why I am using this approach in my next ESL unit by following the Fluencies.

Having experienced a challenge I can see how it made me not only research and investigate new technologies, ideas but to also develop relationships with others.

To my students, my mentor Bronwyn Custance and Linda Wright at AISSA I thank you for your support.

So how did my presentation go? Yes, I started off feeling uncomfortable but when I became fully involved in the need to get my message across I felt as if I really was communicating with my audience. Now, I understand how my students feel doing their presentations and how important it is for them to know their topic and to speak from the heart.

This experience has given me the opportunity to experience a challenge as described in the Fluencies and the value of publishing to inspire students to achieve as it did with me. It is this new understanding that I will bring into my class and use to develop my learning environment as a place where although we may feel uncomfortable at times, we know we have the support of others.

By taking on a challenge I have discovered new possibilities about myself, developed relationships with my students and lead innovative teaching and all this has surprised me. And now I have been asked to present flipped classroom ideas for ESL Stage 2 at the DECD EALD Secondary Teachers Network meeting in November.

Yes, a new challenge and more possibilities open up.

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