The very beginning of the tale of one of my previous encounters with teacher training.
Dateline: 2011, an Internet forum somewhere in the outer colonies of the TEFL galactic empire. I’m chatting with the (in)famous Bruce of TEFL International fame. He has started a discussion thread announcing his plans to start up a BA TESOL program in Thailand. Posters are skeptical; I’m skeptical. He’s hearing it from the peanut gallery. I’m skeptical but I’m also interested…fascinated…attracted. Bus mostly I’m critical because his plans seem sloppy and lord knows we need less of that in the Thailand TEFL scene. I’m beginning my MA TESOL and realizing how teacher learning has almost eclipsed language learning as my main squeeze intellectually. I’m the most energetically critical voice on the thread as it intensifies and teeters in the edge of a ‘flame war’ (some may be familiar with the history of online histrionics surrounding TEFL Int).
Fast forward a couple months. I’m emailing back and forth with Bruce, working out the details of my involvement with the first fresh cohort of EFL teachers in Thailand who’ve signed up for the hastily organized new BA TESOL…thing. Nobody quite knows what it is and if it will really grow into something real. Except Bruce is full steam ahead, and I’ve decided to chug along with him. He sees as well as I do that the intensity of my criticism betrayed a deeper desire to get involved. I wanted in, right there on the ground flo – no wait, there was no ground floor. Right there on that patch of ground.
What I’ll do, I proposed, is design and deliver an online ‘Reflective Practice Seminar’ for the teacher learners you’ve got signed up so far. That’ll keep ’em busy until your first spate of on-campus class offerings (IF that ever really happens)!
Here’s a screenshot from a moment during the project that unfolded from there:
How I designed it and why, the wacky and wild journey getting it organized and started up, the way it panned out and what I learned, feedback from participants, more webinar screenshots featuring my collection of debatably ugly sweaters, and eventually flying out to Thailand to participate in further TT adventures…all coming up.