There has never been a more exciting time to be an ESL/EFL teacher. Technology is becoming more accessible and free, teaching resources abound, and there continues to be incredibly strong demand for learning English – a British Council report estimates that 2 billion people will be English speakers by 2016.
Take advantage of this exciting time by building your own personal brand with your students, colleagues, and future employers. You don’t need to have your own web team, but it will become increasingly important to take control of your professional path. Plus, students need your curation skills now more than ever – with so many free materials, what can they trust? That’s where your English teaching expertise comes in. Online is a different form factor, but just like learning how to lead in a classroom, start testing the online world and you’ll notice it’s not that different than in-person interactions.
How to Building Your Personal Brand:
From LinkedIn profiles, Google + pages, to blogs and full out personal websites – the online world is tailored to help you showcase your skills and expertise. Teaching, unlike most professions is hard to describe – how would you showcase your teaching skills? Can you describe them in words? Wouldn’t it be great if you can showcase how you actually teach in video and show how great of a teacher you are? WeblishPal teacher profiles were built for that – it helps you showcase materials and your expertise in one convenient place, best of all they are free to create.
Using Blended Learning Online & In the Classroom:
Blended learning brings the world into the classroom and the classroom out to the world. The K-12 system has been enriched by resources like the Khan Academy video lessons. Yet the ESL content world is still dispersed and uncharted. Why not build your own online course pages and share your materials with students? Teachers we’ve interviewed have used everything from hip hop to film to create fun lessons for students – lessons they bring into the classroom and even assign as homework for students to enjoy on their own time. Remember, your students are already looking for resources on the web – be there to guide them.
The joy of teaching is the ability to constantly share knowledge – do yourself and your students a favour and share your creative teaching and curating skills online as well as the classroom. At WeblishPal we love working with ESL teachers to help them build easy to share and FREE online portfolios. We’ll be exhibiting at TESL, so do drop by for a demo to get you up and running online. If you can’t make it, we recently had a free webinar on getting started with online teaching, portfolios, and blended learning.
See you at TESL Toronto!
Barbara Tassa – Co-Founder, WeblishPal.com