Hello and happy Saturday. As much as I hate most of the “professional development” conferences I have to take at work, I love to read and find out about ways in which I can become a better teacher. Sadly, I do that research in my own time, and the school I work at rarely recognizes that as professional development. It is what it is, no?
I’m the textbook definition of a millennial teacher, so when I say I’m always looking for new ways to be a better teacher, I don’t mean attending conferences or classes at a university; I do it all at home. I have to admit it: I’m a fan of MOOCs or online courses, and one of the reasons why I love them is that I can learn while being at home, in my PJs, eating chips.
Now, I know some people prefer physically attending classes, which is my case when I’m learning a new languages, but I do prefer online professional development courses. I selected some I have personally taken for you to check out if you’re interested. Let’s get started, shall we?
This is a program from Arizona State University, which you take via Coursera. I actually took the whole specialized program, which are four courses plus a capstone project, but you can take each course separately. With Coursera, you can decide if you want a certification, which has a cost of $49, or if you don’t, which means you can still have access to all the material, but you don’t need a minimum passing score and you don’t get a completion certification at the end.
I took this program because I was beginning my career as an ESL (or English as a Second Language) teacher, and I felt it was important for me to learn about different strategies I could use in content subjects in English, such as science, which I also teach, to ensure that all my students were able to succeed. I believe this program can be very valuable to teachers in English-speaking countries where there is an important number of students whose first language is not English.
This, too, is a four-course certification program. If, like me, your aim is to earn a TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certificate from Arizona State University via Coursera, then you must take each of the courses, and pay the $49-per-course fee. There’s also a chance to pay for the whole program in advance, so if you want to do it and can afford it, I’d say go for it.
Because my major is actually a BA in teaching Modern Languages, and one of my emphases is teaching English as a second language, I know most of the content of this course, which makes it very easy, and I’m not going to lie, at times boring. A TESOL certificate, however, is great for ESL teachers, which is why I enrolled in this program. People who want to become English teachers but didn’t major in education also take this course as an alternative pathway.
This is the first Coursera course I took a few years ago, and I didn’t even pay for a certification because I was just testing the platform. This course is by the Relay Graduate School of Education, but what I noticed is that, though it’s super useful for teachers, other people can benefit from it.
Thanks to this course, do my weekly planning every Saturday, and I have various planners, at home, on my phone, and at work. I took this course while on vacation, and it was super helpful when I had to start working because the tips I was given allowed me to efficiently organize my activities within any given time. If you want to treat yourself to an online course, even if you do it for free, take this one. I promise you won’t regret it.
CLIL stands for Content and Language Integrated Learning, and it’s an approach to teaching a language through specific content. It’s like when students learn Math and Science in English, which means they are also learning English. This is a more formal course, from the British Council. If you want to sign up, you have to be aware of the registration dates. You must pay for it and if at the end you get a passing score, you will get a certificate. I found it great to complement what I’d learned about CLIL in university.
This course is by the British Council, but you take it through a platform called Future Learn. I’m not sure, but I think it’s like Coursera in the sense that you can take the courses for free, or you can pay and get a certification. I found the Teaching for Success four-course program through the British Council page after taking my CLIL Essentials course. I find this sort of courses refreshing because the materials are up to date. You also have the chance to interact with people from all over the world who either are teachers or are in the process of becoming teachers. It’s fun and it’s free, so in my opinion it’s worth a try.
Do you have any questions regarding the courses I listed or suggestions that might be useful? Let me know in the comments!
Love, Miss Camila