Does your language centre need a teaching code of practice?
5 March 2015

What is a teaching code of practice, and why might your centre want one? 

For Live Language in Glasgow, the code of practice developed from peer observations and has become a really useful tool for ensuring students can transfer between classes easily, and for teacher development.

Sharon Chalmers, Live's Director of Studies, will talk about the benefits of the idea and how to make it work at the English UK Management Conference. She says:

"It grew from peer observation, when teachers came back from looking at each others' lessons and identified things they thought everybody should be doing in class. We have problems sometimes when students change from one teacher to another teacher: teacher dependency can become quite high."

So, she says, the idea was to get all teachers signed up to particular classroom practices which they thought were best for students, so that if their teacher changed they didn't have to get used to new ways of doing things, perhaps losing momentum.

"We've had our code of practice in place now for about a year. It's worked really well because it's created experts in certain areas, so teachers who are particularly strong in something are mentoring and peer teaching others. It's given teachers a lot more ownership over areas of expertise, and been very useful to provide a framework for people doing classroom observations. 

"It's not in any way, shape or form telling teachers what to teach, just helpful hints on how they can get the most out of the students, reduce any handover period for those changing teachers. It's also really useful for inducting new teachers to the school: it gives them a very clear idea on what we expect as standard in classes and gives them real sense of the school and the teaching philosophy."

Sharon says there are aspects of practice the school expects to run through all classes. For instance, that teachers should "keep out of it" rather than being the conduit for all conversation in classes. "It's a very practical guide, not theoretical. It's meant to be a very positive document, and it's proved very popular and it's a handbook for teachers as well. Teachers like it as it gives a lot of ownership, allowed them to dip a toe in training as well as broadened the scope of what they do.

The English UK Management Conference is being held at the Royal York Hotel in York on Thursday 12 and Friday 13 March 2015.

With big-name speakers and ELT specialists, there are presentations for everyone, including why a happy workplace is more productive, the English UK 'MBA', conflict, communication, CPD, careers, inspection, and more. An Open Space session, moderated by Will Nash,  is designed to ensure managers discuss issues most crucial to their working lives.

Find out more and book your place for the English UK Management Conference 2015.


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