Send someone along to the English UK Teacher Conference 2015 this November, and they can bring some valuable CPD back for the rest of the team.
Marjorie Rosenberg, president of IATEFL, is giving this year's closing plenary with an idea-packed talk on how to get out of your comfort zone.
While the hugely experienced teacher - she's been in the job for 34 years - stresses she would never force anyone to try things they didn't want to, she says even little changes can make a big difference to teaching. For instance, she says: "I always had bad evaluations on using technology, so I took on some new ideas, which didn't take me more than five minutes each week, and suddenly that part of my evaluation went up."
"Maybe you don't feel stuck - but sometimes you're forced to change from outside. Markets change, or you have a new boss, a new location or a new group of students and you're forced to look at things. That's all part of getting outside the comfort zone. Most teachers do want to grow, and we can talk about ideas, try things and be stretched without even realising it."
Marjorie's coming to the Teachers' Conference armed with all sorts of new ideas she's gleaned from what she calls her Personal Learning Network - a group of fellow teachers she talks to on social media. "I crowdsourced ideas for the conference," she says, explaining that she asked her network what to address and what teachers could try, and ended up with responses from around 20 countries around the world.
"It was fascinating," she says: "There are wonderful tools out there, often free or extremely low-cost. Sometimes we simply need to find out what's out there and what's possible."
She adds: "I would never tell someone they have to do this, but I think teachers do want to continue learning. Teaching is a lifelong learning experience - for me, being in the field 34 years, what keeps me going is finding out new things every time I go into a classroom. I think we can be very proud of ourselves as a profession for the way we've evolved over the years."
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