We started a new CELTA course last Monday and I am currently swapping between this blog page and a Facebook Group that the trainees started off their own bat. I’m chatting with a couple of them there about their ideas for their next lessons. I am struck by the fact that such social networks are likely to provide at least as much in the way of “learning affordances” as our group sessions or anything I may formally say as “input”.
Their Facebook Group provides an exponentially large source of support, feedback, ideas and stimulus. It is a brilliantly simple idea. It is an unplugged idea despite its technological clothing, in that it was born of a natural desire to communicate and make meaning. It is an idea in line with the spirit of the age.
It shows my age to admit that I would never have come up with the idea of setting up a Facebook page like this! But it also shows something more significant: namely, that these teachers are “learning teachers” in more ways than one.
They may be “learning” the rudiments of ELT in the conventional sense on the training course in which they are currently participating; they are also “learning” in the sense of a characteristic – they are “teachers who learn”. As such, they are naturally seeking out and leveraging anything which enables them to grow in this characteristic. I think this bodes well for the future.