As you have all heard, we’ll be having a bit of a ELT bash here in Ankara over 31 May - 02 June  – at the 11th METU ELT Convention.

As part of the festivities, we’ll be running a Teacher Training Panel – with:
  • Beril Ayman Yücel
  • Deniz Kurtoğlu Eken
  • Hande Mengü
  • Yeşim Güven

…and, little ole “me” as the panel moderator. 

We’ve been playing with a few ideas for the theme of the panel, but we wanted to extend an invitation to you alla bit like a pre-convention PLN – and try to pick your brains on topics / issues that are “hot” or perhaps need more attention than they typically get.

Teacher Training Panel Moderator


  1. I'd like to pose a question rather than making a comment really, as this has been a concern of mine for some time now and I'd like to see/hear your views on this. What may be some "quick and easy" ways of providing ongoing & sustainable professional development opportunities to very busy teachers (with varying experience) which do not require them to sit in a class to listen to others present things? These should not require Ts to learn new tricks along the way(like a new application on comp), or spend hours at home, either. This one is tough, but I believe there must be ways of doing this.

    D. A. Midas/METU-Dept of Basic English

  2. Hi there,

    You pose a critical question - can we balance "quick and easy" with on "going and sustainable". Not sure we can ;-)

    This year I started blogging and tweeting - two of the best ways to "connect" with the world that I know.

    Can I get some quick n' easy ideas from these edtech "solutions"? Sure...

    Are they "ongoing n' sustainable"? Sure...if I put in the effort with the people I connect with...

    Are they both "quick n' easy" - NO WAY.

    The way I see it...professional development can never be quick and easy. It has to be on-going and sustainable - and it has to be somethıng that we "own" as professional educators.

    One of the problems we teachers face is that our institutions do not invest in their people? Sad fact...but true.

    Publishers, for example, are really good at giving teachers "quick n' easy" tips and hints in "laugh and giggle" or "spoon-feeding" workshops...but how sustainable are they? Even when they bring in the "big guns" for a conference presentation or "user seminar" - but how many of these change our lives? How many of these (really) make us better teachers or help us cope with the day-to-day pressures that we face in the classroom - in a sustainable way?

    I was at a seminar this evening and I overhear a teacher saying "I hope I get an idea I can use in class tomorrow morning" before the event started - sure, we all say this from time to time. However, I also chatted to another teacher (during the coffee break) who asked me "How can I really make a difference to the writing skills of my students?" - big difference in those two ideas ;-)

    To be honest - good PD is a bit of a "balancing act". Our institutions need to help us more - but we need to help ourselves (and our students) even more. In-service PD needs to focus on "what matters" not "what's new" - so, we can all grow as professional educators - and, more importantly, help our students be the best that they can be...

    Well, you did "ask" ;-) Does that help?


    1. I agree with you on the adea that professional development can never be quick n' easy and that it should be sustainable and on-going. I also agree with you on the fact that institutions should help us more and we need to help our students more which will in the end help us anyways :) what I agree on the most is that in-service trainings and teacher training units should be able to help us with what we will need rather than what is fun and new, but impossible to do. Personally, I like to have fun in the classroom and I do think that students learn when they have fun, but let's be honest: who has that kind of time and schedule? Also, is it really necessary to have fun all the time? I always hope to learn new ideas and methods when I go to seminars and conferences, but I also have the same idea that echoes in my head: will I be able to use it in my class? Most of the time, I have fun during those sessions and my question that echoes in my head always ends up at the same point: I won't be able to it in my class unless I adapt it. So, maybe we can look into the adaptability of activities and their do-abilities?

      Ceyda/ METU Dept. of Basic English

    2. "it has to be somethıng that we "own" as professional educators."

      Oh yes. There is a big difference between teacher training and professional development; unfortunately, institutions often confuse them.

    3. Thx Ceyda / Robin,

      Yes, we can (and should) always do more within our institutions. And, the idea of CPD being based on what we "need" is critical - but should also allow us to have a bit of "fun" from time-to-time ;-)

      The questions I am seeing from these types of comments are:

      What type of CPD are we getting "right" these days? What type of so-called PD activities are not hitting the spot - for both teachers and learners?

      What type of TT / CPD activity do we need? How can we get it when we have such tight budgets?

      What should our institutions do for us - what should we be doing for ourselves?

      Do our current PD / CPD "models" have the "stuff" - are they good enough, how can we keep what is good, how can we replace what is not so good?


  3. Sorry - just realised that I published that as "Anonymous" ;-)


  4. Hi Tony,
    I am a public school teacher and teaching English for eight years and sometimes I feel that schools or instutions make the teacher busy with unnecesarry things or paper works and don't want their teachers become better teachers.Especially it's true for the teachers working at public schools in Turkey.
    Secondly,I think you need to invite some teachers who work at various schools to discuss the facts and problems about teacher training and professional development.By this way,you could give the teachers opportunity to develop themselves and become better teachers.

  5. Hi Dilek,

    I'm sure METU (and the TT Panel) would love to see more primary / high school teachers - I know I would love to see more of you, 4SURE ;-)

    I think we have to admit that "admin" is a big part of a teacher's job (keeping records, tracking students, etc) - just as "assessment" and "counselling" are critical to promoting student LEARNing and success. But, yes - anything that is "unnecessary" is just a waste of time and effort.

    I often say that the job of a school (and a teacher) is to put LEARNing at the heart of its decision-making ;-) If any school was actively trying to stop teachers becoming better, it should be "shut down" (IMHO) ;-)

    But, I think its more likely that schools (and administrators) "forget" what really matters in a school - of all the "elements" of a school, it is teachers that have the biggest "impact" on student LEARNing. ERGO - every schools needs to put CPD at the heart of its planning and operations - that means time, care and money!

    I also believe that CPD is a also a big part of our "job" as educators - mostly (though not exclusively) because we are one of the best role-models for LLL - role-models that every student (regardless of age) needs on a 24/7 basis. It we do not walk-the-talk of LLL - how can criticise our "kids" for not giving a hoot about school. It's not only what we "teach" kids in the classroom - it's "how" we interact with them, how we show we care, how we model what matters and what is important (in life - as well as school).

    So, YES! Come along - you can find a registration portal on the main page and you can track us on twitter by using the hashtag #metuelt ;-) If you need some help, also drop a line to Zeynep - I'm sure she'll do her best to help ;-)

    Thanks so much for dropping in - inşallah, I'll see you there ;-)


    1. Being a participant would be harika:)
      But I have to be at school until 18.3o on Fridays.
      I wish the panel would be on Saturday so I could come and bring some of my friends.I think the panels should be free for all teachers:)
      That would be great too:)