Teachers wanted:

Hi everyone,

I’ve just received an email from Margrit Balmer, from Flying Teachers, who’s looking for a teacher in Graubünden. If you’re interested, get in touch and I’ll be happy to forward you her contact info, or follow this link for the application form: https://flyingteachers.recruiterbox.com/jobs/fk068ef.

And keep an eye out for the next Springboard get-together, coming soon!

Best,

Dave

Teachers as workers

I recently joined a Google+ community on this very topic. The founder of the community page, Paul Walsh, wrote this about his and Nicola Prentis’ rejected proposal to set up a Teachers as Workers IATEFL SIG. One thing he said particularly resonated with me:

A lot of us are fully-paid up members of The Precariat, a term first coined in a book by Guy Standing in 2011 to describe a new class that has little social protection, low or unsecured wages and no trade union representation. This precarious work  leads to precarious life, with individuals unable to form stable occupational identities.

If you also feel that we need to do more to make ELT teaching a sustainable career path, I recommend signing up for their newsletter, following them on Twitter or joining the Google+ group.

ETAS PD Day

Do you feel like you work to live? Or do you live to work? I often get caught up in the trap of working to live, which is to say, I count the Francs instead of the experiences. In the end, this just makes me greedy, jealous, and unhappy.

On the other hand, when I get to the end of the day and count the “aha” moments that my students had, the improvised activities that went off perfectly, the diligently planned lessons that accomplished all the objectives, or the communication strategies that really helped, it feels so right that I do what I do.

This feeling is magnified after an ETAS event like the one I went to this weekend in Sargans. It was the professional development day for the English Teachers Association of Switzerland. Attending a talk, or participating in a workshop that teaches me about second language acquisition, grammar, corpus studies, classroom management, new technology, or teaching strategies reminds me why I love teaching English.

ETAS events also lets you acquire things that will directly lead to increased job performance and earnings. The networking opportunities might lead to your next great job. The publishers will give you books that make your prep-time shorter. The workshops will give you activities that bring new life to your classroom.

For one woman I met, who had arrived in Switzerland 24 hours prior, the take-away was probably more intangible. The day started with me asking her to volunteer to go up on stage for a presentation of the new website. It was a surprise for her, but helped break the ice. Throughout the day she got inspiration and connected with people like her. What was her take-away? Well, only she can say, but from the glow in her eye at the end of the day, I’d say she felt a big boost of confidence in the start of her professional life in Switzerland.

So in the end, if colleagues complain that they have to do professional development workshops and conferences on their own time, or that they can’t afford to pay the fees, I think maybe they’re forgetting that life is not just about money. Meeting motivated, like-minded people, learning from top figures in the field, and sharing experiences completely convinces me that it’s not about counting francs. It’s about gaining richness!

Were you at PD Day in Sargans? Or another ETAS event? Share your experiences below!

Job seekers? Job postings?

The best place I know of to find a job is through people you know, and word of mouth. Swiss Germans say, “Vitamin B”. That’s part of the reason we started this group.

For us, being part of ETAS (English Teachers Association of Switzerland) has also helped. Their website’s job posting page is a good place to start a job search.

What about you? How did you find the job(s) you currently have?

Who are we? What is this site?

We’re a group of teachers who meet about once a month in Bern, Switzerland. We’ve also developed a peer observation process for teachers. During group meetings, we come with an idea we want to share, or a question we want to ask and try to touch on all the topics. After meetings, we’ll post an update here.

The peer observations take place in the classroom. It’s a process aimed at providing professional development to teachers, and is an opportunity to grow professionally in a mutually beneficial, friendly and inclusive learning environment.

The idea is to share information and start discussions–not to pretend we have all the answers! It’s also a time to meet people and relax. We want to learn more about all aspects of teaching, and this site is part of that journey. Check the calendar below for the date of the next meeting, then check the blog closer to the date to find out the topic and what material we will be discussing.

You can also add ELT Springboard to your own calendar by clicking this link.

Get in touch with Ben or Dave if you want to join us!