blog challenges, education, professional development, teaching

A Welcome Note to New Teachers – Inspired by Burcu Akyol (@burcuakyol)

Welcome! (Photo by Vicky Loras)
Welcome! (Photo by Vicky Loras)

Burcu Akyol is an amazing professional and person in Istanbul, Turkey. Anyone who is active on social media (and not only) knows her for her professionalism, fantastic and widely-known educational conferences she organises and wonderful smile and character!

Burcu tagged me in her Eleven post and I decided to expand on one of her questions and turn it into a blog post. Burcu’s question was: What would your advice be to a new teacher?

I have been teaching for almost seventeen years. The beauty of our profession is that we keep on learning practically every day, and every beginning of the school year feels like the first time. I read somewhere that it is one of the few professions where we can start again from the beginning, every year : ) If I could give some advice to new teachers, first of all I would give them a huge welcome to this wonderful field.

Welcome and we are all in this together.

  • It is a great field, which can give so much happiness, but disappointment occasionally as well. Use this disappointment to improve on and reflect.
  • It really is okay to admit you do not know something, or have made a mistake. It took me a couple of years to realise it, but the students are mostly understanding and really appreciate it.
  • It is absolutely essential, and to the benefit of both yourself as an educator, and to your students as well and above all, to continue developing professionally. It doesn’t need to be endless hours consumed in sessions or giving up altogether on sleep. Connect with other educators on social media – and there are lots out there to help, support and motivate you. And you can do the same for them! And it can be as little as 5 minutes interaction per day. Believe me, once you start it, you will love it! You can go to my series of blog posts on how to start, either online, offline or both.
  • Reflect on what went well – it is so important, as we mainly tend to focus on where we didn’t do so well. Both in balance are great to do – reflection on good points helps in keeping it up, and reflection on negative aspects helps bring on improvement.

Welcome and wish you a great new beginning!

Special message: Since we are on the topic of new, I would like to tag Vicky Papageorgiou, a new blogger, to start the Eleven blogging challenge!

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8 thoughts on “A Welcome Note to New Teachers – Inspired by Burcu Akyol (@burcuakyol)”

  1. Hi Vicky! What a lovely welcome note! Thanks a lot for your nice words by the way:) I will share this with the ELT students in my network. I think they are so lucky to have the opportunity to learn from teachers like you.

    Hope you have a wonderful year!:)

    Burcu

    1. Dear Burcu,

      Thank you so much for the comment and sharing with your students! I mean every word and I am very lucky to have conneceted and worked with you. Anything you take on, you do it professionally and with love. Plus, you are always eager to share and help. We need more educators like you!

      Wishing you a wonderful year as well!

      Best wishes,
      Vicky

  2. Dear Vicky,

    I know wise men usually say nothing but I’ve also heard that nothing haunts us like the things we don’t say. So I owe it to myself, at least, to add my voice here and remind everyone that self-expression and going the extra mile always make the difference and are therefore appreciated amongst learners, teachers, educators, colleagues at any level.

    Beyond epistemological approaches, methodological choices and cognitive styles, working to the best of one’s ability and having one’s heart set on their subject (and on learning) are the crux of the matter. Whatever stage in our career we may be, I feel, this cannot be achieved unless teaching/learning is a self-directed, orientated process of cognitive and affective empathy towards our learners’ very personhood in a broader sense. Whether this is a taught skill or an inborn quality… Well, that is anyone’s guess (and a topic for a new blog post, I suppose:)!

    Thank you for your positive contributions on the domain of teaching Vicky and Burcu. And keep up your quality work both!

    Happy New Year!

    Helena

  3. Hi Vicky,
    Great advice 🙂 If I were to add my twopennorth I’d say: listen to your students. It’s so easy to get bogged down in your own lessons plans etc. but ultimately what counts is that you can help those people who are there and want to learn something. They usually know what they want to learn.

    1. Hi Sharon!

      Thanks so much for reading, your kind words and adding that great piece of advice – listening to our students is not only important, but part and parcel of teaching and learning : )

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