School Blog

Articles in this blog may be ESE news, academics pieces written by our team or events in Malta of general interest.

We are all Eaquals!

Eaquals Conference Riga, 26th – 29th April 2017

We attended the Eaquals conference in Riga, Latvia last week, between the 26th – 29th April. Apart from the opportunity of making new connections with people from different countries, we caught up with some old friends. Throughout the conference we found inspiration in the numerous talks and workshops. Read on to find out what some of the speakers, many of whom are leaders in the industry, shared.

Duncan Foord held three management training workshops. He made us realise that during a meeting, different team members adopt different roles by wearing ‘different coloured hats’ as described in Edward de Bono’s (who is coincidentally Maltese) ‘Six Thinking Hats’. When we thought about this within our own Academic Team we could easily associate the different hats to the members of the team.
The importance of delegation and the difference between supportive and directive behaviour when showing others how to do a task, was another point Duncan Foord emphasised. As a team we believe that we all try to make sure that we delegate jobs and support each other accordingly but are we doing it in the right way? He believes that 70% of what we do as managers can still be delegated.
Another interesting idea which Duncan Foord presented was that although we are all teachers, what motivates us depends on our generation. Baby Boomers (53-72 year olds) are more optimistic than Generation X (37-52 year olds) as the latter tend to be more sceptical, for instance. Generation Y (15-36 year olds), are better educated and have higher expectations and self-esteem. These factors brought to light the fact that what will motivate one teacher will not necessarily motivate another. Are we using the right motivation techniques or do we expect everyone to be motivated by the same thing?
 
Rod Bolitho illustrated the professional life of a teacher and the challenges faced as the teacher develops, which factors influence a teacher’s career, the way teachers are viewed in various countries and the support and guidance available for teachers. It consoles and comforts us to know that as teachers we all go through the same trials and tribulations and it is great to know that somewhere, someone appreciates all we have done and are still doing. Teaching is possibly the most wonderful profession from which all other professions are born.

Marie Delaney
, Julie Wallis and James Belveder have opened up a world we were all wary of – teaching students with learning difficulties. We understood the meaning of inclusion and the importance of speaking to our students to find out what they want and what they need rather than assuming what is best for them. We applaud the courage Julie Wallis and James Belveder demonstrated by talking about living with dyspraxia and highlighting the difficulties they faced. We realised how easily these issues could be avoided if only we have an inclusive mind and if only we talk to each other.
 
Loraine Kennedy reminded us of important questions we often do not ask about CPD (Continuous Professional Development), development and motivating teachers. Are we imposing a one-size-fits-all system on tired, disengaged teachers? How can we account for individuality to diversify the programme and entice everyone to own it, make it their own?
 
ESE has also taken part in the pilot project which would see Eaquals accredit institutions to issue a formal report detailing an individual employee’s CPD achievements and activities. We are very proud to announce that ESE has met all the standards and is now accredited. Some key benefits of this are:
 
• improved professional well-being
• improved learner understanding of effective teaching and learning
• effective linking of CPD targets to strategic direction
 
This was another great conference organised by the Eaquals team. It filled us with a renewed enthusiasm for what we do and has given us a few fresh ideas too. We can hardly wait for the Members’ Meeting in November which will be held on our very own little island in the Mediterranean, Malta. See you all then!

Focus on Fluency

delegation (n) – the process of giving some of your work, duties, or responsibilities to another person
emphasised (v) – to give special importance or attention to one thing in particular
motivates (v) – to make someone feel determined to do something or enthusiastic about doing it
illustrated (v) – to show what something is like
trials and tribulations (phr) – problems, troubles or difficulties to test one’s endurance
to open up a world – to start thinking about something
inclusion (n) – the action of making sure that everyone forms part of a group equally
diversify (v) – to develop into something different
entice (v) – to persuade someone to do something, especially by offering them an advantage or reward

 

AUTHORS: Amanda Jayne De Gabriele and Michela Formosa
Eaquals Conference - Amanda & Michela Amanda Jayne De Gabriele is the Academic Group and International Foundation Year Coordinator at ESE. Since joining ESE in October 2005 she has taught students of various ages and nationalities. In the summer months you will find Amanda heading our new school at the Salini Resort. In her free time she enjoys reading, watching films and series as well as baking.

Michela Formosa has been the Director of Studies at ESE since 2009 and has been active in the industry for the past 20 years both as a teacher and a teacher trainer. In addition, she was a speaker at the ELT Conferences in Malta as well as the Eaquals Conference in Malaga in 2015. In October 2015, Michela received the Inspiring ELT Professional Award 2015 at the 4th Malta ELT Conference. She enjoys spending her free time with her family and reading, and is a fan of Juventus.