Thinking and reflecting on what we have been doing as a training unit, the other day, I came across with a thought provoking post entitled ‘I’d like to think that I help people to learn English’ by Richard Whiteside. Reading the post was like receiving a letter in which some of the questions that were wandering in my mind were touched while at the same time some remained untouched.
When we look at business organizations, we see that Human Resource departments are responsible for “employee selection, training, evaluation, rewards and compensation, and termination” (Fatehi, 2008, p. 578) as well as for maintaining an adequate level of manpower strength, in terms of both quality and quantity, needed to achieve institutional goals (Selmer and Chiu, 2004). Studies have shown that the most productive employees are those who get extensive training (Fatehi, 2008); therefore, many organizations have put great emphasis on training employees.
Undeniably, today, training is essential for professional development, be it in a business organization or in academia.
After some years of teaching, you may find out that students may have difficulty understanding some concepts and concentrating on your lessons. We may blame our students for lacking interest and not listening to the lessons. Let’s face it! What we bring into class might have worked previously, but might be old fashioned for that particular generation… and what they bring might be new to us.
It’s not the students who have to change; it’s, we- the educators- who have to adapt the methodology to the “learning trend“ set by the students. Educational settings are dynamic places with students coming and leaving with different tastes, interests, and intelligences as well as different abilities. All these require ongoing change in the curriculum as well in the methodology and technology we use. We need training to refresh and develop as much as people in business organizations do. Whiteside says, “[d]evelopment is a personal thing, you can’t be developed, you can be trained…” (Whiteside, 8 March, 2011,¶3), which I definitely agree with.
Then, my question is…How could we better promote teachers for professional development? Should some training programs be optional, and some compulsory? Why, why not? I would love to hear your ideas.
Fatehi, (2008). Working Virtually: Managing People for Successful Virtual Teams and Organizations.
Selmer, J & Chiu, R. (2004). Required human resources competencies in the future: a framework for developing HR executives in Hong Kong. Retrieved July 10, 2008 from Science Direct. doi:10.1016/j.jwb.2004.08.001
Whiteside, R.( March 9, 2011). ‘I’d like to think that I help people to learn English’. Retrieved March 9, 2011 from http://richardteachesenglish.blogspot.com/