Critical Thinking Instructor
Critical thinking for IELTS and TOEFL can be learned!
A shift from a traditional teaching model to guiding students to advance their higher order thinking skills. I created an interdisciplinary intervention whereby teachers have a user friendly tool that assists them to help struggling students and those students who have higher writing asperations to increase their critical thinking levels and of course their writing abilities. Honed and developed over a 5 year period, students move from simply absorbing information to understanding that they can take their education into their own hands motivating and inspiring each other to grow.
Taking it a step further, students learn to not only value problem solving, but to also start asking their own questions and in turn seek answers independently of the teacher. Of course the questions start as simple inquiry, but soon develop into Socratic lines of inquiry. The students become so motivated that they automatically seek out answers to the riddles and problems that puzzle them.
Teachers also learn by using this tool. They become facilitators, guiding the eager young minds in their charge to build an infectious learning agency that students maintain throughout their lives.
Inspired by the motivational nature of TED talks, I extended these lines of inquiry. Students were given talks in advance, along with a series of highlighted points that they were challenged to develop into their own lines of questioning. With these in hand, they entered my classroom assisting each other to grow and learn while I gently steered the conversations in directions that would help them gain the most benefit.
Motivated and interested in the divergent topics, soon it was the students who were finding topics that may be of interest to the class. They sourced these independently of the teacher and offered suggestions for topics that they though would be interesting to others. When learning agency gets to this level, as a teacher I am extremely proud. What were once students who were coming into a classroom looking for assistance and guidance, transitioned into students who could grow their own learning.
To deliver instruction in IELTS and General English covering the four macro skills: writing, speaking, listening and reading and to conduct ongoing diagnostic formative and summative assessment. Students in Taiwan, where I competed my masters degree, often forgo work experience and try their best to pass these Western university entrance exams. Studying full time, they seek out teachers with the right background and experience necessary for them to open up pathways to a better future.
In Taiwan I became extremely sort after as I taught in a way that appealed to the Taiwanese students, sharing knowledge in a way that helped many by stepping beyond the confines of a textbook and teaching learning strategies that produced better results.
Instructional Design is the process of using our knowledge of how people learn to guide our choices of instructional sequences and strategies to meet the needs of the learners and desired learning outcomes.
Instructional Design can be applied to anything that involves Human Performance Improvement. The Instructional Designer is a learning expert who can use their knowledge of the principles of learning and instruction to find the optimal method of instruction. This means finding the most effective, appealing and cost-effective solution. The Instructional Designer analyses the instructional problem, the task, learning needs and learning environment. By clearly defining the learning objectives the Instructional Designer can sequence the content and choose strategies to meet the learning goals. These decisions are based on both knowledge of proven learning strategies and practical experience.
Professional Development Instructor
Professional development training can help teachers to become better at planning their time and staying organized. PD makes teachers more efficient and gives them extra time to focus on students rather than the paperwork. I became a recognized PD teacher in Kaohsiung, Taichung and Taipei while living in Taiwan. This was a responsible position where I was able to train those who wanted to invest time in themselves.
Toastmasters for Professionals
Joining Toastmasters in Australia was one of the best decisions that I ever made. Not only did the club bless me with the confidence to speak in public in a professional capacity, but it mentored me in various leadership positions – Sargent at Arms, Vice President of Education, Membership officer and President of the club. It taught me to give back and to share with others, all that I had the opportunity to learn, and in turn to assist others as they grew and developed as well.