Hello Exam Seekers,
It’s a week away from Cambridge Day 2019 and I am sad to inform you that I won’t be attending it this year. I registered a month ago as you all know, but then I found out that I had some training sessions to take from this July 22nd to July 26th. It’s unfortunate, I know… but I’ll at least try and watch it online. If you are not attending it either, this is the link for the online conference: register here.
I have already mentioned that vacation is the period when most publishers and schools offer courses for teachers, due to their lack of time during the year with classes and paperwork (homework correction, class planning, etc.), and this July was no different from the others. In Brazil, we are 2 weeks away from going back to school, and many courses have surfaced. As I mentioned, I’m not attending Cambridge Day this year, however, I still have my fair share of courses and workshops to attend.
Yesterday, for example, I attended a pronunciation workshop at a school here in Mogi das Cruzes, São Paulo. The school is new and started offering many workshops and courses for students and teachers. Yesterday’s course was free of charge, check out the photos:
Now, what is the relationship of the title of the post with what I am saying? Some people still don’t get the importance of certificates and teacher’s development which is pretty unfortunate, and some people simply don’t know anything about certifications. Well, I am here just to raise some awareness in relation to that.
There’s been not much time since my life started changing in relation to the teaching world. It was 2011 when I traveled abroad for the first time looking for some experience, and for more knowledge about English and teaching. Soon after I got my B2 First (former FCE) and my TKT Module 1, 2 and 3. Four years later I really got deep into this relationship with certifications. So, it’s not late to start! In 2 or 3 years any teacher can get a good number of certificates and a good amount of knowledge! 🙂
Why is it important to get certifications?
Getting certification grants you:
- Better jobs;
- Better pay;
- More knowledge…
Many people have this pre-conception that they don’t need to get any certification because they are very stable where they are now and they plan on keeping their jobs. And I get this way of thinking… the comfort zone… Many schools don’t value knowledge and don’t value an employee with certifications. For them, having a teacher with a C2 Proficiency (former CPE) and a teacher without any kind of certificate is the same! I know that because I’ve been there. I’ve taken the C2 Proficiency a couple of years ago, and I got the same salary as a teacher who had no certification at all. Well, and for the teacher, there’s the safety of being in the same job for a while or having a higher pay than the average.
And it’s sad because many teachers don’t go after improving their knowledge because they think it’s just a waste of time. Because they believe it’s a great amount of money that they don’t have to spend and that their effort will not be valued.
The first thought you have to keep in mind, though, is that you are not doing that for anyone else but yourself. Having knowledge or not is not going to be important for these kinds of bosses and people in higher positions than you. You should look for courses and workshops to feel better about yourself and your way of teaching and not please a coordinator or a boss.
And secondly, by having these certifications, if you don’t get a raise, you can definitely start looking for better jobs with better pay!
So here’s why you should get certifications:
- You improve your teaching skills and abilities;
- You get more confidence in your work and what you do;
- Your networking increases due to the people you meet;
- You can get a raise and better jobs…
I started taking these certifications not because I was looking for better pay or better jobs, but because I felt that it was important for me as a teacher and for my career. I felt that I needed more! Always more knowledge (and to be certain and have the confidence to teach what I was teaching). So in my case, I had this feeling of self-improvement which today grants me the possibility of looking for better paths in my career.
But I don’t have money, how can I get certifications?
You don’t need to go right after the first $5000 course, you see. Nowadays there are many courses which are less expensive and others which are free of charge. Yesterday was one of the cases, the workshop on pronunciation for teachers was free. Cambridge Day is another example of a conference for free, you just have to take a non-perishable food item with you.
And if you want to take that $5000 course because you think that it will finally help your career launch, there’s always a way to try and get it:
- You can try and offer your services for the school in exchange for the course;
- You can try the online version that tends to be cheaper;
- You can always save some money every month to get the amount you need to pay in one installment with a discount.
There’s always a way, you just have to look for and run for it. 🙂
Be it a paid course or a free workshop, you should always be looking for some improvement in your career. Sometimes we get into a place in our minds that we think we know everything and we don’t need to study anymore… Don’t fall for that! We never know it all. Yesterday at this workshop I attended there were so many things many teachers still don’t know!
- The ‘CVC’ Case;
- Long x Short Vowels;
- Voiced x Voiceless Sounds;
- Pronunciation of ‘ED’;
- Pronunciation of ‘Plural Nouns’;
- Pronunciation of ‘3rd Person Singular’;
- Use of ‘a’ and ‘an’ before Acronyms;
- Most Common Mistakes by Students.
Teacher Elmer is a great teacher, you can learn so much from him! 🙂 I learned!
Many of the topics I reviewed because it’s never enough to revisit! I learned new ways of teaching pronunciation to my students and other things were simply new for me! You never waste time when you attend these kinds of workshops. Plus… There’s always the networking!!!
If you are reading this text and you are from another country other than Brazil, don’t worry, I’m sure there are plenty of workshops and courses in your country too. Just look for it! 🙂 And there are online courses and workshops, which you can watch from anywhere.
I hope I have helped you to know the importance of certification and self-improvement, and also to became aware of the motivations behind my studies. The question now is, what are your motivations? Write in the comment section below!
Also, share the blog with people that might be still unaware of the importance of certification, I’m sure I can help them, too.
That’s it for today! Please like the post and follow the blog on:
You can also listen to this post at Anchor!!!
Have a great week,
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Edited: 29/04/2021 (During this pandemic, plenty of courses and workshops are now available online! :))
Very well put, Patty.
All we need to know is that no matter what we do in order to invest in our career, we’ll be doing that for ourselves and our students. It might not give us a better paycheck, but we never know when we’ll find an awesome opportunity in which certificates will come in handy.
Added to that, as an employer now, I do not feel professionally attracted to teachers who do not go for it no matter how amazing their English level is. I seek for those who value themselves and worry about their students in the first place.
How can I know that? For a starter, they have gone into the trouble of getting certification not because their previous employers wanted them to, but because they felt the need to do so.