Interview with Sharon, our Director of Studies

by / Tuesday, 27 January 2015

This week we are talking to our Live Language Director Studies, Sharon Chalmers, about her up and coming presentation at the English UK Management Conference in York in March 2015.

 

Sharon, tell us about your role here at Live Language….

I’m the Director of Studies which means I’m in charge of the all aspects of the Academic Department.  I’m responsible for the teachers, the timetable and of course, making sure that the students are happy.

 

You will be presenting at the English UK Management Conference in March, what is your presentation about?

I’ll be talking for about 50 minutes of the benefits of having a Teaching Code of Practice.  It is basically activities and practices that teachers saw in each other’s lessons and thought everyone should do.   It covers a range of things from how to record stress, how we give feedback to having the names on the board.

 

How did you integrate your Teacher Code of Conduct into practice here in Glasgow?

It all came from the teachers in the beginning.  They watched each other teach and picked some of the best activities.  We then developed this into our Code of Practice.  We did training sessions on what each part of the code means and why it was beneficial for the students.  Each part of the code came from one or more of the teachers, so they are the point of contact for any questions.

 

What benefits have you seen in the school since you introduced this development tool?

It’s helped the students adapt when they change teachers much better.  Although every teacher has their own style, the Code of Practice means that there are more similarities between staff.  This makes it easier for students.  The Code of Practice has also been beneficial for teachers who are new to Live Language or new to teaching.  It gives them guidelines as to how they should be teaching and what standards we expect.

 

We know from experience that students care most about the quality of the teaching when choosing a school.  How do you ensure this is delivered?

We have very high expectations of our teachers.  Daniella and I do frequent lesson observations and official training sessions take place around once a month.  However, unofficial training happens every day.  Teachers ‘buddy’ or ‘mentor’ each other, plan lessons together, observe each other and I hold weekly sessions where I help teachers apply the Code of Practice.   And if any teacher has a problem, all staff are more than willing to help.  I’ve been working as a teacher for 18 years and I’ve never worked with such a high quality of teaching staff.

 

Thank you Sharon.  Looking forward to your presentation!  For more information please contact Sharon.chalmers@live-language.com

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