Recording (58min):

A teacher’s identity is shaped by many factors; education, experience, context, peers, ongoing professional development and self-perceptions formed throughout the sometimes messy process of developing as a teacher. My experience working in the Japanese context since 1989 is no exception.

Teaching private lessons exclusively for the first few years, then teaching solo in elementary, junior and senior high school contexts required a long uphill climb. Now teaching at the tertiary level feels like the right place to be. My current level of self-confidence, my sense of legitimacy as an EFL teacher-researcher, and my increasing motivation to learn more, have all been shaped by three paths;

1. Defining my beliefs.

2. Using collaboration for professional development.

3. Choosing a niche in ELT.

In this presentation, I will explore these three avenues, giving rationales, examples and anecdotes from my teaching life. Through this talk, I’m hoping teachers will recognize the value in looking back over their own paths to reflect on where they now stand in their own teaching journey, and to consider what lies ahead in the adventures that are available in our teaching community.

Steven Herder has been teaching within the Japanese EFL context since 1989. Having over 20 years teaching experience at the elementary and secondary school level, he is currently an assistant professor in the International Studies department at Doshisha Women’s College of Liberal Arts. He is also extremely active in professional development within the ELT community. He co-founded MASH Collaboration in 2007, an online community devoted to professional development through collaboration. He is an avid user of Skype and can often be heard saying, „Collaboration creates just the right amount of tension to get lots done.“ He also spends time editing numerous articles, academic volumes and proceedings, and leading teacher training seminars for various companies throughout Japan. Steven works from the perspective that, „being a teacher means a never-ending commitment to learning“.

KEYNOTE Steven Herder: Reflections from one teacher’s journey

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