While driving on our way to an English language teaching workshop in Belen de Umbria, Risaralda, in days gone by, I kept worrying about what it seemed to me, a chilling mud sender, and the wish that I had been driving a 4x4 or a larger vehicle. My colleague didn’t think so though. He looked up to the sky for a second, “Nah, it’s just a cloud,” he said. Right! I thought. Then as if on cue, David Byrne’s voice comes out of the car radio speaker telling me, “And you may ask yourself, how do I work this? And you may ask yourself, where is that large automobile?”. Downshifting bro, downshifting... happily downshifting, I reminded myself. To work hard where it matters the most to me, at schools everywhere in Colombia.
Since then and throughout the years, I've had the privilege to work with and learn from great educators, many of them classroom practitioners, consultants of expert advice to school communities all across the country and abroad, and a lot of education leaders. Among many, one thing I've noticed is that most of them, are always looking and providing solutions for ways to innovate their learning environments and processes. This is to say, that a high number of English language teachers in Colombia have been getting and are ready to include the use of technology and online learning in their classes. It is common for many English language learners and teachers to work with the latest virtual learning environments available, blended or flipped learning approaches, and all things related to virtual education. As sharing information comes naturally for most, if not all educators, they play an important role in multiplying their existing knowledge and experience within the rest of the ELT community and with other colleagues, family, and friends. After all, "Sharing is Caring".
Last month, we had a great chance to talk with one of those ELT academic leaders in Colombia, PEARSON's senior curriculum specialist, Patricia Colorado. In our conversation, she tells us about some of the difficult changes she had to make to her life of constant travel and the type of support and advice required by the learning communities working with the company´s editorial projects. She details a three-step approach for updating our professional skills, talks about English teacher's edge in remote learning and teaching, the importance of schools and the educational system, her thoughts on new learning platforms and data-driven practices, and her upcoming role at a new company she will be transitioning to in her immediate future.
You can follow Patricia Colorado on Twitter @PatriciaColora2