Earlier this year I agreed to become the mentor for a new Mental Health in ELT Professional Learning Community (PLC) on Globe, a new project from TransformELT and the brainchild of coordinator, Jennifer Law. Having stated in February that I was unlikely to write or present about this topic in our profession in the future, I had to reconsider after I was given this opportunity. The community is still in the early stages of building, but after months of development, the platform is now live and accepting membership. I recommend that you take a look at what it has to offer. A promotional video that I recorded is below.
As Jennifer Law wrote earlier this year:
“We are in the middle of the Covid 19 global pandemic. This has made us all reconsider what we are doing, why we are doing it and what our futures are going to look like. Now, more than ever, we need to take stock of our personal and professional lives. Some of us will have to move our courses online, some will have to completely reconfigure how we teach and do business. The world is never going to look the same again, and we need to adapt to ensure we thrive in the future. Furthermore, as English continues to be the international language of choice, the need for well-informed, skilled and adaptable ELT educators may become greater than ever. With this in mind, we have created Globe – an online, worldwide community for ELT professionals, where we can:
- share our ideas, inspirations, reactions and imaginings
- explore issues, problems, puzzles and questions of our own defining
- build concrete responses to changes happening within our different contexts, both commercial and non-commercial
- receive feedback on our actions, thoughts, words, and deeds with ELT professionals around the world.”
There are several Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) on Globe covering the following:
Autonomy / Behaviour Management / Continuing Professional Development / ELT Management / Language Leadership and Management / English as a Medium of Instruction / Literature and Cultural Awareness / Materials and Resources Development / Mental Health in ELT / Teaching & Training With Technology / Teaching Low-level Adult Learners / Training Processes / Writing & Publishing Corpora in Language Teaching / Sustainability in ELT
However, the community is open for new members to suggest their own topic for a PLC. The mission is to provide a space where ELT professionals can share ideas, investigate aspects of ELT, and create resources and products for use by Globe members and the wider ELT community. The vision is one of a global ELT community that fosters and leads innovation. Globe believes that Continuous Professional Development should be self-directed, socio-professionally supportive, diversified, democratic, innovative, critical and evidence-based. The platform runs on Moodle and was designed by Gavin Dudeney of the Consultants-e.
Globe is made up of three components or ‘Zones’:
- The Generator is where initiatives form and develop, resources are worked on and resulting projects defined and designed.
- The Sandbox is a testing ground for members’ new ideas and products. Share drafts of courses, activities, books, or other products and receive feedback from the Globe community.
- The Transformer takes teaching and learning ideas and helps members to make them commercially viable. Once tried and tested, TransformELT can help market these ideas to the public, or help to broker a licensing arrangement or publishing deal. We see this as a potential way for members to generate income from their teaching and training ideas. We also provide a Moodle platform for members to build and deliver their own teacher and language development courses.
So, what do you get if you become a Globe member? Here are some of the benefits:
- PLC activities and Initiatives: You can start, lead or join activities and initiatives to explore aspects of language teaching and learning. If you have an idea that you would like to develop into a commercial educational product, Globe can also guide you through the process.
- Proof of your PD activities: The Globe mentor team are happy to provide a certificate that you can show to your employer or institution which acknowledges your participation in a goal-oriented activity or initiative.
- Networking: This is a great space to make new socio-professional and socio-cultural contacts across the language teaching community.
- Resources: Globe gives you access to a wide range of resources which include peer-reviewed materials for use in the classroom. You can also create resources to share with the Globe community.
- Work opportunities: Hear about the latest opportunities in our field and share work opportunities with other Globe members.
- Courses: Take a free course – created by members for members. Create, develop and launch your own language teaching or teacher training courses.
- Profile: Raise your professional profile through membership of a recognised and respected organisation.
At this weekend’s virtual IATEFL conference (19-21 June), Transform ELT were promoting the Globe initiative. I was mentioned in the final plenary by Kieran Donaghy and I also popped up in the Transform ELT booth at the invitation of Sarah Mount to talk about my role and to answer questions. Free membership for a limited period was on offer for attendees. However, it’s a pay what you can approach. Sign up for a free trial to join me and those you see in the screenshot above.
Update (Aug 2021): I hosted a Virtual Coffee & Chat in the Virtual Café on Saturday 17 July at 11am UK time (BST). Amongst other things, we discussed which factors impact on your mental health as a teaching professional where you are based. In addition, we discuss in what ways do you maintain positive wellbeing where you work. You can watch the full recording of this chat below.
Law, J. (2021) ‘How Globe Came About’ in Globe Handbook for Members
Law, J. (2021) ‘Globe: A Virtual Home for English Language Educators Around the World’. Available at Bett: https://bit.ly/3zL9c1v Accessed 21 June 2021.