Competency 5: Educational Institutions, Communities, and Professional Life

Teachers are committed to developing their careers in education.

How does this happen? In this final item in a series of 5 posts, teacher learning as practiced at SIT is outlined. What a teacher does outside the classroom acknowledges that teachers need to be knowledgeable about, skilled at, hold attitudes of, and be aware of these dimensions of their professional practice.

Teachers need to be knowledgeable about

  • policies, procedures, and practices of schools and educational institutions and how these impact on their teaching
  • relevant professional organizations and advocacy groups
  • theories of contextual influences on language education

Teachers need to be skilled at

  • developing an approach to language teaching based on well articulated and defended assumptions
  • evaluating and thinking critically about their own work and modifying its direction
  • inviting, understanding, and acting upon evaluations of their work by colleagues and students
  • furthering their education as a professional educator through contributing to the field and engaging in professional development opportunities
  • applying their experiences living in other cultures to their work
  • participating actively in professional organizations
  • developing their own multilingualism and multiculturalism
  • analyzing contextual influences on education in a particular setting
  • advocating for second languages and learners

Teachers need to hold attitudes of

  • commitment to a career in second language education
  • valuing multilingualism and multiculturalism
  • responsibility for the needs of students, colleagues, institutions, and larger communities
  • professionalism in their work

Teachers need to be aware of

  • themselves as life-long learners of teaching
  • their own values as educators
  • the connection of their work to the larger world community
  • schools, educational institutions, and host communities as distinct cultures
  • the social impacts of their work
  • the socio-political dimensions of language teaching

These teaching competencies are excerpted from the MA in Teaching student handbook (2007-08). They are common to all of SIT’s MA in Teaching programs.


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