A Special Feat: Professional Development While Being a Parent

For two and a half years, I was not in the classroom; not once did I think of deducting those years from my teaching career. And that, thanks to my two full-time students, in Life Sciences and English Language Learning; my daughter, Maggie and my son, Nicholas.

The amounts of Professional Development that I have been receiving through their development, physical, mental, psychological and linguistic, is invaluable.
This Special Feat is a message to all English Language Teachers who have become parents. Professional Development does not stop when you become a parent. On the contrary and through personal experience, you can make the utmost out of your gift and responsibility of being a parent:
You can be one great teacher for your family and for your students.
  •  We have turned our home into a school and our school into our second home. 
  • I have been extensively studying the specialized topics of Bilingualism and Multilingualism and have been applying all I am learning both to my children and my students.
  • Through this effort, several other colleagues-parents have become motivated and began studying and asking for advice on these issues – issues that are firmly bonded with teaching languages. 
  • Some of us may not be able to frequently visit workshops and conferences. That’s alright! That’s what webinars, online conferences and workshops, educational blogs, social media and books are for.
  • And some of us may be able to bring our own children into the groups we teach. This is my personal favourite. As if I have been living and working for this.  

Congratulations to all teachers and parents on their feats. Thank you.  

This post was originally published on the BELTA (Belgian English Language Teachers Association) blog.

Feel free to explore BELTA Belgium: http://www.beltabelgium.com

(The Loras Network is an institutional member of BELTA Belgium)

maggie and nicholas

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10 thoughts on “A Special Feat: Professional Development While Being a Parent

  1. Graham Jones June 25, 2013 at 06:15 Reply

    As a parent, the biggest thing I’ve learned about teaching is ‘going with the flow’. If it’s the wrong moment, teaching anything to a young child is like fighting against the tide. But if you can find the right moment, you can ride a ‘perfect wave’ of curiosity and enthusiasm. (I hope I’m not mixing my metaphors too much!)

  2. Eugenia Loras June 25, 2013 at 20:59 Reply

    Not mixing anything at all, Graham and thank you for the comment. All we have to do is do it naturally and pleasantly and it not just happens…it continues to happen! And while being parents, we can still find ways of developing professionally even if they are, slightly or greatly, different than before.
    Thanks again, Graham!

  3. Rose Bard June 26, 2013 at 00:55 Reply

    Eugenia, they are lovely! So sweet! The picture! Your post! I am so happy that you started blogging and sharing your passion as a mom and teacher. So inspiring.

    • Eugenia Loras June 26, 2013 at 11:28 Reply

      Thank you for everything, Rose and congratulations on everything! All the best, Eugenia!

  4. Maria Makra June 26, 2013 at 10:54 Reply

    I did my MEd in TESOL while being a ful time mother and teacher from 2009 till 2012. I studied and worked on projects and my dissertation after 10 pm when they were safely tucked in their beds and after they were kissed and told a story. Therefore, professional development is indeed feasible even when one is a parent. What I saw is that a person can do everything they set their mind to and I really believe my boys gave me strength to go on even when I was extremely tired. The most touching moment was during my graduation ceremony; they were there cheering for their mum…It was one of the best moments of my life. One other thing is that we set examples for them; when they see a 43-year-old woman still studying, attending conferences and seminars around Europe and seeking professional development, I believe that it is a good example for them: “Knowledge and education has no age limit” Socrates said: “I grow up, without ever ceasing to be educated”. Soooo, I am really looking forward to my PhD!!!
    PS. Lovely kids!!

    • Eugenia Loras June 26, 2013 at 11:29 Reply

      That’s it, Maria!!! That is exactly it!!! Congratulations!!! With all my heart I wish you all the best personally and professionally and keep going!!! All the way, Maria! Thank you very very much.
      All the best, Eugenia

  5. englishteachingnotes July 23, 2013 at 19:02 Reply

    thanks for this post, and your kids are so cute! I am a new parent myself (my son is almost 3 month old), and I am doing my best to keep up with what’s going on in the ELT world – thanks to webinars and conferences being broadcasted nowadays! on the one hand, it’s a bit sad I can’t go teaching right now, but on the other hand, if I was teaching full-time, I wouldn’t have my gorgeous son, and I would definitely have no time to keep my teaching blog, as I do now here, on WordPress, or to read some great PD books I’ve been planning to read for ages… So probably, parenting IS a good time for PD!
    Svetlana

    • Eugenia Loras July 24, 2013 at 13:04 Reply

      Dear Svetlana,
      Thank you very much for your comments and congratulations on your son and your invaluable work as a parent and a teacher. I will also explore your blog and I will definitely keep in touch with you.
      Wishing you all the best personally and professionally,
      Eugenia

      • englishteachingnotes July 25, 2013 at 11:46

        Eugenia,
        it’s so good to get a reply from you! I’ll be very happy to “see” you in my blog, welcome!

  6. Fabiana Casella August 14, 2013 at 05:40 Reply

    Great Eugenia!!!. You just said it all!!! There is nothing else to add. Your children are lovable, and very lucky and blessed to have you, and you to have them!!!!.( I am in love with mine too!!!) From the bottom of my heart: Congratulations on all you do and are doing!. Best wishes from Argentina!

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