Sponge Chats – Teacher Training and Development with Thom Kiddle, Director of NILE

This blog post is part of the Sponge Chats video series.

In the ninth Sponge Chat, I had the pleasure to sit down with Thom Kiddle, the director of NILE and board member of many other associations including Eaquals and AQUEDUTO. We got to talk about Thom’s journey from teacher to trainer and from trainer to trainer of trainers. We touched on many of the challenges he has faced along the way, some advice he has for trainers looking to make similar moves, and, of course, some book recommendations.

Thom made reference to quite a number of things in the Sponge Chat, one being the Cambridge English Trainer Framework. This is a framework that is designed to:

  • help trainers to identify where they are in their professional career
  • help trainers and their employers to plan professional development pathways
  • explore research into trainer development. 

I have played around with (and even created a questionnaire that follows the criteria) the Cambridge English Teacher Framework, but I have yet to really delve into the details of the Trainer framework, so I am very much looking forward to doing just that over the next twelve months (and the remainder of my career).

Thom also spoke about the four-selves model, or better known as the Johari Window. This is a really interesting concept in general, but especially when used in conjunction with observation. There is not a lot of information out there regarding teaching and its implications regarding observation practices, but it certainly is worth looking into as it helps teacher reconceptualise teaching and the things that can be focused on (e.g. what the observer sees but you can’t). Another thing to add to my ever-growing to-do list. Here is a link to Vicky Magari’s quick intro to Johari windows in ELT.

Thom has also shared with me a link to the NILE Members area. It is free to sign up and has free teaching resources (including teaching training ideas) and links to NILE courses.

Thom’s book recommendations:

I hope you enjoyed this Sponge Chat – I know I learnt a lot and I hope you found it insightful. I would love to hear your thoughts, comments and suggestions, so please do leave a comment below. Remember you can find Sponge Chats on YouTube or on Spotify!

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