An excellent way to challenge yourself professionally is to start a teaching website of some sort, kind of like this one of mine. While it’s evolved over the years, it’s mostly still about figuring out how to be a stellar teacher. Not only have I learned lots of helpful teaching things, but I’ve also met plenty of fabulous people through it. Like people actually recognize me on the street and at conferences and stuff and introduce themselves, which makes me feel really, really happy. I also like having something solid to put on my resume to show potential employers that I’ve been thinking about teaching, attending (+presenting) at conferences and trying to improve my skills over the years.
Start a Website: 4 Choices
Anyway, professional development for ESL teachers! If you’re looking for some of that action, starting a blog or website is a good start. I’ll briefly outline four options for you: Blogger, WordPress.com, WordPress.org, and HubPages.
2. WordPress.com is similar to Blogger but it requires a wee bit more in the way of tech skills. It’s probably better to start with this rather than Blogger however because learning how to develop websites through this platform is a much more valuable skill for your future. Here’s one site I started using WordPress.com, although I’ve now migrated it over to a self-hosted site using option #3.
3. WordPress.org. WordPress.org uses the same platform as WordPress.com with the difference being that you need to have your own domain (instead of XYZ.wordpress.com) and that you need another site to host your page (although you can pay wordpress to do it for you too). You can use something like Go Daddy (Bluehost is better!) for domains and hosting, and then WordPress for the platform, which is how many of the websites you see do it. It is a wee complicated, but if I can figure it out, anyone can. I’m truly no tech guru. Here’s an example of a website I built using Godaddy for hosting/domain and WordPress.
Jackie Bolen. It has links to all my awesomeness.
One thing I kind of hate about HubPages though is that they have pretty strict “spam” filters so that sites I think are really not spammy at all get un-featured, which means that they’re not made available to search engines. But, if you’re tech-deficient, like seriously have no tech skills whatsoever, this could be a good way to get started.
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