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Leo has been with us for almost two years
4 May 2020

Professional Development During Physical Distancing

Chatteris’ own Leo Sharp shares how Chatteris is utilising the current period of physical distancing to encourage professional growth and development among employees…

This year is my second year with Chatteris and it’s been one of the most challenging years in both Chatteris’ history and in my own career. With both the protests and now the coronavirus, teaching and learning has been severely disrupted.

Fortunately, Chatteris has used this difficult period as an opportunity to encourage tutors to focus on their professional development, a major part of the graduate programme and tutor experience at our organisation.

Therefore, Chatteris has provided a series of online webinars for tutors to participate in. These have focused on both teaching related topics, such as classroom management and design thinking for teachers, as well as more diverse themes such as international NGO insights and donor engagement.

These webinars were not compulsory to attend, but I knew it would be a good chance to hear new ideas and learn from experts in their respective fields, so I signed up for all of them!

Leo has been with us for almost two years
Leo has been with us for almost two years | Image by Leo Sharp

I was impressed with the diversity of leaders, as not only did Chatteris use internal members of the the organisation, but they also used their extensive network to provide speakers based in China, Kuwait, and Canada.

As someone who is planning on staying in Hong Kong and remaining within the teaching profession, there were several webinars that I found particularly useful. This included the Native English Teacher (NET) Scheme webinar, run by the CEO of Chatteris, Ben.

It was great to get advice on how to apply for a much sought out position on the scheme and from someone who has experience helping around 60 people become NETs in Hong Kong, Ben’s insights were invaluable.

I also found both the Creating a Reading Culture and Collaboration in Mixed Culture Teams webinars very interesting too. These were both run by Ken, an expert on these topics, who is currently based at the Kuwait American School, but has extensive experience in Asia too.

It was fantastic to hear about the impact reading can have on a child’s education and eye opening to learn how as little as fifteen minutes of reading a day can positively affect all aspects of a child’s education.

One of the webinars was Design Thinking for Teachers
One of the webinars was Design Thinking for Teachers | Image by Chatteris

Furthermore, being able to work with those from different cultures is extremely important in today’s globalised world. The tips and advice I learned from Ken’s Collaboration in Mixed Culture Teams webinars are things that people in many industries would be able to utilise.

Lastly, as someone who will hopefully work within the Hong Kong education system for the next few years, I found the Teaching Phonics webinars, run by Sylvia, the Education Adviser at Chatteris, particularly useful and relevant.

Among my colleagues, the Positive Health webinar, led by Chris, the Founder and CEO of one of Hong Kong’s leading health coaching companies proved very popular and current!

Ultimately, I am grateful for these professional and personal development opportunities that Chatteris has generously provided, especially during these unprecedented times. I would encourage any future tutors to take advantage of any opportunities that could support their growth, as not every organisation has the resources, network, or willingness to offer such a spectrum of possibilities for professional development.

Looking to foster your professional growth and development like Leo? Click here for information on how to join our team as a tutor!

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