Silvana Richardson is Head of Education at Bell Educational Services, Academic Director of Bell Teacher Academy, Cambridge, and Programme Quality Manager at the Bell Foundation, a charity that commissions and disseminates research and trains staff in primary and secondary schools in England with the aim of overcoming exclusion through language education. She is a guest…
Silvana Richardson is Head of Education at Bell Educational Services, Academic Director of Bell Teacher Academy, Cambridge, and Programme Quality Manager at the Bell Foundation, a charity that commissions and disseminates research and trains staff in primary and secondary schools in England with the aim of overcoming exclusion through language education. She is a guest lecturer on English as an Additional Language at the Faculty of Education, Cambridge University and has been Academic Director of Bell Teacher Campus, Cambridge and Course Director of the Bell Online Delta. She has over 30 years of experience in various roles: teacher, teacher educator, academic manager, materials writer and consultant.
Silvana is the author of Promoting Effective Professional Learning for Language Teachers to be published by Cambridge University Press in 2021, as well as co-author of the white papers ‘Effective professional development: Principles and best practice’ (CUP, 2018) and ‘What’s new in ELT besides technology?’ (CUP, 2016).
Together we thrive: How to build supportive teacher learning communities
Over the last few months, teachers have achieved extraordinary things, but not without a cost. The disruption caused by school closures put them under extreme pressure, increased their workload and adversely affected their wellbeing. And the herculean effort is nowhere near over yet, as transitioning into different classroom environments and configurations poses fresh new challenges for already stressed and exhausted teachers, requiring them to tap into almost depleted funds of resilience, flexibility and adaptability.
Supporting teachers and their learning during and beyond the upcoming transition will be crucial, and bringing teachers together to learn from and with each other in supportive and compassionate learning communities is a key priority for educational leaders. As well as having the potential for being powerhouses of creative strategies and time-saving, practical solutions leading to more confident and improved practice, these communities can act as a place of connection and joy, a professional home for tired teachers where they can find their much-needed stamina and inspiration in times of transition. In this talk I will offer practical suggestions for CPD leaders and teacher educators for creating and maintaining supportive teacher learning communities.