Teaching Community – To share or not to share?

Last month I had a rather uncomfortable experience when one of my blog lessons was shared with a group of teachers. The vexation occurred when I got to know that the lesson was being shared without the credits.

The topic of the lesson was about the trucker’s strike that took place in May here in Brazil. Thus, let me describe how the preparation took place:

First of all, I decided that it was of paramount importance that my young adult students (advanced / 15-18) were more aware of what had been happening in our country at the time. I, then, have taken and adapted an article from ‘The Guardian’ in order to have a foreigner overview of a Brazilian matter and also to work with specific vocabulary for the C1 target group. Next, I felt that to make the lesson a whole, I would need something else to set the scene, thus I resolved to use some scenes from a TED video “The political chemistry of oil” by Lisa Margonelli, so students would be able to understand the political background of what is involved in the oil production and therefore the gas we daily use. Once the material was set, I devised the lesson plan (which is also available in my blog) with well-organised slides (a PowerPoint file) and on May 25th the lesson was posted.

I have always seen the teaching profession as a collaborative one, in which we are able to share our lessons, classroom practices, articles, workshops, etc. with more or less experienced teachers, so we can learn, get more mature, sometimes change our beliefs and of course, grow.

What’s more, one of the first things we are told when doing professional teaching courses such as the CELTA and/or the DELTA is that we always have to source the material we are using, that is, we should write “taken” and/or “adapted” from this or that website by this or that teacher. This way, not only will the students (or other professionals) be able to check the source and maybe adapt the material themselves but it is also out of respect for where it came from and whoever took the time to have it done.

Honestly, everybody knows how much I love this profession and how much I love collaborative work and sharing everything I prepare (that’s why I first created my blog).

Therefore, this post is to alert teachers not to forget to source all the material you will use in your lessons.