Making the most of teaching competences

Kirsten Holt

Who is it for?

The Macmillan Education Online Conference 2016 is open to all teachers and professionals working in ELT and is completely FREE to attend!


This talk will aim to raise awareness of teaching competency frameworks and to demonstrate how their competences can be traversed to make teacher professional development more meaningful. By the end of this talk you should have developed a greater understanding of what teaching competences are and gone away with ideas of how they can be used in practice.

Registration coming soon!

Tuesday 8th November 2016

15.00-15.45 (GMT)

Modern-day teaching requires twenty-first century classroom skills. In response to this need, teaching competency frameworks have emerged to reflect the complex combination of knowledge, understanding, skills, values and attitudes required for effective up-to-date teaching. These have led to detailed teacher profiles which, whilst useful, perhaps are not being exploited to their fullest for meaningful progression. 

During this workshop, we will briefly examine the theory behind frameworks, their construction and how they are currently being used; before exploring how they can be used effectively for the teacher’s personal, evolving professional development.  

We will then go on to discuss ways of traversing the levels of competences (within The Equals Framework for Teacher Training and Development) effectively through a couple of workshop activities which examine the relationship between a competence and real-world teaching and/or teacher development.  

Throughout the session, participants will be encouraged to relate the activities to their own professional development in order to answer the question: ‘What does it mean for me?’  

About the speaker: Kirsten Holt

Kirsten Holt is Publisher of Teacher Professional Development at Macmillan Education, having worked in publishing for ten years. Before joining publishing, she worked in education for a similar length of time; first as a teacher/materials writer, then as a teacher trainer, before becoming a Director of Studies and trainer of teacher trainers. Kirsten is passionate about supporting teachers, authors and editors alike in their professional development as well as investigating ways to respond to the evolving world of ELT.

A quick Q&A with Kirsten Holt

What inspired and continues to inspire you to talk on teaching competences?  

There is a fantastic amount of teacher professional development content available to teachers nowadays but how do you select the best thing for you? And how can you keep motivated? I believe that teaching competences offer up a solution to this and can help us develop personal, meaningful pathways of teacher professional development. I would have loved a tool like this when I was a Director of Studies and teacher trainer, so I am enjoying working through practical ways to use teaching competences with teachers and teacher trainers, in different teaching contexts, around the world.

What will people learn from you at the MEOC 2016?

They will learn what teaching competency frameworks are and in turn develop a greater understanding of how teaching competences can be used in practice. From this, they will learn ways to traverse teaching competences and how apply them to their own teaching context.

Tell us about your latest/recent projects with Macmillan?  

Since joining Macmillan towards the end of 2014, I have been working on the teacher professional development publishing plans – teaching competences has been a big part of this work so I’m delighted to be speaking at the Macmillan Education Online Conference (MEOC) 2016.

What is your top tip or piece of advice for teachers?

The best bit of advice I was told once as I was facing a long journey to work, was that if I loved where I lived and what I did at work, the journey time was inconsequential. To get the most out of the work time, I decided to experiment with the new teaching ideas/concepts I’d learnt at conferences/by reading articles in my own teaching rather than just mulling them over (and to be OK when things don’t go quite to plan), to acknowledge those little successes in the classroom as much as the big ones, and to have fun doing it. After all, as Dr Seuss says “You’ll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut.”