I’ve taken many Additional Qualifications (AQs) in my 19 year teaching career. As a classroom teacher, AQs give me the edge to meet my students’ needs and keep me up to date with the latest pedagogy and technology tools.
Through many universities and accredited organizations, I’ve experienced how AQs are presented and organized. I’ve taken some AQs where I was impressed with their high quality and instructional expertise; I’ve been underwhelmed with AQ courses too.
My recent experiences with ETFO AQ courses were excellent. ETFO AQ courses rise above other AQ options as the courses are:
- developed by highly qualified and experienced elementary teachers for elementary teachers
- taught by teachers who are still active in classrooms
- regularly reviewed and updated to address the current realities of elementary classrooms
- developed with course content that is practical and well grounded in effective practice
- developed to balance the theory of teaching with the practice of teaching
- respectful of the work/life balance teachers juggle with every school year
- taught by instructors with high levels of professionalism and updated AQ course training
While I was taking ETFO AQ courses, I noticed a significant difference in the culture of the courses. I experienced a sense of collaboration, support, and community I had not experienced in other AQ courses. I felt that I was an individual candidate with unique needs instead of just a name on a class list. My instructors went beyond my expectations in creating a classroom community, both in online and in face to face courses. Interestingly, this is what I stress in my own classroom practice: a sense of belonging and inclusion.
Feeling included and part of a community is the additional edge ETFO AQ courses offer to teachers. As part of my ongoing professional development, I plan to take more ETFO AQ courses in the near future.