“How to be a good Director of Studies?” – Some useful links!

The third most common search term (out of dozens and dozens) that brings people to my website is:

 director of studies

Other searches such as:

how to be a good director of studies (6th)

what does a director of studies do? (13th)

what makes a good director of studies? (15th)

are all apparently rather frequent too. This amuses me, as I’ve never been a DoS or written any posts telling people how to be a good one. However, I did once summarise an #ELTchat summary on the subject (see here). Apparently when you trawl Google for useful sites to learn about being a DoS, my summary is one of the links that pops up!

So, I thought I’d be kind to all those who wind up on my blog in their hunt for pearls of wisdom in this area, and make it worth their while visiting my blog, by bringing together a few links to further sources that may be of use when they’ve done with the chat summary…

Useful links for DoS’s or budding DoS’s or anyone else who wants to know about the job that is DoS

  • The Secret DoS is a must-read for any would-be or current DoS – to make you laugh and feel less alone in those tearing-your-hair out moments. Plus said Secret DoS goes deeper than humour, providing insightful and interesting food for thought.

(SD can also be found on Twitter if you want to keep up that way…)

  • Be the DoS is the blog belonging to Josh, who is the (ever-developing) DoS of a continuous enrolment language school. His tagline is “the trials and tribulations of a developing DoS” – so plenty to be learnt from having a browse.

(In fact, my current and rather brilliant DoS has been inspired by Josh, and gave us a brilliant CPD session, which idea he got from this post/talk of Josh’s.)

  • This is a link to a description of the International House Director of Studies course, which might be a useful building block if you are advancing in the direction of DoS-ing.
  • On the Teaching English British Council page, you can find Tips for ELT Managers – aren’t we lucky to have such a wonderful resource as this website (which is currently being redesigned and will then be even more awesome!), containing information about anything ELT-related that you could possibly think of!
  • The benefits of observation and feedback is an #ELTchat summary by @ashowski. Helping teachers develop is an important part* of a DoS’s role (in my humble opinion!) and this summary could be useful in this respect. (*Yes, I know, there are many “important part”s of a DoS’s role!)
  • Refresh your ELT project planning know-how is a videoed session from IATEFL 2014, which will help you plan an ELT project from start to finish. Now, as I mentioned, I’m not a DoS, but I imagine DoS’s have to manage multiple school-related projects simultaneously, so this could be helpful?!
  • Recommended by Josh Round, the IATEFL Leadership and Management Special Interest Group (LAM SIG) have a website here , with information about future events, such as management-related webinars, as well as a page for resources and other links, and ways for DoS’s to connect by using the #lamsig hashtag on Twitter. Apparently there is a LamSIG LinkedIn group too, if you are a LinkedIn fan.
  • Jonny Ingham has a small corner of his EFL Recipes blog dedicated to ELT Management. He is my afore-mentioned current DoS and so I can vouch that what he has to say about management should be worth reading!
  • Swandos is Rachel Fionda’s blog. Rachel is DoS at Swan Training institute and has shared some interesting posts on her site.

Finally, as far as I understand, and as I think any DoS will tell you, if you are a DoS, you just need to accept that the timetable will never be right. It’s just one of those things… 😉

If you know of any other blogs or links that you think could belong in this little list of useful links for people who want to know more about DoS-ing, please comment and share the link so that I can add it!

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