“My students and I make changes every day. I teach them; they teach me.“ – Dinara Onerkan, Kazakhstan

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Dinara Onerkan
English Teacher
Nazarbayev Intellectual School of Chemistry and Biology
Ust-Kamenogorsk, Kazakhstan

 With new technology and tools being introduced all the time, it can be tough for teachers to keep up. For MIE Expert Dinara Onerkan, it helps to have a plan.

“I need to embrace innovations, technologies, and practices that can improve student performance,” she explains. “But finding the time for professional development is always difficult because there are always competing priorities and pressures. The thing that helps me are Microsoft technologies and apps, which are already transforming my work. It has made it possible for me to better understand how to continuously use technology, freeing me up to spend time working with students and collaborating with colleagues in-person and through online platforms.”

By staying focused and open to new approaches, Onerkan has discovered that guest speakers are the ideal way to immerse her students in English, exposing them to new voices and perspectives, and adding variety to the classroom routine.

Skype in the Classroom blurs away hundreds and thousands of kilometers,” she says. “It is quite difficult to find English-speaking credible experts in our area. From the perspective of an English teacher, having native speakers in the lesson gives students lots of opportunities to learn different accents and develop their listening and speaking skills. Using this tool makes the lesson intercultural as well. By visiting speakers around the world, they learn to be global and broaden their horizons through learning a variety of cultures and traditions. “

How does Onerkan, who has been teaching for about 11 years, stay motivated?

“I really feel all the beauty of my teaching when I see my knowledge helps students to grow and develop, when my students are grateful, and of course, when their eyes are full of thanks,” she shares. “These are the precious moments when I see myself as helpful and a real EDUCATOR.  That is why I am always in search of new teaching methods, techniques, and approaches. My students and I make changes every day. I teach them; they teach me.“

Connect with Dinara on her Microsoft Educator Community Profile.

About Dinara Onerkan

  • Educational background: MA in Educational Leadership and Management, Warwick University.
  • Favorite Microsoft product, tool, technology: Skype and OneNote
  • Website I check every day: education.microsoft.com
  • Favorite book: I have many favorite books. But the recent one I liked is Enlightenment Now by Steven Pinker. It is about progress we should not fear. It is about cherishing it and moving further. It is written that we should base our opinions and perspectives not on some mystical beliefs and prejudices, but on science, reason and humanism because they are engines of progress.
  • Favorite childhood memory: The most beloved and vivid memory is summer trips to the countryside with sisters and brothers, barbecues, trips to the river. It was great.
  • What is the best advice you have ever received? Always treat your student as a mature and grown up human being, because later someday when you see your graduate, the feeling of being proud of him or her will come.

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